Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to the theatre, and London has a really good offering to keep you entertained throughout the festive season.
The Pantomime is a concept that is very unique to the UK and, if you haven’t seen one before, is worth going just for the experience while a resident at the Aparthotels London . These are basically very silly, over the top, comic versions of traditional fairy stories – but with a twist. The Dame – who provides most of the comic activity - is always played by a man and wears the most elaborate, extravagant dresses! Then there are the calls of “he’s behind you’ which automatically form part of the comic routine at some point, as well as lots of slapstick. Most pantomimes feature celebrities and top actors who are just out to have some fun – and rarely stick to the script!
The London Palladium has returned to the pantomime arena this year with a lavish version of Cinderella. This rags to riches story complete with evil stepmother and fairy godmother never fails to enchant. Julian Clary, Amanda Holden, Nigel Havers and Paul O’Grady are among the celebrities taking part. While at the Lyric Hammersmith which is just a short tube ride from Presidential Marylebone Mayfair, you can enjoy the story of Aladdin, complete with genie and magic carpet as he attempts to woo and win the princess of his dreams.
Book conveniently located Serviced Apartments Central London and take a trip out to the East End to experience Victorian music hall design. Wilton’s Music Hall is hosting the story of Mother Goose - a rarely seen story involving lots of nursery rhyme characters and a goose that lays golden eggs, while at the recently refurbished Hoxton Hall you can watch the tale of Little Red Riding Hood as she encounters the wolf.
The Hackney Empire is staging an elaborate version of Sleeping Beauty. This is guaranteed to be high octane, full of action and a somewhat surreal atmosphere in common with previous pantomimes staged at this venue. Alternatively, you could try Sinbad the Sailor as he travels to magical lands and mysterious places with impossible tasks to undertake which can be seen at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East.
For many people a trip to the ballet is another essential ingredient of a British Christmas. Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is a perennial favourite, enchanting audiences with delightful dancing from little Clara and the Nutcracker as they fight the King of Rats before travelling to the Kingdom of Sweets. With sumptuous, stunning scenary and costumes, this is a performance guaranteed to please. Other favourite fairy tales brought to life by ballet companies this Christmas include the Royal Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty at Covent Garden, the Red Shoes at Sadlers Wells and the poignant tale of the Little Match Girl at the Lillian Baylis Theatre. Just as enchanting, but a much more recent fairy tale is Raymond Briggs The Snowman which is brought to life on the stage of the Sadlers Wells Theatre complete with dancing penguins, magical reindeer and a shimmering woodland.
Yet these are not the only theatre options available this Christmas. All the well known West End favourites will be available including top musicals like Mamma Mia, Wicked, The Lion King, Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera.