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24 September 2014

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Theatre reviews and features


Christmas shows & pantos

It's the best time of year for shows - so make the most of what's on offer, from traditional pantomimes to shows promising festive frolics.

There's a great line-up of shows and pantomimes on offer throughout the Christmas period for those wanting to get into the Christmas spirit. So don't be a 'Bah Humbug' - get out and enjoy a bit of seasonal cheer!

@ The Crescent

Pirate Pete’s Christmas Adventure

Boy dressed as a pirate
Boy dressed as a pirate

Date: 11th - 16th December at 10.30am & 1.30pm

Something for the little ones - with songs, games, balloon modelling, laughs, tons of joining in, plus tales of the sea. Aha me hearties...

The Wassail

Date: 19th - 20th December at 7:30pm

The Crescent's annual Yuletide celebration is always a sell out. Before the show glasses of mulled wine and mince pies are given out, which will ensure you're in the mood for an evening of songs, carols, readings and festive cheer.

Crescent Box Office: 0121 643 5858

@ The Drum

Stage it – A Caribbean Christmas

Ava Ming
Ava Ming

Date: 13th – 14th December

A Caribbean Christmas is Ava Ming’s first full length stage play and the Drum's first Christmas Panto. It came out of an idea formulated when working with a youth group in Aston.

Set in December 2006, it sees Mary and Joseph living in a tenement yard in Kingston, the seaside resort of Ocho Rios as opposed to Bethelehem and Rasta shepherds who are lovers of Ital food and highly skilled in Karate! 

The Drum Box Office: 0121 333 2444

@ Hippodrome

Birmingham Royal Ballet - The Nutcracker

Birmingham Royal Ballet
Birmingham Royal Ballet

Date: 24th November - 13th December

Birmingham Royal Ballet gave a glimmer of what’s in store for audiences, when they performed a taster preview of The Nutcracker, at this year’s ArtsFest in the summer. Their performance was stunning.

The Nutcracker is one of the most popular ballets of all time. Peter Wright's magical production is guaranteed to cast an unforgettable festive spell over the entire family.

Also at The Hippodrome


Brian Conley, Shobna Gulati in Cindrella

Date: 19th December '06 to 28th January '07

The multi talented Brian Conley returns to the Hippodrome, starring as Buttons in Cinderella.

Appearing alongside Brian is Shobna Gulati,  who is the Fairy Godmother. She’s known for her role as Sunita Alahan in Coronation Street and more recently Where the Heart Is.

The Ugly Sisters will be Nigel Ellacott and Peter Robbins, who’ll have you booing and hissing in true panto style.  

Dawson Chance returns to play Baron Hardup, a part he’s made his own over the last few years.

Hippodrome Box Office: 0870 730 1234

@ Mac



Date: 18th November '06 - 6th January '07

Pinocchio promises to be an enchanting family show complete with music, song and extraordinary growing noses!

mac is renowned for producing informative and exciting children’s work – and the Christmas family show looks like no exception.

The mac’s show has been adapted by Rosanna Lowe from the much-loved children’s story and is suitable for children aged 5+.

The show combines puppetry, storytelling and music with magical sets and costumes.

Mac Box Office: 0121 440 3838

@ NEC – a modern day variety show

Jasper Carrott’s Christmas Rock With Laughter

Lenny Henry with dancers
Lenny Henry with ballet dancers

Date: 20th – 23rd December

Now established as a cracker of a night out – the show also stars Lenny Henry who'll be frolicking with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Jimmy Carr, Jethro, Suzi Quatro, Journey South, Bjorn Again and Roy Wood’s Rock & Roll Band. The show highlights a wealth of Birmingham's best talent and entertainers.

NEC Arena Box Office: 0870 909 4133

@ The Rep

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

Date: 28th November – 30th December

Family friendly entertainment from The Rep, as the magical world of Alice In Wonderland is bought to life.

This version of Alice In Wonderland is faithful to Lewis Carroll's book. Charting the journey of little girl Alice as she falls down the rabbit hole, wide-eyed and ever curious, into her many escapades in Wonderland.

It was adapted for the stage by John Wells, complete with full musical score by English composer Carl Davis.

Leading the cast as Alice is Alison Pargeter who won two Best Newcomer Awards for her performances in Damsels In Distress (2002) and was nominated for a Best Actress Award for her tour of Sugar Daddies, before going on to make a notable appearance as Martin Fowler's crazed stalker in Eastenders.

Also at The Rep

The Snowman

The Snowman
The Snowman

Date: 5th – 28th January '07

The live stage show is based on Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman.

Featuring the classic song Walking In The Air by Howard Blake, The REP's production of The Snowman had its premiere back in 1993 and returns to Birmingham after last year's successful run, before embarking on an international tour.

The Rep Box Office: 0121 236 4455

@ Solihull Arts Complex

Pantomime – Sleeping Beauty

A fairytale castle
Sleeping Beauty

Date: 15th December '06 - 14th January '07

This version of Sleeping Beauty is written and directed by Malcolm Stent who also stars as Twit the Jester, and is accompanied by a professional ensemble cast of actors, dancers and musicians.

It’s billed as two hours of fun, non stop action and downright silliness! Packed with music, laughter and traditional family pantomime fun.

Solihull Arts Complex Box Office: 0121 704 6962

@ Symphony Hall

The Christmas Festival begins on 4th December with the popular annual Lunchtime Christmas Music and Carols. There are a variety of shows that carry on the festive feel throughout December including; James Galway at Christmas, Christmas Gala, White Christmas, Carols by Candlelight, Christmas Eve Classics and Boxing Day Classics.

See the Symphony Hall website for more details.

@ The Alex

Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls
Guys and Dolls

Date: 12th December – 6th January

The Alexandra Theatre's offering might not be festive, but it’s sure to be a night out.

Ex East Enders heart-throb, Nigel Harman, recreates the starring role of ‘Sky Masterson’ in Guys and Dolls and Bonnie Langford stars as ‘Miss Adelaide’.

Guys and Dolls tells the story of a group of small-time gamblers and the ladies in their lives. Nathan Detroit bets his pal, Sky Masterson, that he can’t make the next lady he sees fall in love with him. 

Alexandra Theatre Box Office: 0870 6077533.

Now there's surely got to be something out of all of these shows that will tickle your festive tastebuds...Enjoy the show!

last updated: 22/11/06
Have Your Say
If you see a Christmas show, tell us in less than 50 words if you would recommend it. If we haven’t mentioned a show you're going to, let us know.
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Alyson Morse
Jasper Carrot at NEC, BRILLIANT! I went last night (22 dec 2006) and had a ball. This really is entertainment. No act was better than the rest because they were all superb beyond belief. See you again next year.

Danny the Champion of the World at the Old Rep. Well worth a visit. This performance was a delight for myself and 2 children aged 11 and 13, The cast involved the audience and thank goodness it all ended well otherwise i think we would have stormed the stage!! Go and see it. A great family treat.

patsy mcdermott
i havejust come from ed doolans xmas show and it was my first time i had a very enjoyable and entertaining fantastic thanks to you and all merry xmas.

Gail Forbes
Is there anything happening at the Old Joint Stock theatre? as you featured this new venue recently! I hear there are some puppet shows?

Michelle Harris
Guys and Dolls is excellent! Strong cast, lively dance numbers and good vocals, particularly from Joe McGann (as Nathan Detroit). Wonderful night out and I'll certainly be coming back!

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