It’s time for festive pantos ‘Oh yes it is’

peut etre theatre the tin soldier

peut etre theatre the tin soldier - Credit: Archant

Bridget Galton rounds up the best family shows around local theatres this festive season.

la voix as widow twakney and ben richards as abanazar as aladdin at The Shaw

la voix as widow twakney and ben richards as abanazar as aladdin at The Shaw - Credit: Archant

Fans of traditional pantomime are spoiled for choice with two offerings at local theatres.

The Park Theatre in Finsbury Park stages an original version of Jack and the Beanstalk with book music and lyrics co-authored by artistic director Jez Bond. Running from November 27 until January 4, it is set in the land of the giants where evil inventor Ms Grimm is intent on world domination, pitted against her own daughter and peaceful but poor hero Jack. Expect contemporary gags, original songs, outrageous frocks and plenty of audience participation.

Alternatively Aladdin at The Shaw Theatre in Euston Road features La Voix from Britain’s Got Talent as Widow Twankey and West End star Ben Richards as Abanazar alongside a live band, stunning sets and glittery costumes

From December 11 until January 3. Box office 0844 248 5075

At The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, children’s company Peut-etre Theatre use stunning visuals, music and dance to bring to life Hans Christian Anderson’s classic story The Tin Soldier. Running from December 13 until January 4, it tells the tale of a newly minted toy under the Christmas tree who falls in love with a paper ballerina and finds his romance tested in a heart-warming and enchanting adventure.

At the Arts Depot in North Finchley, Tall Stories’ acclaimed production of Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo’s Child runs from December 10 until January 4. A follow up to her classic storybook The Gruffalo, it tells how the monster’s offspring ventures out on a wild and snowy night to investigate whether the big bad mouse really exists. Suitable for ages 3 and up.

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The Lion and Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town has opted for Shakespeare’s frosty tragedy The Winter’s Tale. The haunting story of jealous King Leontes who tears his family and kingdom apart is reimagined in a steampunk landscape of airships, clock-work machines and mechanical beasts. It runs at the pub theatre in Gaisford Street from December 9 until Jan 3.

At the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn High Road, renowned Kentish Town-based company Complicite stage Lionboy, an adaptation of the children’s novels by Zizou Corder.

railway children

railway children - Credit: Archant

Playful and political, this near future thriller follows Charlie Ashanti’s bid to rescue his kidnapped scientist parents, enlisting help from a floating circus and its pride of performing lions thanks to his extraordinary gift of being able to speak to cats. Suitable for ages 8 up it uses Complicite’s trademark physical theatre techniques to evoke a world where corporations are more powerful than countries. From December 17 until January 10.

In a specially-built venue behind King’s Cross Station a real 60-tonne steam train will feature in The Railway Children, E Nesbit’s classic story of three siblings who move to a cottage in Yorkshire when their father is mysteriously taken away. There they befriend the stationmaster and a kindly gentleman on the London express.

From December 16.

The Puppet Theatre Barge in Little Venice brings Dickens’ well-loved A Christmas Carol to the stage using marionettes and shadow puppets. The magical theatrical experience follows the poverty stricken family of Bob Cratchitt and his boss, the miser Scrooge, who finds his humanity after visits by the ghosts of Christmas past present and future.

The 60 minute show on board the 50-seat barge venue runs from November 29 until January 11.

Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate stages the toe-tapping musical Singin’ In The Rain featuring favourite numbers such as Make ‘Em Laugh, Good Morning and the title song. Set during the advent of the talkies in Hollywood it follows the fortunes of silver screen hearthrob Don Lockwood torn between perky wannabe Kathy Selden and Lina Lamont, the silent movie diva with the squeaky voice. Runs December 17 until Jan 25. Box office 02083403488.