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What to watch: best shows to see this week

Christmas is creeping its way towards us and some shows are getting into the festive spirit

Clockwise from left: A Christmas Carol, Switzerland, How to Catch a Krampus
© Top right: Nobby Clark, bottom right: Ali Wright

Christmas is inching its way closer and across the UK and a lot of shows are starting their festive offerings – so much so that we've barely had space to mention Grimm Tales at the Unicorn or Superblackman at Battersea, both of which look like brilliant alternatives to yuletide offerings.

How To Catch a Krampus!

How to Catch a Krampus!
© Ali Wright

Drag collective Sink the Pink know how to have a knees-up, and this Christmas they're doing something very exciting by transforming Islington's Pleasance Theatre into a spooky, bawdy and wintery haunt perfect for an alternative festive treat. Pleasance Theatre, until 23 December

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Bah humbug! Ebenezer Scrooge gets a new outing at Leeds Playhouse this winter season as the venue moves to its dedicated pop-up space. Robert Pickavance plays the mean-spirited buzzkill in what should be a solid new production, adapted from Dickens by Deborah McAndrew. Leeds Playhouse, until 19 January


Calum Finlay and Phyllis Logan in Switzerland
© Nobby Clark

It was met with critical praise when it first premiered over in Bath, and Joanna Murray-Smith's thriller about author Patricia Highsmith now lands at the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End, where it runs until January. It stars Downton veteran Phyllis Logan alongside newcomer Calum Finlay. Ambassadors Theatre, until 5 January

Dick Whittington

Jodie Jacobs (Bow Belles), Hollie Edwin (Alice) and Carl Mullaney (Dame)
© Tristram Kenton

Panto season is back! A cavalcade of sequined shows are opening across the UK, with Dick Whittington leading the charge in Hammersmith. The cast for the Lyric's pantomime includes Jodie Jacobs, Keziah Joseph and Carl Mullaney, in what has always been a stalwart for the theatre calendar. Lyric Hammersmith, until 6 January

Summer and Smoke

Matthew Needham and Patsy Ferran in Summer and Smoke
© Marc Brenner

Rebecca Frecknall's production of the Tennessee Williams' hit play returns for a West End victory lap after stunning audiences and critics when it first opened at the Almeida earlier this year. Starring the ever-brilliant Patsy Ferran and Matthew Needham as a lovelorn couple falling in and out of romance. Duke of York's Theatre, until 19 January

Last chance to see: Heathers the Musical (Theatre Royal Haymarket), A Guide for the Homesick (Trafalgar Studios), All We Ever Wanted Was Everything (Bush Theatre), ear for eye (Royal Court), I and You (Hampstead Theatre),