Christmas Bells are Ringing!
It’s wonderful to be writing this preview piece looking at the biggest and best of what’s on around Scotland this coming festive season. Christmas 2020 for the first time in history saw every single Scottish Theatre and Venue closed to audiences, there was no pantoland or magical festive musical to add sparkle to our festive season. We approach this festive season with a new sense of thanks for having back what we have all missed so much. So, lets head around the country.
Scottish Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker
Costumes plucked from the most gorgeous chocolate box; Tchaikovsky’s score to transport you to a land of dreams; and a story lifted straight from the pages of a classic fairy tale.
We follow Clara on a journey through the worlds of her imagination, as she drifts off to sleep on Christmas Eve. She meets the dashing Nutcracker Prince, takes on the larger-than-life Rat King, and is whisked into the luscious land of sweets by the Sugar Plum Fairy!
Original scheduled for Christmas 2020 with the full Scottish ballet Orchestra this promises to be the ultimate festive treat.
Scottish Ballets The Nutcracker Wed 1st Dec 21 – Fri 31st Dec “1
For tickets go to: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/the-nutcracker-2021
Crossroads pantomimes present: Sleeping Beauty
The pantomime of your dreams finally arrives at the King’s with legendary Dame Allan Stewart and Edinburgh’s Favourite baddie Grant Stott both returning to the hallowed stage. It what promises to be a special tribute to Andy Gray, the boys are promising the biggest and best Kings panto to date with laughter, music and magic in overdrive it promises to be a very special panto. Joining them once more is Jordan Young and Andy Gray’s daughter Clare Gray.
Sleeping Beauty Sat 27th Nov 21 – Sun 16th Jan 22
For tickets go to: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/sleeping-beauty-2021
Concord Theatricals Ltd Present Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
A tale of love and friendship, White Christmas features the dazzling songs Blue Skies, Sisters, Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep, The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing, I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm and the most famous festive song of all, White Christmas.
The all singing, all dancing classic musical comes to Edinburgh following a critically acclaimed run at the Dominion Theatre in London’s West End and promises to be the ultimate festive treat.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas Tue 14th Dec 21 – Sun 2nd Jan 22
For tickets go to: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/white-christmas/edinburgh-playhouse/
Royal Lyceum Theatre:
The Lyceum presents: Christmas Dinner
After a horrible year, stage hand Lesley has decided that Christmas should be cancelled. The only festive joy she wants is the turkey sandwich in her lunch box. So she is shutting down the theatre, turning off the lights, packing up the glitter curtains, the giant beanstalk, the fake snow and going home to have dinner alone. But as the bells of St Cuthbert’s strike twelve, it seems the theatre has other ideas… from the back of the costume cupboard, a troupe of festive spirits emerge with an absolute sack full of festive cheer. Is this the last thing Lesley needs? or can this strange Christmas Gang and their stories help her feel the magic of Christmas again?
This festive treat is produced by the Royal Lyceum Theatre in association with Catherine Wheels Theatre Company
Christmas Dinner Mon 6th Dec 21 – Sun 2nd Jan 22
For tickets go to: https://lyceum.org.uk/whats-on/production/christmas-dinner
The Traverse Theatre:
The Traverse Presents: WILF
This riotous and heartfelt new play from James Ley (Love Song to Lavender Menace), directed by the Traverse’s Artistic Director Gareth Nicholls (Ulster American, Crocodile Fever), takes audiences on a hilarious and unapologetic ride through Scotland as Calvin and Wilf attempt to escape loneliness, cope with mental illness and learn to love themselves, with the help of one another. The Traverse welcomes back its in person audiences this Christmas with an LGBTQI+ treat for adult audiences.
Strong language and adult themes throughout. Frequent graphic references to sex and drug use.
Wilf: Wed 8th Dec 21 – Fri 24th Dec 21
For tickets go to: https://www.traverse.co.uk/whats-on/event/wilf
Glasgow SEC Armadillo
Crossroads Pantomimes Present: Aladdin
Glasgow is the only city in the UK to host two Crossroads pantomimes, The 3000 seat Armadillo welcome Aladdin Staring Gary: Tank Commander, River City’s Leah MacRae and Boabby the barman himself Gavin Mitchell. With lashing of comedy, music and sprinkling of magic it promises to be a true festive treat.
Aladdin Sat 11th Dec 21 – Wed 29th Dec 21
For Tickets go to: https://www.sec.co.uk/events/detail/aladdin
The King’s Glasgow
Crossroads Pantomimes present: Cinderella
Not only does Glasgow have two Crossroads Panto’s this year it also has two Cinderella’s! The Glasgow King’s has been the traditional home of panto for generations blending spectacular sets, costumes, comedy, music and out of this world special effects. The King’s also welcomes back panto royalty in Elaine C Smith and Johnny Mac for the Fairy Godmother of all pantomimes!
Cinderella Sat 27th Nov 21 – Sun 2nd Jan 22
For Tickets go to: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/cinderella/kings-theatre-glasgow/
The Glasgow Pavilion Presents: Cinderella
The Pavilion panto returned to spectacular form in 2018/19 season with Cinderella so it’s interesting that its back so soon, especially with Cinderella also on stage at the King’s. The Pavilion specialises in family Panto filled with comedy. There also fielding a 9 strong principal cast including Liam Dolan, Scott Fletcher, Alyson Orr with pro wrestler and actor Grado and the ever-cute Stephen Purdon throwing on the stockings and high heels once more as the ugly sisters! Should be rip roaring fun!
Cinderella Fri 3rd Dec 21 – Sat 8th January 22
For tickets go to: https://www.pavilionpanto.com/
The Theatre Royal:
Cameron Mackintosh Presents: Les Miserables
This brilliant new staging has taken the world by storm and has been hailed “Les Mis for the 21st Century”. With scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, the magnificent score of Les Misérables includes the songs I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Bring Him Home, One Day More, Master Of The House and many more. Seen by over 120 million people worldwide in 52 countries and in 22 languages, Les Misérables is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals and makes its return to Glasgow due to public demand this Christmas.
Les Miserables Tue 23rd Nov 21 – Fri 31st Dec 21
For tickets go to: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/les-miserables/theatre-royal-glasgow/
His Majesty’s Theatre:
Crossroads Pantomimes Presents: Beauty and the Beast!
HMT reopens with the most romantic of pantomimes as Beauty and the Beast takes to the stage, with a charming story, music, comedy and special effects that will truly show this is a tale as old as time.
starring River City’s Joyce Falconer, Call The Midwife’s Laura Main, Aberdonian actress Danielle Jam and returning favourites Alan McHugh and Paul‐ James Corrigan. This promises to be a spectacular family treat
Beauty and The Beast, Saturday 4th Dec 21 to Sunday 2nd January 22
For tickets go to: https://www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/whats-on/beauty-the-beast-2021/
Eden Court Theatre:
Imagine Pantomimes Present: Cinderella
Will the Ugly Sisters succeed in ruining Cinderella’s dreams of happiness or will her Fairy Godmother and loyal friend Buttons be able to thwart their wicked plans? Come and join us at the ball and find out! Eden Court and Imagine pantomimes promise a show packed full of side-splitting slapstick comedy, spectacular scenery, breath-taking costumes, stunning special effects and fabulous song and dance routines.
Cinderella – Friday 10th December 21 – Saturday 8th January 22
For tickets go to: https://eden-court.co.uk/event/cinderella-2
The Brunton Theatre
The Brunton Presents: Hansel and Gretel The Pantomime
The Brunton’s fabulous traditional pantomime – fun for all ages! Produced by The Brunton, written and directed by John Binnie with musical direction by Tommie Travers. The traditional tale of Hansel and Gretel as they escape from the witch and realise the value of true friendship. Presented in full pantomime style with songs and slapstick and audience participation. Featuring the returning stars of the Brunton and a kids chorus drawn from the local community. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a trip to The Brunton.
Hansel and Gretel The Pantomime, Tuesday 7th December 21 – Friday 31st December 21.
Pantomime and Christmas Shows will be back up and down the country, the only known postponement to date is Kirkcaldy’s Adam Smith Theatres Cinderella produced buy Imagine pantomimes. This is due to a delay in refurbishment work to the venue, so Cinderella will appear at the Rothes Halls in 2022.
So from Galashiels to Portree there is festive fun for all, and it’s more important than ever that we support live theatre and spread the magic this Christmas.