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Top 10 party shows to see this Christmas

Proof that Christmas is not all about panto!

Romayne Andrews, Connor Crawford, Katy Daghorn, Oliver Senton, Tom Babbage, Soorosh Lavasani and Patrick Warner in Peter Pan Goes Wrong
© Alastair Muir

Tis the season to be merry and with that in mind, the following theatre offerings ought to get crowds in a festive spirit this year. There are a few shows thrown in for older audiences looking for a bit of madness to go with the mulled wine – but the list is a panto free zone, so you have been warned!


A Pissedmas Carol

If you are after a rowdy Christmas night then look no further. Sh!t-Faced Showtime are performing the classic Dickens' festive tale but with one slight difference… each performance one cast member performs drunk. Definitely a show for the adults, this looks set to be absolute carnage and perfect for a Christmas work do. 20 November to 5 January – Leicester Square Theatre


Escape from Planet Trash

One of the biggest LGBTQ nights in the world, Sink The Pink is making a triumphant return to the Pleasance Islington for a month of fun and frivolities over November and December. Featuring drag queens, comedy, aliens and giant space spiders, Escape From Planet Trash will certainly be the most flamboyant Christmas show in 2019. 19 November to 22 December – Pleasance London

Sink the Pink's Escape From Planet Trash


Nativity! The Musical

The Dyers are back! Father and daughter duo Danny and Dani return alongside Sharon Osbourne and Rylan Clarke-Neal to star in Nativity!, the smash musical based on the adored 2009 film starring Martin Freeman. The show tours around Southern England and Wales before playing a number of dates at London's Eventim Apollo. 11 December to 29 December – Eventim Apollo with nationwide tour in weeks prior

Sharon Osbourne, Danny Dyer and Dani Dyer
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage


Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis

Written 20 years ago, Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis could not be considered a classic festive tale by any stretch. Portraying a dominatrix's 50th birthday celebrations, this is an evening of alternative Christmas entertainment for the adults. Comedy connoisseurs Signal Theatre Company brings the quirky play to London for the very first time at the Park Theatre. 13 December to 4 January – Park Theatre

Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis
© Nick Pearce


Love Actually

Love Actually is all around this winter, as a comprehensive nationwide tour offers the chance to enjoy a screening of the film accompanied by a live orchestra performing Craig Armstrong's emotional score. One of the most iconic Christmas films of recent years, this seems like a great way to get into the festive spirit. 23 November to 16 December – nationwide tour


Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Having received a five-star review from WhatsOnStage when it premiered in London four years ago, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is always a highlight of the festive programme. Created by the same team behind The Play that Goes Wrong and The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, there is ample opportunity to see this show on a tour that extends into Spring 2020. Christmas dates will be at Alexandra Palace, London. 12 November to 29 February – nationwide tour

Romayne Andrews, Connor Crawford, Katy Daghorn, Oliver Senton, Tom Babbage, Soorosh Lavasani and Patrick Warner in Peter Pan Goes Wrong
© Alastair Muir


The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit

Hope Mill is building a reputation as one of Manchester's go-to venues for immersive, boisterous and fun theatre. Inspired by A Christmas Carol, this new musical follows the downtrodden Dickensian character Timothy Cratchit as he attempts to make his own way in the world. 22 November to 29 December – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester


Elf – The Musical

Three consecutive weekends in December will see Elf the musical travel from Liverpool to Glasgow and end its run at the SSE Wembley arena. In contrast to the majority of these shows, Elf is definitely aimed at families with younger children. 7 December to 23 December – Liverpool, Glasgow and Wembley


How The Grinch Stole Christmas

One of Dr Seuss' most iconic characters, The Grinch's story continues to mesmerise over 60 years after its publication. This production is based on the Broadway show that was created by 3-time Tony Award-winning director Jack O'Brien. There is a tour around major British cities planned, which culminates in a longer stint at The Lowry in Salford. 1 November to 5 January – nationwide tour

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical


The Canterville Ghost

Oscar Wilde's witty tale is brought to the Unicorn's stage this Christmas in a production that will be suitable for the entire family. Set in a spooky Gothic mansion, expect this production to be mysterious as well as heartwarming. 10 November to 5 January – Unicorn Theatre


If this list still isn't enough, check out our ultimate Christmas guide for all your festive needs.

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