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Festive family shows

Can't stand the panto? We've waded through the sea of stripy tights, soap star celebs and double entendres to find some brilliant alternatives across Leicestershire. Go see!

The panto brigade comes out in full force over the Christmas period armed with flirty dames, soap stars and often a big dollop of double entendres and cheesy quips. If you fancy passing on this year’s offering, then book yourself a ticket to one of these alternative  productions that have all the festive cheer and no men in tights!

West Side Story, Curve, Leicester 23 Nov – 11 Jan 2020

Inspired by Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Romeo and Juliet and with a timeless score including Tonight, America and I Feel Pretty, West Side Story is one of the greatest musicals of all time, filled with romance, charm, music, and heartbreak. Read our full theatre review here.

Curve, Leicester

A Christmas Carol, Oakham, 7 Dec

Chorus Theatre’s adaptation of Dickens classic morality tale is expertly and lovingly told by one actor, Andrew McWilliam taking form of a myriad of characters. The engaging narrative moves seamlessly into action between characters vividly portrayed by a simple change of hat, cloak, prop and the endearing tiny puppet of Tim. Cost, £8.00 for adults, £5.50 for children a family ticket is £23.00 (2 adults and 2 children).

The Jungle Book, Oakham, 11 Dec

Raised by wolves since birth, young man-cub, Mowgli is forced to leave his jungle home when he is threatened by Shere Khan, a terrifying tiger. Arriving in a human village, the young man cub is seemingly safe, until he meets Shere Khan again. Full of live music, comedy, puppetry and energy, this production explores the themes of growing up and staying true to yourself. £8.50 Adults £6 Children £25 Family Ticket – 2 Adults, 2 Children. Suitable for 6 years+.

Giraffes Can’t Dance, Curve, 9-31 Dec

Based on the number one best-selling picture book by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees. Gerald the Giraffe longs to go to the great Jungle Dance, but he can’t dance. With a little help from a little friend, Gerald discovers his rhythm – because sometimes when you’re different, you just need a different song! Tickets from £10.

Scrooge, Uppingham Theatre, 14- 15 Dec

Enjoy Dickens’ seasonal masterpiece that  brings a myriad of characters to life through a powerful plot of redemption and change, which will lift your spirits during this festive season of hope. An amateur production.

Fafunia: Snowy Stories, Attenborough Arts Centre, Leices, 22 Dec

Spend time in the magical land of Fafunia – an interactive puppetry and storytelling experience where anything is possible. Explore a forest of fairies during Autumn, or come and play in a Winter wonderland of snowflakes and stars.


Nutcracker, Haymarket, Leicester, 28 Nov

Russian State Ballet and Opera House returns for their annual UK tour with a vibrant and enchanting full touring ballet production. Snow flurries, sweets, princes, magic and love – a stunning  ballet, full of familiar music such as the Waltz of the Flowers and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to your local theatre for a dazzling production of the most famous ballet in the world. From £35.

The Vienna Festival Ballet: Snow White, Century Theatre, 5 Dec

The Queen of a far away land, obsessed with her own beauty, relies on her enchanted mirror to tell her that she is the fairest of all. When the Queen is shown her youthful stepdaughter Snow White in the mirror, she hates her. To make things worse, the Queen loves the Huntsman but he is in love with Snow White and is ordered to kill her. How will it end?

Sleeping Beauty Ballet, Y Theatre, 12 Dec

Princess Rose has been cursed by a wicked fairy who was not invited to her christening. Will she find her Prince? Follow the mystic Wigarna through the story. 

Wizard of Oz Ballet,Y Theatre, 14 Dec and Concordia Theatre Hinckley 15 Dec

Follow the yellow brick road and discover all the wonders of Oz. This two act, full-length, ballet adaptation of the iconic tale by L. Frank Baum, told through the magic of classical dance. Set to a classical score which brings the story to life, this production is family friendly and is the perfect way to introduce children to the classical ballet. Tickets from £12.

ROH Live: The Nutcracker, Phoenix Cinema, Bolshoi Ballet 15 Dec

It is Christmas Eve and a magician sweeps young Clara away on a fantasy adventure in which time is suspended, the family living-room becomes a great battlefield, and a magical journey takes them through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets. Tchaikovsky’s glittering score, the gorgeous festive stage designs, and The Royal Ballet’s captivating dancing between the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince, make this Nutcracker the quintessential Christmas experience.

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