The 50 best Christmas shows to book in 2021, from theater to pantomime


The play what I wrote

The Olivier-winning comedy homage to Morecambe and Wise is back, 20 years after first capturing the West End. Sean Foley and Hamish McColl – the duo, known as Right Size, who created the hit – are directing rather than appearing on the show this time around. Expect a guest cameo at every performance.
Birmingham Representative (, November 27-January 1

The Book Of Dust: The Wild Beauty

Can two children, Malcolm and Alice – and their demon companions – protect Lyra Belacqua, the future savior of the world in infancy? Nicholas Hytner is directing Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy novel, which takes place 12 years before the His Dark Materials trilogy.
Bridge Theater, London SE1 (, from November 20 to February 26

A choir line

When it comes to directing musicals, Nikolai Foster has an impressive track record – his Sunset Boulevard was the greatest redemptive theatrical film of 2020. Now he turns to the multi-award winning 1975 show that highlights a group of Broadway hopefuls as they are put to the test at an audition. Adam Cooper plays the demanding director, Zach.
Curve, Leicester (, 3-31 Dec.


Rosalie Craig plays a fairy whose attempts to help a princess sleep turn into a nightmare, resulting in a 100-year quest to right the world, in this musical reimagining of Tanya Ronda’s Sleeping Beauty, directed by Rufus Norris.
National’s Olivier Theater, London SE1 (, 4 Dec. -22 Jan

The strange defeat of Prudentia Hart

Filled with folk ballads and pop songs, and written in funny rhyming couplets, David Greig’s ingenious thread – about a very nervous Edinburgh academic who gets stuck in snow after a lecture and ends up drinking with the devil – experiencing a revival 10 years after being greeted with open arms for the first time in Edinburgh.
Royal Exchange, Manchester (, 4 Dec. Jan 15, 2019

She loves Me

Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, who was going to give us Fiddler on the Roof, also wrote this lesser-known 1963 delight (based on a Hungarian play), about two painfully shy store workers who responded to the hearts announcements. loners and exchange letters with their beloved strangers. Robert Hastie directs.
Sheffield Crucible (, from December 11 to January 15

Circus 1903

In this clever homage to a bygone era of the circus, a dozen internationally recruited artists perform mind-boggling feats of derring-do. The lineup includes “The Cyclist Cyclone”, daring acrobatics in a giant spinning wheel and contortionist, as well as puppets from the team behind War Horse.
Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 (Telegraph tickets), Dec. 16-Jan. 2


The Globe promises to deliver a ‘re-wilding’ of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a tree so eager to grow it cannot live in the present moment. Hannah Khlalil adapts.
Shakespeare’s Globe, London SE1 (, 20-30 Dec.


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