Features

Our pick of festive stage shows and Christmas musicals to see across the UK

A few stagey recommendations to roast your chestnuts!

Father Christmas in a scene from Wishmas
Wishmas: A Fantastical Christmas Adventure, © Matt Crockett

Christmas time is almost upon us (bring out the mistletoe and wine!), so we’ve decided to showcase ten festive productions from across the UK.

Whether you like your big-budget musicals, immersive spectacles, variety shows or are simply looking for something to entertain your little elves over the season, we’ve got you covered.

Take a look at these festive frolics…

 

White Christmas

Sandra Marvin and Grace Mouat in rehearsals for Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
Sandra Marvin and Grace Mouat in rehearsals for Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, © Johan Persson

We know what you’ve been dreaming of… a brand-new take on the Irving Berlin classic! Under the direction of Paul Foster, White Christmas (based on the 1954 film that starred Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) is set to take Sheffield audiences to snowy Vermont with a stellar musical theatre line-up, including Sandra Marvin, Grace Mouat, George Blagden and Stuart Neal. Crucible Theatre, Sheffield from 9 December to 13 January

 

Christmas Actually

Christmas Actually
Miriam-Teak Lee (photo supplied by the production uncredited), Sanjeev Bhaskar and Richard Curtis (© Ellie Kurtz) and Jayde Adams (© Harry Livingstone)

Billed as ‘The Ultimate Christmas Variety Show’ and curated by the creator of Love Actually himself, Richard Curtis, this brand-new extravaganza will feature festive-themed songs, anecdotes, poetry, children’s letters to Santa and there may even be a terrible Christmas cracker joke or two in the mix, if you play your Christmas cards right! Hosted by Jayde Adams and Sanjeev Bhaskar, expect a merry bunch of special guest appearances including the likes of Miriam-Teak Lee. Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre from 7 to 11 December

 

The Snow Queen

A scene from The Snow Queen
Claire Dargo in The Snow Queen, © Jess Shurte

Morna Young’s adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic (which also loosely inspired a certain Disney juggernaut) has settled into a festive season in Edinburgh. Recommended for those aged five and above, director Cora Bissett’s production sees Gerda (a brave young lady hailing from the Scottish capital itself) on a musical quest to save her best friend Kei from the menacing Snow Queen. Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh until 31 December

 

Finding Santa

A scene from the 2018 production of Finding Santa
The 2018 cast of Finding Santa, © Ellie Kurttz

Little Angel Theatre brings a brand-new and interactive Christmas adventure to the stage this December (…a perfect treat for your little angels, no doubt)! With the help of some quirky puppets and audience participation, young theatregoers (from the age of three) are invited to follow the eventful journey of their letters from the local postbox all the way to the North Pole in a 55-minute stage show by Sean Taylor. Bloomsbury Theatre from 7 to 24 December

 

The Owl Who Came for Christmas

Annabelle Terry and Camille Burnett in rehearsals for The Owl Who Came for Christmas
Annabelle Terry and Camille Burnett in rehearsals for The Owl Who Came for Christmas, © Pamela Raith

If you’re in the East Midlands area and hunting for some festive fun for the kids, look no further than the world premiere of The Owl Who Came for Christmas. Adapted for the stage by Chandni Mistry from the popular picture book by John Hay and Garry Parsons and based on a true story, discover what happened when Rosie the Owl lost her way and ended up in a family’s Christmas tree one year. Curve’s Studio Theatre, Leicester from 2 to 31 December

 

Wishmas: A Fantastical Christmas Adventure

A scene from Wishmas
Wishmas: A Fantastical Christmas Adventure, © Matt Crockett

Brought to you by the creative minds behind Secret Cinema, Wishmas is a fully immersive, 60-minute walk-through experience at London’s “Old Bauble Factory” underneath Waterloo Station, where you’ll travel to a magical realm presided over by the Wishkeepers and filled with robin red-breasts – the transporters of wishes from all over the globe. Old Bauble Factory until 7 January

 

Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas

Artwork for Have Yourself A Scary Little Christmas
Lyric Theatre production of Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas, © Carrie Davenport (photography) / Adam Steele (graphic design)

And now for something completely different! Adults in the Belfast area hoping to leave the kids with a babysitter and enjoy some festively spooky merriment could look no further than Conor Grimes and Alan McKee’s supernatural comedy, Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas. Set in Darkwood Manor on Christmas Eve, the piece is suitable for those aged 15 and above. Lyric Theatre, Belfast from 1 December to 6 January

 

Aganeza Scrooge

Artwork for Aganeza Scrooge
Aganeza Scrooge artwork, © Jamhot and Boxdog

If you find yourselves in Glasgow over the festive season and you’re up for something a little different to the usual stagings of A Christmas Carol, Johnny McKnight’s family-friendly take on the famous Dickens classic might be the one for you. Aganeza Scrooge follows a woman on a quest to end Christmas once and for all. Tron Theatre, Glasgow until 7 January

 

Father Christmas Needs a Wee

A scene from Father Christmas Needs a Wee
A scene from Father Christmas Needs a Wee, © Louis Burgess

TaleGate Theatre’s musical adaptation of Nicholas Allan’s beloved children’s book heads to the West End this December, but the question remains: what does Father Christmas do when he’s enjoyed too many glasses of eggnog and mugs of hot chocolate and nature calls? Your little ones can find out the answer at special 10am performances this winter. Arts Theatre from 2 to 23 December

 

Elf The Musical

Matthew Wolfenden in a scene from ELF The Musical
Matthew Wolfenden in ELF The Musical, © Matt Crockett

Finally, no Christmas is complete without the story of Buddy the Elf! Emmerdale‘s Matthew Wolfenden takes on the iconic role in the show’s return to the Dominion Theatre – joining last year’s cast members Georgina Castle (reprising her role as Jovie), Tom Chambers (as Walter Hobbs) and Rebecca Lock (as Emily Hobbs) – in the crowd-pleasing, big-budget stage musical adaptation of the cherished 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell. Never fall in love with an elf?! Too late! Dominion Theatre until 6 January

Featured In This Story

Christmas Actually

Closed: 11 December 2023

ELF The Musical

Closed: 06 January 2024

Finding Santa

Closed: 24 December 2023