7 Festive (but not Pantomime) Shows To See This Winter

Ready for the festive spirit, but don’t feel like too much audience participation? Keen for a mince pie but don’t fancy shouting ‘He’s Behind You’ every few minutes? Here are some ideas of shows to see in the festive period which won’t have you shouting ‘oh no you didn’t’. Of Course, you could go and see White Christmas at the Dominion Theatre, but that seemed like too obvious a choice. 

1. Sh!t-Faced Showtime: A Pissedmas Carol, Leicester Square Theatre

One for the adults and older teenagers, and combining cast members from Sh!tfaced Showtime and Sh!tfaced Shakespeare – this is a real Christmas Knees-Up. One cast member has had a little too much mulled wine pre-show (and probably something much stronger) – the rest of the cast must simply follow their lead.

When: 20th November – 5th January

Age Recommendation: 16+ due to nudity and strong language.

Running Time: 60 Minutes

Tickets From: £17.50 Direct from the Box Office.

Best Deal: Direct from the box office currently, but might appear in TodayTix’s likely Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale, which they’ve done in previous years. 

Nearest Station: Leicester Square

2. Antic Disposition’s A Christmas Carol, Middle Temple Hall

If you’d not heard of it, Middle Temple Hall is where Charles Dickens studied Law. It might not be the usual type of venue for a theatre trip, but Antic Disposition are seasoned professionals producing work in unusual spaces, having recently staged productions in Temple Church, Grays Inn Hall, as well as 20 UK Cathedrals throughout their tour of Henry V. You’ll have to catch this one quickly though, as it only runs for 16 performances over a 10 day period.

When: 21st – 30th December

Age Recommendation: 6+

Tickets From: Various prices from the Box Office.

Best Deal: No booking fee to book online, which makes it cheapest. Keep an eye on Antic Disposition’s social media in case of any promotions in the run up. There’s a discount if you’re under 26, too. 

Running Time: 2 hours, including an interval.

Nearest Station: Blackfriars.

3. The Snowman, Peacock Theatre

Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of The Snowman has returned for it’s 22nd consecutive year, this time at London’s Peacock Theatre. Suitable for younger children and just 100 minutes long, this is a perfect classic for all the family.

When: 21st November – 5th January – Performancess at 11am, 2.30pm and 7pm to suit everyone!

Age Recommendation: Suitable for all ages

Tickets From: £18 Direct from the Box Office.

Best Deal: Not currently cheaper anywhere than the Box Office, but might feature in some likely Black Friday or Cyber Monday theatre deals. TodayTix have done this in previous years so worth keeping an eye on. 

Running Time: 1 hour 40 minutes, including a 20 minute interval.

Nearest Station: Holborn

4. Hansel and Gretel, Chiswick Playhouse

Chiswick Playhouse was previously the Tabard Theatre, and has been revamped for Winter 2019. Hansel and Gretel has an original soundtrack, tap dancing cockroaches and houses made of sweets – what more could you possibly want from a festive theatre trip?

When: 4th December – 4th January

Age Recommendation: 6+

Tickets From: Previews from £15 direct from the Box Office. Concessions £17.50 and full price £22.50. 

Best Deal: Catch it by 6th December for preview price! 

Running Time: 1 hour 45 Minutes, Including Interval

Nearest Station: Turnham Green underground (Picadilly or District Line)

5. Sh!t Actually, Camden People’s Theatre

Based on the Christmas Classic Love Actually, this adults-only remake has live music, queer love stories and a feminist narrative. Plus, it’s only an hour long, which is always a bonus. 

When: 3rd – 21st December

Age Recommendation: 16+ 

Tickets From: £15, £10 concessions from the box office

Best Deal: Currently direct from the Box Office. 

Running Time: 1 hour

Nearest Station: Warren Street Underground Station, or Euston Mainline Station

6. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Bridge Theatre

Not strictly Christmas, but there’s definitely snow involved.

When: 9th November – 2nd February

Age Recommendation: 6+

Tickets From: £15 from the Bridge Theatre Box Office. 

Best Deal: £25 Rush Tickets from TodayTix if you can afford to be spontaneous, where you’ll get better seats than you would paying this sort of price in advance. Also might appear in the Society of London Theatre New Year Sale. 

Running Time: 2 hours 40 minutes, including an interval. 

Nearest Station: Tower Hill or London Bridge

7. A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic

When: 23rd November to 18th January

Age Recommendation: 8+

Tickets From: £10 Previews, £8.50 slip seats with a restricted view. From £35 otherwise. 

Best Deal: PwC £10 previews are by far the best deal for the Old Vic. Half the house priced at £10 for most preview shows, available from their website. Otherwise, Direct from the Box Office often remains the best deal for the Old Vic. There’s a chance tickets will appear discounted in a pre-christmas sale on TodayTix but unfortunately the Old Vic rarely feature in these kind of promotions. As the show runs into January, it may also feature in the Society of London Theatre New Year Sale, which goes on general sale on 13th December. Participating shows are announced on 3rd December, so keep an eye on their website

Running Time: TBC

Nearest Station: Waterloo Mainline or Underground Stations

Have you booked to see any of these shows? Let us know what you thought, when you’ve seen them!

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you click on some of the links in this post, upper circle may earn a small commission. This does not cost the buyer anything and helps to cover the costs of running Upper Circle. 

Emma Betty

Emma Betty

Emma Betty
Emma Betty

Emma Betty is 28 and a nurse in Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Emma has the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Soundtrack (On CD!) to blame for her love for Musical Theatre, which she found in her parents living room pretty much as soon as she was old enough to know what it was. She began combining her love for Theatre, the Internet and Writing while she was still at school, through various blogs and on social media. Having moved to London in 2013, she launched Upper Circle 4 years later. A couple of years on, she is delighted to have a small team and is so grateful to those helping Upper Circle to grow every day!

Find me on: Twitter


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