Christmas Theatre Guide
Enjoy some festive respite with traditional pantos, stage adaptations and original, holiday-themed dramas all across Northern Ireland
The John Lewis advert has launched, coffee is being sold in red cups and the continental markets are starting to take shape – the holiday season isn't just upon us, it's hurtling towards us like a Coca Cola lorry on ice.
All around Northern Ireland theatres and theatre companies are constructing elaborate sets, stitching costumes and fine-tuning scripts as they prepare their annual Christmas productions for everything from one-off shows to month-long residencies on some of the country's most prestigious stages.
Amidst the pandemonium of shoppers and familiar songs audiences can take some festive respite with these must-see performances.
Market Place Theatre, Armagh
December 3 - 24
Traditional panto at it’s very best, the Market Place Theatre in Armagh brings the spellbinding rags-to-riches story to life with a fabulous cast of characters telling tales of glass slippers, glistening carriages and glamorous gowns.
The Courtyard Theatre, Ballyearl
November 26 - December 17
Join Mr Hullabaloo, Snow White and the seven diamond mining dwarfs this Christmas in a fun filled family adventure featuring an outstanding cast, puppetry, dazzling sets and lavish costumes.
The MAC, Belfast
November 29 - January 1
Presented with the award-winning children's theatre company Cahoots NI, Pinocchio promises to be an enchanting, magical show packed full of live music and lots of magic this Christmas. In this family musical, follow the adventures of the much-loved puppet on his incredible question to become a real boy.
November 25 - January 8
Pantomime wishes come true at Aladdin. So board the magic carpet and let the Waterfront whisk you away on the panto adventure to top them all. Guaranteed to entertain and thrill, Aladdin is brought to the Waterfront stage by a fabulous cast headed up by everyone’s favourite panto dame, Ross Anderson-Doherty, as Widow Twankey.
Will the Genie of the lamp grant Aladdin three wishes and save him from the clutches of the evil Abanazar? And will Aladdin and Princess Jasmine live happily ever after? If you want to know, you’ll have to go!
Millennium Forum, Derry~Londonderry
December 2 - 31
William Caulfield returns to the North West's premier theatre as 'Buttons' in this glittering production of the timeless tale. Will Cinderella win her Prince? Will the glass slipper fit? You’ll have to wait until the clock strikes midnight to find out!
The Lyric Theatre, Belfast
November 27 - January 14
Chapter One of the greatest story ever told, as seen through the eyes of the only truly reliable witness, the donkey.
This irreverent seasonal comedy looks for answers to some big questions: why didn’t Joseph book a room in advance - didn’t he know the place would be packed for Christmas? Who looked after the sheep while the shepherds were wetting the baby’s head? Would the wise men not have been wiser to club together and buy the kid a high-chair? What did the donkey see and why was he looking? Just a few questions to ponder while you make your mind up to come and see this hilarious version of the Christmas story.
The Braid, Ballymena
December 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 21 and 22
After the hugely successful productions of Lucy and the Dream Catcher, Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella, the Braid Arts Centre welcomes back c21 Theatre Company for Aladdin. Rub the Magic Lamp, enter the cave of wonders and be transported on a flying carpet ride into the Mystical World of The Far East.
Will true love come smoothly for Aladdin and The Beautiful Princess in this rag to riches story or will the evil Abanazar capture the Genie of the Lamp and spoil Aladdin’s dreams?
Ardowen Theatre, Enniskillen
December 1 - 10
Enniskillen Light Operatic Society return to The Ardhowen bringing the classic MGM musical to life on stage with all of its much loved songs such as ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, ‘Follow The Yellowbrick Road’ and ‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead’.
Waterside Theatre, Derry~Londonderry
December 9 - 20
Strand Arts Centre, Belfast
December 11 - 13
Carol Marley is a loan shark who is feared by the local community. As she goes to bed on Christmas Eve she is visited by her dead husband Bobby, who informs her that three ghosts will be paying her a wee visit tonight. As Carol falls into a deep sleep, chaos and hilarity ensue as the three crazy spirits show her all the misery that she has heaped upon the community.
Will Carol take this second chance to make things better? Can the spirits make her see sense? Or is Carol Marley just too set in her ways to change?? Come and find out for yourselves in this hilarious reworking of Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol.
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
December 9 - 11
This beautifully enchanted piece created especially for little ones is full of magical sounds, dance and sensory stimulation . Join Lilly to see what she discovers along her way to a very magical Christmas, one that will make you want to jump out of your seat to dance.
Alley Theatre, Strabane
Cinderella takes flight in this classic fairy tale, full of amazing aerial circus acts.
From the company that brought you Catch Me and Elves and Shoemaker, Cinder and the Ellas is suitable for eight years plus. Come and share in Cinderella’s journey and watch the thrilling and heart felt story being retold using aerial hoops, cyr wheel, aerial triple trapeze, a specially designed set full of projections and an original music score.
Grand Opera House, Belfast
The undisputed queen of panto, May McFettridge as The Fairy Godmother, leads a superb cast which includes singer-songwriter and Pop Idol Gareth Gates in the role of Prince Charming. Cinderella carries the Grand Opera House pantomime hallmark of quality entertainment for all ages and is packed with comedy, amazing costumes, stunning scenery, and a features a spellbinding carriage that takes Cinderella to the Ball.