If you've been wondering what happened to the summer - It's behind you! Which can mean only one thing, its Panto and Christmas show season. Here are our region's key openings this festive period.

Running 8 December 2011 - 14 January 2012, Hull Truck (Hull)

THE FLINT STREET NATIVITY

The hilarious and touching comedy of Christmas misunderstandings by the writer of Calendar Girls - all about what happens when you're not playing Mary.

The same actors play both children and their uncannily similar parents, as we join the infants class at Flint Street School preparing for their first nativity performance. The Virgin Mary has a fierce competitor in the spiteful angel Gabriel, Wise Man Frankincense is verbally challenged by a lisp, Herod rages like a footballer brutally brought down mid-match and the Innkeeper behaves like a psychopath. To crown it all, baby Jesus' head has fallen off. Fretting about their offspring's impending public performance, the adults row, rage and obsess just like their children, to hilarious effect. Whilst the clothes may change, the foibles are all too similar...!

An uplifting, fast-paced comedy which reminds us that, even as adults, we're never too far away from being children. Joyful, daft, and deeply Christmassy, this is a heartwarmingly funny play.

Running 9 December 2011 - 8 January 2012, Lyceum (Sheffield)

SLEEPING BEAUTY

Dont miss this year’s spectacular family pantomime, Sleeping Beauty at the Lyceum Theatre with an all-star cast including Margi Clarke (Jackie Dobbs in Coronation Street) as the Wicked Queen, Sid Sloane (Sid from CBeebies) as the Jester, Dani Rayner(Over The Rainbow) as Sleeping Beauty and Sheffield’s favourite Dame, the brilliant Damian Williams as Nurse Nellie. Once again the show will be written and directed by Paul Hendy and produced by the same team who brought you last year’s smash hit, Peter Pan.

With dazzling sets and costumes, stunning special effects, hilarious family comedy and lots of audience participation, this promises to be our funniest pantomime ever. Tickets always sell fast so don't be disappointed, book your tickets now!

Running 09 December 2011 - 15 January 2012, West Yorkshire Playhouse (Leeds)

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

"There ain't nobody here but us chickens There ain't nobody here at all"

There's been a Giant stealing from the land. And he's taken the Girl with the Harp, who sang beautiful songs to the chickens and made them happy. So the chickens have hatched a plan to get her back - and it involves Milkywhite the cow, and their neighbour - Jack! Can the clever chickens get lazy-bones Jack to go and defeat the giant? How can they even get him to grow a beanstalk?

The stories may be gigantic, but with Mike Kenny and Gail McIntyre in charge there's going to be plenty for little people to enjoy.

"A work of makeshift genius" Yorkshire Evening Post

Running time approximately one and a half hours including an interval. For everyone aged 4 and over. This is not a pantomime!

Running 15 December 2011 - 04 February 2012, Theatre Royal (York)

THE YORK FAMILY ROBINSON

York's loudest, wackiest panto returns for it's 33rd year.

From York to Whitby and then on to Australia, but will the comically dysfunctional York Family Robinson ever reach their final destination? Join them as they challenge the world's most treacherous waters in a desperate attempt to find the only living link with the beginning of time. Laugh yourself silly as they encounter dastardly fey pirates and find themselves shipwrecked on No Man's Land (inhabited solely by beautiful girls - well, until they're joined by the dame!)

Running 20 December 2011 - 7 January 2012, Stephen Joseph Theatre, (Scarborough)

BLITHE SPIRIT

“We have no reliable guarantee that the afterlife will be any less exasperating than this one” Noel Coward

Writer Charles Condomine and his wife Ruth invite the eccentric medium Madame Arcati to conduct a séance at their home. They’re hoping for an evening of entertainment, but an unexpected coach guest spoils the party: Charles’ first wife Elvira. Spirits run high as the two wives battle for Charles - who is wanted dead or alive!

Written in 1941, premiered in Manchester and then in London at the height of the Blitz, the original run of nearly 2,000 performances set a new record for the West End. Full of Noël Coward’s sparkling wit, this supernatural comedy remains one of his most popular plays.

Aside from the above, for those who want to see Christmas Theatre in a different location, or those who struggle with transport, theatre coach trips are perfect for ensuring that you do not miss out on any of Dercembers key performances this Christmas.