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Festive

The Wizard of Never Woz – Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow

Director: Iain Gordon Writer: Iain Gordon Reviewer: Fraser MacDonald Joining Dorothy and her pals as they adventure through the magical land of Never Woz, The Wizard of Never Woz offers a distinctly Scottish twist on the classic tale. The Wizard of Never Woz may be the Glasgow Pavilion’s best panto offering in recent years. Packed with audience participation, bright lights ...

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The Arabian Nights – The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

market traders in arabic dress

Writer: Suhayla El-Bushra Director: Joe Douglas  Reviewer: Emily Hall This December the Lyceum brings to life The Arabian Nights. Suhayla El Bushra’s original script isn’t the first musical rendition of the “Thousand and One Nights” folk stories but her take is nuanced and enchanting, perfect for children and dreamers alike. The show tackles modern themes of authoritarianism and freedom of ...

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Aladdin – The Dukes, Lancaster

Writer: Mike Kenny Director: Sarah Punshon Reviewer: May Mellstrom A frequent pantomime favourite, theatres across the country will undoubtedly be re-telling the story of Aladdin this Christmas, however, one imagines few will surpass the originality and imagination of this festive offering from The Dukes.  There are still plenty of playful nods to the audience and opportunities to boo the baddie, ...

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What the Moon Saw – Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome

Choreographer: Tamsin Fitzgerald from the story by Hans Christian Andersen Composer: Angus Macrea Reviewer: John Kennedy The very noble, if rather esoteric programme notes draw an obtuse reference to the ‘colourless’ consequences of Brexit contrasting with the Company’s multi-hued experiences in India. This re-imagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s eponymous story is their response. Thespian rescue-therapy? Be that as it may, it is ...

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The Lambton Worm – The Customs House, South Shields

Writers: Ray Spencer MBE and Graeme Thompson Director: Ray Spencer Reviewer: Anna Ambelez Whisht Lads, haad yor gobs aa’ll tell ye aall a panto story… This year The Customs House Pantomime celebrates the 150th anniversary of The Lambton Worm. While the story centres on the worm, writers Ray Spencer MBE and Graeme Thompson give it a new twist. As children, ...

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The Scouse Nativity – Royal Court, Liverpool

Writer: Kevin Fearon Additional Material/Director: Cal McCrystal Reviewer: John Roberts   If we are to be truly honest, then the Christmas shows over the past few years at The Royal Court have been a little hit and miss – the productions have tried to rely on the same formula of past successes and left little to the imagination, thankfully this ...

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A Christmas Carol – Kirkgate Market, Leeds

Writer: Charles Dickens, adapted by Olivia Race Director: Olivia Race Producers: Olivia Race, Alice Barber Musical Director: Claire-Marie Seddon Reviewer: Ron Simpson A Christmas Carol seems to be everywhere this year. Fortunately, there seems every chance that the adaptations will all have their own individuality – and that’s certainly the case with this version by Front Room Productions. Early in ...

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Nativity – Palace Theatre, Manchester

A man in the foreground reads a letter as children on a bunk bed watch

Lyrics and Music: Nicky Ager and Debbie Isitt Writer/Director: Debbie Isitt Reviewer” Matthew Forrest It is my firm belief that celebrating Christmas should be kept to December:  we seem to be beginning our festivities earlier and earlier each year, however in honour of the arrival of Nativity, to the Palace Theatre Manchester I’m prepared to make an exception because if ...

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