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‘Elf on the shelf’| © Melissa Hillier/Flickr Upload
‘Elf on the shelf’| © Melissa Hillier/Flickr Upload
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Best Plays To See At Christmas Time In London

Picture of Nadine White
Updated: 9 February 2017
We’re fast approaching the end of the year, which means that ‘tis truly the season to be jolly; Christmas is around the corner! Alongside traditions such as eating sprouts with a slap-up turkey dinner, kissing under the mistletoe and sending greetings cards, theatre plays a huge part in this year’s British festivities. So, grab some money for popcorn and head down to the city that never sleeps for some world class entertainment.
‘Elf on the shelf’ | © Melissa Hillier/Flickr Upload
‘Elf on the shelf’ | © Melissa Hillier/Flickr Upload

Elf The Musical

The 2003 Hollywood blockbuster starring Will Ferrell inspired a Broadway spin-off and has now landed in London’s own Dominion Theatre. Boasting a stellar cast including Olivier award winners Ben Forster (ITV) and Girls Aloud’s Kimberly Walsh in leading roles, this family-friendly tale unravels as Elf protagonist Buddy embarks on a journey to find his biological father after mistakenly crawling into Santa’s bag in his infancy, only to end up in the North Pole. Not all of the reviews are raving but critics have commented on the play’s ability to capture the ‘true essence of Christmas’, a worthy gift for this time of year.

Date: 12-30 December 2015

Venue: 268-269 Tottenham Court Rd, London, 0845 200 7982

‘A Christmas Carol and The Cricket on the hearth (1905) | © Internet Archive (CircaSassy)/Flickr Upload
‘A Christmas Carol and The Cricket on the hearth (1905) | © Internet Archive (CircaSassy)/Flickr Upload

A Christmas Carol

Christmas entertainment will forever be associated with the mutterings of ‘Bah, Humbug’ which was popularised by Dickens’ fictional, anti-seasonal character Ebenezer Scrooge from his novella ‘A Christmas Carol’ (1843). For those who are not familiar with the story, ‘cold’ bachelor Scrooge warms to the infectious Yule spirit of good cheer and giving, bringing untold joy to all including himself. Lauded British thespian Jim Broadbent stars in the latest adaptation which shows at Covent Gardens’ Noel Coward Theatre.

Date: Until 30 January 2016

Venue: 85-88 St Martin’s Ln, London, 0800 912 6959

‘Cats 25th Anniversary Show Budapest’ | © Chx/Flickr Upload
‘Cats 25th Anniversary Show Budapest’ | © Chx/Flickr Upload

Cats The Musical

Recently, the talk of UK theatre has been soul songstress Beverley Knight who has had successful stints in a string of productions after making her grand debut in 2013. She returns to the fore as Grizabella in seasoned maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Cats’ at the London Palladium. With a whopping 21 years to its credit, this musical is one of West End’s longest-running shows and is actually based on a poem by T.S Eliot about, you guessed it, cats! This isn’t a Christmas production per se, but it is a popular choice and has definitely been out on the prowl this season.

Dates: Until 2nd January 2016

Venue: Argyll Street, London, 0844 874 0667

Noel Coward’s Christmas Spirits

Audience members looking for entertainment this Christmas can come and listen to a stellar cast of actors tell a number of Christmas stories; after all, isn’t variety the spice of life” There’s a paranormal angle to this production as the tales are facilitated through a medium, who conjures narrative voices from times gone by. Even more interestingly, ‘Christmas Spirits’ is set during the Blitz in 1940s Britain where messages of hope and togetherness ring true even more. This is something different for the family — specifically from age 10 upwards — and there may even be some historical and cultural lessons embedded herein too.

Dates: 8 December – 23 December

Venue: St. James Theatre, 12 Palace Street, London, 0844 264 2140

‘Lyceum Theatre - Wellington Street, London - The Lion King’ | © Elliot Brown/ Den P Images
‘Lyceum Theatre – Wellington Street, London – The Lion King’ | © Elliot Brown/ Den P Images

The Lion King

Based upon the 1994 Disney smash hit, this award-winning musical is a 365 day classic and therefore Christmas time is no exception! Although, like Cats, it is not exclusively for Christmas, it is guaranteed to bring that ‘feel good factor’ plus the dancing and original, catchy music will have you on your feet. Hakuna Matata!

Dates: (seasonal) 22 December 2015 – 3 January 2016

Venue: Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington St, London, 0844 871 3000