1. Nutcracker : London Coliseum (11 Dec 2014 – 4 Jan 2015)
With iconic choreography and the Orchestra of English National Ballet performing Tchaikovsky’s soaring score (featuring the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Waltz of the Flowers), English National Ballet’s Nutcracker is an unmissable Christmas treat for the whole family. (Ages 5+ Dur 2h10mins)
2. Treasure Island : National Theatre, Olivier South Bank, SE1 9PX
Wed Dec 3 – Thu Feb 19
This winter, Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of murder, money and mutiny is brought to life on the Olivier stage in a thrilling new adaptation by Bryony Lavery. (Age 10+)
3. The Cat In The Hat : Pleasance Theatre (Mon Dec 8 – Sun Jan 4 : Age 3+)
Based on the much loved book by Dr Seuss, The Cat in the Hat is a lively and engaging first theatre experience for young children aged 3+.
4. A Christmas Carol : Middle Temple Hall (Sat Dec 20 – Tue. Dec 30)
The acclaimed production combines Dickens’ ghostly tale with a score of original songs inspired by the carols of a traditional Victorian Christmas. The historic Hall will be decked for the occasion with boughs of holly, and mulled wine, mince pies and other traditional festive fare will be available to add to the Yuletide spirit.
5. Edward Scissorhands :Sadler’s Wells (Tue Dec 2 – Sun Jan 11)
Based on the classic Tim Burton movie and featuring the beautiful music of Danny Elfman and Terry Davies, played live each night by the New Adventures Orchestra, this touching and witty love story tells the bittersweet tale of a boy left alone and unfinished in a strange new world. It is a parable for our times about the ultimate outsider.
6. Grimm Tales : Bargehouse Oxo Tower Wharf (Fri Nov 21 – Sun Feb 15)
This world-exclusive immersive theatrical production transforms a handful of award-winning author Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales adaptations into 150 minutes of raw, unrelenting action. In the labyrinthine sprawl of the Bargehouse chambers, words will become flesh and blood, sights and sounds. You’ll feel the characters’ breath on your neck as they pass you, a cloud of dust billowing up from the stone floor beneath your feet as you track them to the centre of the action.
7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe : Rose Theatre Kingston
Fri Nov 28 – Sun Jan 4
Battles, talking lions, royal children and faraway lands: what’s not to like about CS Lewis’s classic Narnia tales? Here the second in the series, and probably the most famous, is adapted by Theresa Heskins for this production at the Rose Theatre over Christmas. An army of young actors make up the cast alongside professional actors, all directed by Ciaran McConville.
8. One Snowy Night : Discover Children’s Story Centre 383-387 Stratford High St, E15 4QZ (Fri Nov 28 – Wed Dec 24) : Age 3+
Snuggle up and enjoy a Christmas tale based on Nick Butterworth’s best-selling books. Meet Percy the park keeper in his snowy winter park. One cold winter’s night, Percy finds squirrel, fox, badger and hedgehog shivering on his doorstep and he must find a way to help them. Creep into Percy’s hut, join in with the stories and help everyone get to sleep on One Snowy Night.
9.The Possible Impossible House : Barbican Theatre Barbican Centre, EC2Y 8DS : Wed Dec 17 – Sun Dec 28
In the library of The Possible Impossible House, a doodle of a girl springs from the blank page of an algebra book. She’ll take you on a family adventure around labyrinthine corridors, a deserted ballroom and a cupboard under the stairs, encountering a motley crew of characters. There’s a friendly philosophical spider, a talking mouse, a not-so-very-frightening ghost and an army of dancing soldiers. Ages 7+.
10. The Railway Children : King’s Cross Theatre King’s Cross, N1C
Tue Dec 16 – Sun Mar 1
It was a big smash hit when Mike Kenney adapted E Nesbit’s much-loved children’s book ‘The Railway Children’ and Damian Cruden staged it actually on a platform at Waterloo in 2011. Now it returns, but not to Waterloo. Instead it’s arriving at a specially built 1,000 seater theatre built behind King’s Cross station. Railway tracks and platforms will be created specially for the production, which tells of a group of children who move from London to a cottage in the country with their mother after their father is mysteriously taken away.
11. The Snowman : Peacock Theatre Portugal St, WC2A 2HT
Wed Nov 26 – Sun Jan 4
Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s stage show for all the family based on Raymond Briggs’s modern classic. A delight for kids, using dance, music and storytelling to summon up the feeling of walking in the air, with choreography by Robert North and featuring a full live orchestra.
12. Timber : by Cirque Alfonse : Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank, SE1 8XX ( Sun Dec 21 – Wed Dec 31)
Blending circus with theatre, dance, live traditional music and the folklore of their native Quebec, Cirque Alfonse take the audience on a wild ride of gravity-defying acrobatics and thrilling tricks with metal saws, axes and logs from the family farm.
13. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King : Unicorn Theatre : (Age 8+)
It’s Christmas Eve, 1805. Seven year-old Marie retrieves the sad and broken Nutcracker from under the Christmas tree and promises to look after him. But on the stroke of midnight he comes alive, and after enlisting Marie’s help in his battle with the evil Mouse King, they journey together through strange and fantastical stories until they finally arrive in a secret land made of nothing but candy.
14. The Fourth Wise Man : Unicorn Theatre (Age 4+)
One day Artaban, the wisest of them all, spots a beautiful new star in the sky. It’s the biggest and brightest star he has ever seen, and he knows it will lead him to something special. A special baby in fact, so special that everything (and that means everything) must be perfect. Join Artaban as he prepares for a momentous journey. But what should he wear? What gift should he bring? And where on earth will he find the right camel?
15. Cindermouse : Little Angel Theatre
Travel to the land of mice where hardworking little Cindermouse finds love in the arms of a prince. Drawing on the Cinderella story, this show introduces its audience to a host of colourful glove and rod puppet characters – the outrageous sisters, the delicate fairy, acrobats who tumble and dancers who twirl to the musical accompaniment.