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18 A Christmas Carols you can see on stage this Christmas

The novel is celebrating its 175th anniversary so here's where it'll be performed across the festive period

Find out where you can get a serving of Scrooge this Christmas

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has become a festival staple, and this festive season doesn't seem to be any different. With the classic novel celebrating its 175th anniversary, we round up all of the Christmas Carols on offer across the UK, because there really are a lot and it's easy to lose track.



1. Simon Callow's A Christmas Carol

Simon Callow in A Christmas Carol
© Lauar Marie Linck

Dickens expert and all-round theatre gem Simon Callow is back at his regular festive stomping ground at the Arts Theatre for the fourth time with his one-man version of Dickens' tale. Considering the show bagged a whole load of five-star reviews when it was last shown, this could be a hot ticket. Arts Theatre, 8 December to 12 January


2. Old Vic Theatre

The Old Vic's Christmas Carol, adapted by Jack Thorne, also returns for another outing this year, following its run last Christmas. Stephen Tompkinson steps into Rhys Ifans' shoes to play the miserable Scrooge this time around, with mince pies, music and merriment on offer. 23 November to 19 January


3. RSC in Stratford

A Christmas Carol
© RSC, photo by Manuel Harlan

The RSC will also be reviving their version of A Christmas Carol (courtesy of David Edgar), with Aden Gillett making his RSC debut in the lead role. Edgar has worked with the RSC a lot over the years (since 1976!) so this will be a chance to see a writer at home in a familiar gaff. 4 December to 20 January


4. Hot Gay Time Machine


© Pamela Raith

And now for something completely different! Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow may be best known for their storming Tudor smash-hit Six, but they now bring new show Hot Gay Time Machine to Trafalgar Studios. Billed as ' A Christmas Carol – but with fewer ghosts and more gays', the show stars Zak Ghazi-Torbati (who also co-writes) and Marlow as two men who travel through time reflecting on all the important moments in a gay man's life. Trafalgar Studios, 27 November to 5 January


5. Liverpool Playhouse

A Christmas Carol

Another fresh take on Dickens' classic comes from physical theatre experts Spymonkey as they present A Christmas Carol at the Playhouse in Liverpool. Directed by Ed Gaughan, this madcap rollick of a version looks like it'll be far sillier than the more straight-laced original. We can't wait. 8 December to 12 January


6. London Musical Theatre Orchestra

Miriam-Teak Lee, Griff Rhys Jones and Lucie Jones
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

London's Lyceum may usually be home to The Lion King, but for three performances on 10 and 17 December the LMTO will be taking the venue to Victorian London for its annual rendition of Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent's musical version of A Christmas Carol. With Griff Rhys Jones, Lucie Jones, Miriam-Teak Lee, Cedric Neal, Nic Colicos and Rosemary Ashe along for the ride, this is a regular worth catching. Lyceum Theatre, 10 and 17 December


7. Leeds Playhouse

A Christmas Carol

Leeds Playhouse's theatres are currently closed for refurbishment, so it's had to up sticks and will now be presenting its version of Dickens' classic in its pop-up space. This adaptation of the show, penned by Deborah McAndrew, was seen last year at Hull Truck, where it got a load of great reviews, repeating the trick again this year with WhatsOnStage's Sarah Crompton saying the show "should send all but the hardest of heart out into the night full of the spirit of Christmas cheer." 20 November to 19 January


8. Bristol Old Vic

A brand spanking new adaptation of Dickens' piece comes courtesy of Bristol Old Vic's artistic director Tom Morris, directed by Lee Lyford. Morris has a knack for helping turn novels into stage hits (War Horse, The Grinning Man, Touching the Void or Nights at the Circus) so it's about time he's let loose on Scrooge and co. 29 November to 13 January


9. Northern Stage


© Northern Stage

Neil Bartlett first adapted A Christmas Carol ages ago, and it's his version given a new lease of life up in Newcastle. War Horse and The Deep Blue Sea star Nick Figgis does the humbugging as Scrooge, with the show intriguingly shifting its time period to the '20s, with inspirations including Gatsby and Peaky Blinders. Northern Stage, 1 December to 5 January


10. The Other Palace and tour

English folk tunes and carol melodies are used to conjure up the spirit of Christmas in Greenmatthews' musical version of the classic, which runs at The Other Palace before embarking to spread Christmas cheer across the land. Simple and merry with some top notch performing to boot. The Other Palace on 30 November, then touring


11. The Tramway Glasgow

Just like Leeds Playhouse, Glasgow's Citizens Theatre has also had to up sticks while it renovates its venue. The company now revives A Christmas Carol four years on from its first run, over at the Tramway arts space. Glasgow-born stage veteran Benny Young leads the cast. 4 December to 6 January


12. European Arts Company


© European Arts Company

Did you know that Dickens originally wanted to be an actor, and his readings of A Christmas Carol went down a storm? No wonder the piece is such a theatre hit. With a set design based on Dickens' own London rooms, John O'Connor returns to play the role of Dickens in a one-man intimate production, visiting venues in cities such as London, Loughborough, York. Touring until 22 December.


13. Chickenshed Theatre

Chickenshed is doing A Christmas Carol on a whole new scale! The venue is presenting an entirely new musical version, set in 1930s Britain. With a cast of over 200 people (!), this one might really take the Dickens. Chickenshed, Until 5 January


14. Pantaloon Theatre company

Pantaloon is going all over the country with a new, vibrant version of Dickens' classic, With more tour dates than you could shake a stick at, it's worth heading over to their website to see if it's coming near you. Their version features live music and audience interaction, which always mean fun in the festive season. Touring from 1 to 23 December


15. Guy Masterson


© Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni - Nux Photography

Another returning production comes courtesy of Guy Masterson (Under Milk Wood), produced by Theatre Tours International. The Olivier Award winner takes on all of the roles in Dickens' story, with the show having run at venues across the UK since October. UK tour from until 24 December


16. Chapterhouse Theatre Company

Laura Turner adapts this touring production with a healthy dose of song, dance and an original score. How better to find the meaning of Christmas! Chapterhouse Theatre Company are about to enter their 20th year together, so a great occasion to watch their show! UK tour until 23 December


17. A Christmas Carol Told by Jacob Marley (deceased)

Wimbledon New Theatre and Royal Albert Hall hosts a spooky and dark reimagining of the Christmas Carol tale, told by a very dead and decaying Jacob Marley. James Hyland's version has been around for a number of years now but is always a chance to see Dickens' classic from a refreshingly different perspective. New Wimbledon Theatre, 1 December, and Royal Albert Hall, 16 December


18. Abbey Theatre St Albans

Company of Ten come to Abbey Theatre's main stage to present Anthony Peters' family-friendly interpretation of the classic. The theatre flag the nice fact that two months after Dickens' story first appeared in 1843, eight versions appeared on the London stage – its history on the boards has lasted through the centuries! St Albans Abbey Theatre, 15 to 29 December

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