Few places are more magical than London at Christmas. The twinkly lights on Oxford Street, the Norwegian Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, ice skating, shopping and nursing winter warmers in outdoor markets. Outings to the theatre are as much a part of this list – come in from the cold and be wowed by jazz hands, pirouettes and award-winning set design. When booking through The Handbook you can benefit from special ticket offers and meal packages. Just an early little Christmas present from us, to you.
What: A true classic Christmas ballet
Why: Think of Christmas and you think of The Nutcracker. This traditional show is performed by the English National Ballet for their run at the London Coliseum, last year welcoming over 70,000 audience members during it’s festive run. Glitzy costumes, gasp-inducing ballet moves and much-loved live music come together in this elegant festive tale, set on the frosty, glowing streets of Edwardian London.
Where: London Coliseum, St Martin's Ln, London WC2N 4ES
What: Slightly bonkers Russian fun
Why: If you fancy a bit of a change from the classics then Slava’s Snowshow is the one for you. Perhaps not the first to spring to mind, 20 years of award-winning performance have cemented Slava’s Snowshow as London’s leading Christmas show, inducing belly laughs upon all ages. A snow blizzard and giant balls involve the crowd as silent clowns play around on stage, blurring the gap between a whacky dream and a surreal nightmare.
Where: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
A Christmas Carol
What: A familiar face plays ‘Scrooge’
Why: This adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic story stars Academy Award-winning Jim Broadbent (‘Iris’, ‘Moulin Rouge and… Bridget Jones’ Dad) starring as Scrooge, the man we all love to hate. The production is highly anticipated; directed by Olivier Award-winning Phelim McDermott and written by Tony nominated Patrick Barlow you know it’s going to be a good one.
Where: Noel Coward Theatre, 85-88 St Martin's Ln, London WC2N 4AU
What: Innocent fun for young children
Why: One-Two-One-Two! No there isn’t suddenly a play about a dating app, but instead a lovely adaptation of Hand Christian Andersen’s Scandinavian folk tale. The musical follows soldier Brian the Brave on an adventure to find his true love, aided by his magical tinderbox.
Where: Charing Cross Theatre, The Arches, Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NL
Elf the Musical
What: Movie favourite turned musical
Why: Our favourite Christmas movie is coming to the stage. If you can recite the film word-for-word then here are some new ones for you to learn and this time they’re to be sung. Songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin and choreography from the man behind Chitty Chitty Bang Bang have just given Buddy a whole new fan club.
Where: Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Rd, London W1T 7AQ
What: The Soundtrack to Christmas
Why: Perhaps the most beautiful Christmas song, originally sung by the angelic Aled Jones, Walking in the Air is performed by a live orchestra in this production of The Snowman. Dancing penguins, Father Christmas and flying snowmen are lovingly choreographed and back at the Peacock Theatre where it has been for over 15 years.
Where: Peacock Theatre, Portugal St, London WC2A 2HT
Lee Mead - Some Enchanted Christmas Evening
What: Golden age classics performed by Lee Mead
Why: From the TV competition to find Joseph, Lee Mead has come a long way and is now starring in a throwback show for one night only performing songs from musical theatre of the 40s and 50s on Sunday 6th December. Songs from ‘Singing in the Rain’, ‘South Pacific’ and ‘Kitty Foyle’ may appeal to an older audience, breathing live back into these golden era classics.
Where: Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0HH
Matilda The Musical
What: A musical for life, not just for Christmas
Why: Not a Christmas story but just a great story loved by everyone, of all ages. The stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda continues to delight audiences and win awards, left right and centre (fifty to date). Whether you’ve not yet got round to seeing it, or whether you loved it so much you want to see it again, Christmas is the perfect excuse.
Where: Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street, London WC2H 9HU