A turkey the size of a small hatchback? A huge tin of chocolates in shiny, gem-coloured wrappers? Falling asleep in front of the Queen’s speech? Everyone’s got their Christmas traditions, and for our family, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a trip to the panto at York Theatre Royal. We’ve been going for years, like so many other loyal York families, and it’s a real highlight of the festivities. Some things are guaranteed: there will be bad gags, local gags and gags that are just for mums and dads; there’ll be Harry Gration and Wagon Wheels, and possibly even a storyline. It’s one-of-a-kind show and we love it. But it’s not the only choice; York has plenty of Christmas shows to choose from and this is our pick of the best.
Berwick Kaler and his talented cast return for another year (including David Leonard, returning as the baddie – HOORAY!), delighting and confusing us with the tale of Old Mother Goose. Expect it to be nothing like it is in the storybooks.
York Theatre Royal – 11th December 2014 to 31 January 2015 – Tickets from £11
Pumpkins, mice and glass slippers: Cinderella takes to the stage for this year’s pantomime at York’s Grand Opera house that features stars of stage and screen.
Grand Opera House – 12th to 31st December 2014 – Tickets from £10 plus booking fee
A great alternative to the pantomime is this comic retelling of the classic story about Jack and his Puss in Boots. Expect puppetry and surprises in this family-friendly show suitable for 5 to 11 year-olds (some all-age performances available).
York Theatre Royal – 10th December 2014 to 3rd January 2015 – adult £12.50, child £8.50, family (2+2) £37.50
York’s ever-popular magic man, the Magic Hatter, returns for his fourth Christmas show with brand new holiday magic, comedy and lots of surprises.
The Hive Studios, Manor CE Academy, YO26 6PA – 13th and 14th December 2014 – 2pm – adult £9, child £8, family (2+2), £30 – pre-booking essential (www.magichatter.co.uk)