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12 Christmas shows and pantos for 2022

Find Christmas shows near you

He’s behind you! Oh no, he’s not! Oh yes, he is! Well, believe it or not, it is almost that time of year again – when laugh-out-loud pantos, spine-tingling orchestras and mind-blowing dance productions come out in force to entertain the nation for the most wonderful time of the year… Christmas. And if 2022’s line-up is anything to go by, you’re in for a treat.

From carol singing in an ancient Oxford oratory to all-singing, all-dancing extravaganzas in Norfolk, family-friendly pantomimes full of famous faces in London to side-splitting stand-up in Bath – there’s more than enough Christmas cheer to go around. Read on to find Christmas shows, pantos and more near you. 

More Christmas 2022 events and things to do:

20+ Christmas events for 2022 | Best places for a 2022 Christmas break | 2022 Christmas events in stately homes | Christmas markets 2022 | 2022 Christmas steam train experiences | 2022 Christmas gift guide 

1

The Spirit of Christmas at Liverpool Philharmonic

Liverpool, Merseyside

Enjoy a feast of festive music, old and new, at the beautiful Grade II-listed Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool. Hosted by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason and conducted by Ian Tracey, you’ll be able to sing along to traditional carols and music that embodies the feeling of Christmas.

Other Christmas events at the Philharmonic Hall include Carols by Candlelight and Swingin’ Christmas, with the latter celebrating classic seasonal songs by Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole and lots more.

When? Events take place on 17, 21, 22 and 23 December 2022.

Celebrate Christmas in Liverpool
2

Thursford Christmas Spectacular

Fakenham, Norfolk

With a cast of 130 (many hailing from London’s West End), the biggest Christmas show of its kind in Europe is an extravaganza of non-stop singing, dancing, music, humour and variety. Set in the magical surroundings of mechanical organs and fairground carousels, this spectacular show is guaranteed to impress – all rounded off with a special surprise before the curtains close.

Make a day of it and check out Thursford’s Enchanted Journey of Light. You’ll travel past penguins and giant teddy bears to the outdoor lantern light display, filled with breathtaking luminous sculptures, from a fantasy underwater world to the snowy scenes of the North Pole.

When? Between the 8 November and 23 December 2022.

See Norfolk’s most anticipated Christmas show
3

Christmas Spectacular Circus & Water Show

Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Full of fun, thrills and excitement for the whole family, Great Yarmouth’s hit festive show returns to the seaside town’s historic Hippodrome this December. From circus tricks to synchronised swimmers and hilarious comedy, this fast-moving show is guaranteed to get you into the Christmas spirit.

When? Selected dates between 10 December 2022 and 8 January 2023. 

Get tickets to this coastal Christmas event
4

Jack and the Beanstalk at The Palladium

London

London’s best-known panto is returning to the West End for this Christmas with the iconic tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Enjoy roaring comedy, show-stopping numbers and a star-studded cast – with appearances from Dawn French, Julian Clary, Alexandra Burke and many more.

When? From 10 December 2022 to 15 January 2023. 

See London’s favourite Christmas panto
5

The Snowman Tour 2022

Various locations

Whether you live in Derby or Durham, Chester or Coventry, the award-winning concert based on the nation’s favourite animated Christmas film, The Snowman, will be visiting a city near you this Christmas. Snuggled down in some of England’s prettiest cathedrals and venues, you’ll get to enjoy a special screening of the film accompanied by a magnificent live orchestra. On top of that, there’ll be a toe-tapping Christmas medley as well as lots of other stories for the whole family to enjoy.

When? Various dates in various locations between 1 and 22 December 2022.

Go walking in the air this Christmas
6

Christmas at The Royal Albert Hall

South Kensington, London

Christmas cheer and full audiences are returning to the Royal Albert Hall this Christmas. For the month of December, a huge line-up of heart-warming shows will grace the stage as part of the iconic venue’s 150th-anniversary celebrations. Watch a festive favourite screened alongside a live symphony orchestra at Home Alone in Concert, groove along to Trevor Nelson’s Soul Christmas, complete with a line-up of special musical guests, belt out some traditional carols at Carols at the Royal Albert Hall or sit back and enjoy the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s festive favourite, The Nutcracker – a sparkling treat for the whole family. None of those piquing your interest? There’s plenty more too!

When? Throughout December 2022.

Book tickets for The Royal Albert Hall
7

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Various locations

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty returns this year to celebrate 10 years since it first premiered. The show’s tour will start off in Plymouth in mid-November and then make its way up north to Salford before transferring for a six-week stint at London’s iconic Sadler’s Wells.

Brought to life through dance, this age-old fairytale will immerse you in a wondrous world of fairies and vampires, guiding you through a supernatural love story with its memorable score, sets, costume and superb storytelling. And with its original premiere being the fast-selling production in the company’s history, it’s certainly one not to be missed.

When? 12 to 19 November at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth, 22 to 26 November at The Lowry in Salford and 29 November to 15 January 22 at Sadler’s Wells in London.

 

Catch an unforgettable Christmas ballet
8

The Great Christmas Feast

Secret location, London

Get dressed up in your finest Victorian garments and make your way to a secret location for a night of bewitching entertainment. The Great Christmas Feast transforms a festive Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, into an indulgent night out. As soon as you step through the door, you’ll be transported to Christmas Eve 1843, where you’ll get to enjoy a ravishing one-man performance accompanied by live music, cocktails and delicious Victorian-inspired feast.

When? 15 November to 15 January 2023. 

Tuck into a festive feast
9

Robin Hood: The 80’s Panto

Manchester

Gear up for a night of nostalgia at Manchester’s Contact theatre. Combining The Adventures of Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, this year’s cheesy panto is remixed with an upbeat 80s sing-along playlist. With adventure, action, music, magic and men with mullets, this story of courage, friendship and bad puns will have you belting out Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and have you Holding Out For A Hero. It’s set to be the ultimate throwback.

When? 10 to 31 December. 

Have yourself the ultimate Christmas party
10

The Elf Express

Brighton, East Sussex

Embark on a magical journey to help save Christmas. When Santa falls ill before delivering presents to the families of Brighton and Hove, his trusty elves come to the rescue to make sure families don’t miss out – but they need your help to face their biggest challenge yet. With Mrs Claus, Holly, Gimble and the elves by your side, what shenanigans will you get up to aboard The Elf Express?

The Elf Express is aimed at kids aged 14 and under and will be staged at the Ironworks Studios as part of the Brighton Christmas Festival.

When? Between 25 November and 23 December. 

Have yours-elf a Merry Christmas
11

Horrible Histories: Horrible Christmas

Various locations

Kids and big kids may learn a thing or two on this hair-raising adventure through the history of Christmas. Joined by Charles Dickens, Oliver Cromwell, King Henry VIII and St Nicholas (or Father Christmas to you and me), this eye-opening show will take you through the twists and turns of some down-right gory (and hilarious history), from Victorian villains and Medieval monks to Puritan parties and Tudor treats.

When? Showing at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on 11 December, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on 20 December and then at London’s Barbican Centre from 27 to 30 December.

Delve into the history of Christmas
12

Krater Christmas Special at Komedia Bath

Bath, Somerset

Prepare for a night full of belly laughing at Komedia’s festive comedy extravaganza. This annual event brings together an all-star comedy line-up of comics from across the UK and beyond for an evening of festive frivolity and unbeatable fun. You can even tag on a three-course meal to your show, and follow it all up by dancing to cheesy floor-fillers at the after party.

When? 2, 3, 9, 10 and 17 December. 

Gather your friends for Christmas comedy
18 Oct 2022(last updated)

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  • 1

    Liverpool, Merseyside

  • 2

    Fakenham, Norfolk

  • 3

    Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

  • 4

    London

  • 5

    Various locations

  • 6

    South Kensington, London

  • 7

    Various locations

  • 8

    Secret location, London

  • 9

    Manchester

  • 10

    Brighton, East Sussex

  • 11

    Various locations

  • 12

    Bath, Somerset

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