The custard pies are being made, sequins being sewn on and lines are being learned – panto season is on its way.
For many of us, Christmas isn’t Christmas without a good pantomime: a few cheesy songs, silly jokes, slapstick humour, chants of he’s behind you a loveable baddie and of course a happy ending.
There are plenty of pantomimes to see in Surrey, as well as some lovely Christmas shows for the little ones as well as a nativity play.
Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood, TV’s Michelle Gayle and Eagle Radio’s Peter Gordon are among the stars appearing this year.
Here’s our round-up of shows – don’t forget to book your tickets early.
The Big Enormous Present – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Mill Studio, Guildford, Nov 17 SOLD OUT
A mysterious present has appeared in the school playground. Who can it possibly be for? Jack, Dot or Polly? What could be waiting inside? The Big ENORMOUS Present explores the pressures of fitting in, where we find happiness and how giving can sometimes feel as good as receiving.
Dear Santa – Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking, Dec 5 – 24
Santa is determined to deliver the most fantastic Christmas present to Sarah. But he doesn't get it right straight away! With the help of his cheeky Elf, he finally settles on something ‘perfect', just in time for Christmas Eve. This is an ideal introduction to theatre for those aged 2 to 7 years old. There is an opportunity to meet Santa himself after the show.
Cinderella – New Victoria Theatre, Woking, Dec 7-Jan 6
You shall go to the ball next Christmas with the spectacular family pantomime Cinderella starring the fab-u-lous Craig Revel Horwood as The Wicked Stepmother and Paul Chuckle as Baron Hardup. Featuring laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Harlequin Theatre, Redhill, Dec 7-31
Huge helpings of laughter with a generous serving of traditional pantomime audience participation, mixed with stunning scenery, spectacular costumes, a dashing prince and the fairest Snow White of all. Add in seven dwarfs full of mischief and merriment, sprinkle with Woodland Fairy magic dust and it’s all the winning ingredients for a pantomime that’s simply wicked, simply wonderful and simply must be seen!
Peter Pan – Richmond Theatre, Dec 8-Jan 6
Join high-flying hero Peter Pan as he transports the Darlings on an adventure they will never forget, filled with evil pirates, a very hungry crocodile and the meanest man in Neverland, Captain Hook (BAFTA, Tony Award and two-time Olivier Award winner Robert Lindsay). Joining Robert will be Comedy Impressionist and Britain’s Got Talent finalist, Jon Clegg, West End star Rachel Stanley and Harry Francis as the boy who never grew up, Peter Pan.
Santa’s Christmas Party – Epsom Playhouse, Dec 8-24
Christmas is the busiest time of year at the North Pole, when Father Christmas makes presents to deliver across the whole world…and when everyone gets ready for Santa’s Christmas Party! But this year somebody has been up to mischief…Dotty the Elf’s decorations have gone missing, Dasher the Reindeer’s party games are broken, and what has happened to Pompom the Penguin’s Christmas music?
Sleeping Beauty - Camberley Theatre, Dec 10 - 31
A brand new adaptation of the classic fairy-tale Sleeping Beauty with singalong songs, high energy choreography, beautiful scenery and a host of side-splitting jokes!
Note: An accessible performance takes place on December 28 with a BSL signer, no pyrotechnics or loud noises and softer lighting.
A Christmas Carol – Nomad Theatre, East Horsley, Dec 11-15
The famous tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey from miserable miser to generous benefactor. Exciting, terrifying, amusing and always moving; this story is a wonderful prelude to Christmas.
Santa Claus and the Night Before Christmas – G Live, Dec 12-24
It’s Christmas Eve and whilst most children are hanging up their stockings, there are a few boys and girls who are not! They don’t believe in Santa and, with Christmas morning fast approaching, cheeky elves Charlie and Kara must help Santa prove that he is indeed real! With magic tricks, songs and stories, can they make them believe before it’s time to board Santa’s sleigh and deliver the presents?
Cinderella - The Harlington, Fleet, Dec 12-28
Packed full of song, dance and fun for all the family, Cinderella is a traditional pantomime fit for 2018! With a fabulous cast, beautiful costumes, and spectacular live band, you’re all invited to party in the palace at Prince Charming’s Royal Ball!
Nativity Play – Wintershall, Dec 12-16
Experience the Christmas story in a barn with a large cast of players and animals. The show lasts for 90 minutes with mince pies and hot drinks available before the show.
Snow White on Ice – Guildford Spectrum, Dec 14-16
Spectrum Ice will be transported like never before by a magical fairytale wonderland as the popular pantomime Snow White takes to the ice. The festive ice show will feature performances by some of the region's rising skating stars, along with some special guests!
Jack and the Beanstalk – Epsom Playhouse, Dec 14-Jan 6
A thrilling tale of adventure... magic beans... a mysterious land way up in the clouds... a hidden treasure.
Beauty and the Beast – Dorking Halls, Dec 15-29
Expect plenty of fun, laughter and audience participation. Packed with sensational songs, dazzling dance routines, spectacular sets and fabulous costumes, this is a tremendous treat for all the family.
Peter Pan at The Electric Theatre
Peter Pan – The Electric Theatre, Dec 20-22
Join Peter Pan and Wendy in their adventure against Captain Hook and his pirate crew. Follow Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, a giant crocodile, mermaids and redskins to a world where anything is possible and where dreams and imagination have a power all of their own. Performed by 5-18 year olds.More info: http://themaninthemoon.co.uk
Aladdin – The Leatherhead Theatre, Dec 20-30
Can the urban urchin Aladdin win the heart of the beautiful Princess Jasmine? With plenty of sparkle - and a truly amazing set with plenty of jaw dropping illusions - this marvellous mix of magic, comedy, puppets, music and adventure will provide some good traditional panto family fun.
The Night Before Christmas – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Mill Studio, Guildford, Dec 20 – 26
On the night before Christmas, Emma stares out of the window, hugs her teddy and waits excitedly for the morning, while in the corner a little mouse called Eddie can’t understand why only humans are allowed to celebrate and get presents. So he sets off in search of Father Christmas to find out for himself.
Cinderella – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Dec 7 – Jan 6
This year’s pantomime features recording artist, actress, songwriter and author Michelle Gayle as Cinderella’s fairy godmother. She is joined by cabaret performer Kit Hesketh-Harvey as Dandini, Eagle Radio’s Peter Gordon and his partner in Panto crime Nick Barclay as the Ugly Sisters and Jamie Brook as Buttons.
The Big, Enormous Present – Haslemere Hall, Haslemere, Jan 5
A mysterious present has appeared in the school playground. Who can it possibly be for? Jack, Dot or Polly? What could be waiting inside? Find out in this 50-minute play for the age range 3-8. The Big ENORMOUS Present explores the pressures of fitting in, where we find happiness and how giving can sometimes feel as good as receiving……
All the glitz, glamour and spectacle which have come to be expected from Haslemere’s favourite pantomime will be present, not forgetting the fun, jokes and audience participation!
Have a great time and don't forget to join in!