5. Jack and the Beanstalk - Hackney Empire

Clive Rowe, Buttercup the cow, Debbie Kurup, and Kat B in Hackney Empire's Jack and the Beanstalk
Clive Rowe, Buttercup the cow, Debbie Kurup, and Kat B in Hackney Empire's Jack and the Beanstalk
© Perou

A Christmas without a Hackney panto is like an Easter without a chocolate egg and this year's offering looks to be as fabulous as ever.

The wonderful Clive Rowe will play Dame Daisy Trott alongside Debbie Kurup (The Bodyguard, Anything Goes) as Jack. The production, written and directed by Susie McKenna, also stars local favourite Kat B and the voice of Olivier Award-winner Sharon D. Clarke.

It's going to be a blast, oh yes it is!....

26 November - 3 January, Hackney Empire. More information and tickets here.

4. Wendy and Peter Pan - Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford

Sam Swann and Fiona Button in the 2013 production of Wendy & Peter Pan
Sam Swann and Fiona Button in the 2013 production of Wendy & Peter Pan
© Manuel Harlan

If panto's not your thing but you're still looking for a show to kick off the Christmas period then look no further than Ella Hickson's acclaimed re-telling of JM Barrie's classic children's story.

The production, directed by Jonathan Munby, returns to the Stratford-upon-Avon venue starring Darrell D'Silva as Hook.

19 - 29 November, Barbican Centre. More information and tickets here.

3. Little Eyolf - Almeida Theatre

Eve Ponsonby in rehearsal for Little Eyolf
Eve Ponsonby in rehearsal for Little Eyolf
© Hugo Glendinning

Following his award-winning production of Ghosts, Richard Eyre returns to the Almeida to direct another Ibsen classic, Little Eyolf.

26 November - 9 January 2016, Almeida Theatre. More information and tickets here.

2. Evening at the Talkhouse - Dorfman Theatre, NT

Wallace Shawn (Dick)
Wallace Shawn (Dick)
© Catherine Ashmore

Wallace Shawn leads the cast of his new play about a reunion at a member's club, directed by Ian Rickson.

Further casting includes Sinead Matthews, Anna Calder-Marshall and Simon Shepherd.

24 November - 30 March, Dorfman Theatre, NT. More information and tickets here.

1. The Homecoming - Trafalgar Studios

Gemma Chan and Gary Kemp rehearse for The Homecoming
Gemma Chan and Gary Kemp rehearse for The Homecoming
© Matt Humphrey

Winning the award for knockout casting this week is Jamie Lloyd's 50th anniversary production of Harold Pinter's The Homecoming.

Gemma Chan. Keith Allen. John Simm. Gary Kemp. Ron Cook. John Macmillan.

Need we say anymore?

23 November - 13 February, Trafalgar Studios. More information and tickets here.