It's November, Christmas is fast approaching, and festivities are transitioning from spooky to sparkly, so it’s time to start thinking of the ways you can wrap yourself up in this year’s winter wonderland.
The holidays are never complete without a pantomime or two, which is why Manchester theatres are overflowing with some hilariously entertaining showcases this December.
Here are some of the most unmissable pantos and festive shows coming this winter.
1. Jack and the Beanstalk at Manchester Opera House
Jason Manford is adding his comedic flare to the traditional tale as he returns to the titular role of this witty panto. From December 2 – 31, you can join Jack as he battles a terrifying giant, dreams of newfound riches, and ventures out on a mission to win the hand of the girl he loves. Beloved Manchester Panto star, Ben Nickless will complete the perfect comedy duo as he returns to play Silly Simon, alongside the fabulous Myra Dubois. This performance promises loads of audience participation, musical numbers, and side-splitting moments. Photo: Submitted
2. Cinderella at the Contact Theatre
If the slipper fits, why not visit Oxford Road this December for an empowering production of the classic Disney fantasy? Producers Eight-Freestyle have teamed up with Contact Young Company to bring lucky audiences in Manchester a special spin on the princess story, with a powerful message about girl power giving adults and children some food for thought. Manchester based drag queens, Lady Bushra and Misty Chance will grace the stage in a hilarious duo as they portray Veruca and Hernia, the ugly stepsisters. And if that’s not enough, critics have described the show as an absolute masterclass in 21st-century pantomime.
3. Horrible Histories’ Horrible Christmas at the Bridgewater Hall
This Christmas, a family favourite hits the stage to create a live festive twist on the timeless historical comedy show. The Birmingham Stage Company will be working tirelessly to set the stage alight this December 26, bringing with them something new for every member of the family. With Christmas under threat, a young boy must save the day before it’s too late. What follows is a crazy adventure through the ages and freak encounters with historical figures including King Henry VIII and Charles Dickens. The producers have claimed that their show will be “wonderful, funny, and moving,” so what’s not to love? Give yourself a blast from the past this Christmas. Photo: Photo by Mark Douet
4. Aladdin at the Salford Arts Theatre
Harry Luty presents a passionate pantomime fit for a prince, starring everything you could hope for from a production of the 1992 Disney musical. The show will take you on a magic carpet ride through exciting song and dance numbers, as Aladdin chases love and fortune and fights the evil Jafar. December 2 – 31 are going to be shining, shimmering, splendid with this incredible show lighting up the cold, dark nights.