It's behind you! Pantomimes in Wales preview

Friday 14 October 2011, 12:55

Polly March Polly March

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As the nights draw in, the temperatures plummet and we await the clocks turning back, thoughts are increasingly turning to Christmas.

And for those keen to get into the spirit in the run-up to the big event, there is a huge offering of Christmas shows and pantomimes in Wales to choose from this festive season. From smaller venues to traditional theatres, big productions to intimate occasions, it seems Wales' vast array of venues have it all.

At The Riverfront, Newport, Melanie Walters, who played Gwen in Gavin & Stacey, Keiron Self from My Family, and Richard Elis from Eastenders, star in Cinderella throughout December. Tickets are available via 01633 656757.

American singer and actor Jimmy Osmond will take centre stage in the Swansea Grand's Aladdin with the production making a foray into 3D. Audience members will be encouraged to wear specialised 3D glasses so they can rub the magic lamp as it appears in front of them and summon the Genie to appear. Tickets and dates: 01792 475715.

Jimmy Osmond in the Swansea Grand's Aladdin

Jimmy Osmond in the Swansea Grand's Aladdin

The newly-refurbished Theatr Colwyn in Colwyn Bay is putting on Jack and The Beanstalk, which was first staged there in 1909. It will be the first Christmas show since the theatre revamped its front of house and they are hoping for big throngs full of festive cheer. Tickets: 01492 577 888.

At the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl, several faces familiar to local audiences will be returning to the stage for Cinderella. Iain Lauchlan, who created the Tweenies for the BBC, has written the script for the show. For tickets call 01656 815995 or visit www.grandpavilion.co.uk.

Porthcawl Grand Pavilion's cast for Cinderella. Photo: Philip Tull

Porthcawl Grand Pavilion's cast for Cinderella. Photo: Philip Tull

In Cardiff, the Wales Millennium Centre will host the Llandaff Musical Society's production of the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, in its Weston studio from 27-29 November, for those wanting to get their festive theatre fix early on.

For Welsh speakers a brand new Welsh language version of Jac a'r Goeden Ffa will feature children's entertainer Martyn Geraint. It's on at various venues throughout Wales but shows at the Weston studio from 4-5 December.

On a longer run over the festive season at the Donald Gordon Theatre is another Dickens favourite, Oliver! The new production by Cameron Mackintosh has had to add new dates to its run due to popular demand.

From 13- 31 December, Sherman Cymru will stage their final production at the Weston studio before they re-open in early 2012, following an 18-month redevelopment.

The Elves and the Shoemaker is a magical classic fairytale which has both English and Welsh performances and is sure to captivate young and old alike.

Tickets for all the above are available via Wales Millennium Centre's Box Office: 029 2063 6464.

At the New Theatre in Cardiff this Christmas, crowds can enjoy Christopher Biggins and ventriloquist Paul Zerdin in a rip-roaring performance of Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates, with matinees on most days. Tickets: 029 2087 8889.

Jack and the Beanstalk is also top of the agenda for the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven with a fun-packed week of performances and beanstalk-related drama from 22-31 December. Tickets: www.torchtheatre.co.uk or call 01646 695267.

Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold will bring rock and roll to the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty from 25 November until 28 January. Audiences will be able to tap their feet along to classics like Every Step You Take, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go and Don't Leave Me This Way as they watch the performance. Box Office: 0845 330 3565.

A nostalgic trip down memory lane is in store at The Princess Royal, Port Talbot, on 22 December with Remember When at Christmas, a singalong musical with songs made famous by Doris Day, Bing Crosby, Julie Andrews, Max Bygraves, Vera Lynn and Frank Sinatra.

Owen Money joins a cast of pantomime favourites for Peter Pan on a longer run at the same theatre from 20 January to 5 February 2012. For tickets to both the above ring 01639 763214.

At the Rhyl Pavilion, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves opens on 9 December, starring Coronation Street actress Tupele Dorgu as the Wicked Queen and Channel 5's Milkshake presenter Amy Thompson as Snow White. Booking: 01745 33 00 00.

Venue Cymru, Llandudno, is staging Aladdin, with Dancing on Ice's Jason Gardiner as Abanazar and John Evans returning for the fifth year in a row as Wishee Washee. Booking: 01492 872000.

Theatr Hafren in Newtown is putting on Dickens' A Christmas Carol for one night only on 16 December, with Martyn Geraint taking his production of Jac a'r Goeden Ffa there on 9-10 January and a fullscale production of The Snow Queen on 13-14 January. For tickets call 01686 614555 or email: boxoffice@theatrhafren.co.uk.

In Carmarthenshire, the Theatr Elli in Llanelli also plays host to Martyn Geraint in Jac a'r Goeden Ffa on 20 December and in January welcomes The Friend Theatre Company for Jack and the Beanstalk. For a full list of dates visit to book tickets to the above visit www.theatrausirgar.co.uk.

At The Lyric in Carmarthen, again Martyn Geraint stars in Jac a'r Goeden Ffa on 6 December, followed by A Christmas Carol, as told by Jacob Marley (Deceased) on 8 December. The one man show is the latest offering from celebrated production company Brother Wolf, and five-time award-winning actor/writer James Hyland.

At The Miners in Ammanford, Aladdin is on from 9 -11 December, with Sleeping Beauty rousing the post-Christmas crowds on 30 December.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre will be showing the Roald Dahl favourite Fantastic Mr Fox, adapted for the stage by David Wood throughout December, performed by the same company that last year brought audiences The Wizard of Oz. Children will be able to enjoy watching the wily fox outwit the farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean. Box Office: 01970 632 232.

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