Take an evil villain, some crazy costumes, slapstick comedy and some catchy tunes. Mix these up with some audience participation, talented performers and a good old fashioned story with a happy ending and you have some perfect panto entertainment for the festive season.
Here's our guide to the Christmas pantomimes and shows throughout Surrey this year. Don't forget to book your tickets early...
Alice in Wonderland - Rose Theatre Kingston, Dec 7-Jan 7
Featuring magically evocative music and strikingly imaginative designs, puppetry and projections, this spectacular new stage production of Lewis Carroll's timeless books takes the audience into a fairy-tale land of wonder and adventure.
Dick Whittington – Yvonne Arnaud, Dec 8-Jan 7
Starring Kit Hesketh-Harvey, Judy Cornwell, Peter Gordon and Jamie Brook – this year’s pantomime will contain all the required ingredients – comedy, music, glitter and audience participation!
More info: http://www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/
Santa Claus and the Magical Christmas Journey – Epsom Playhouse, Dec 8-24
A stage adventure filled with songs, nursery rhymes and magic as well as a magical moment when snowflakes fall over the audience. As an added Christmas treat, children in the audience will meet Santa after the show and receive a special present of their own.
Santa Claus and the Magical Christmas Journey – G Live, Dec 8-24
It’s Christmas Eve and Santa Claus is flying high above the clouds delivering presents to all the good boys and girls. Hiding in the back are two naughty elves Charlie and Kara who have snuck on-board for the ride. Children in the audience will have a chance to meet Santa after the show and receive a gift.
Peter Pan, Harlequin Theatre, Redhill, Dec 8-31
Starring Hairy Biker Dave Myers – Peter Pan will include comedy capers and high sea shenanigans in a magical and spectacular pantomime!
Robin Hood – New Victoria Theatre, Woking, Dec 9-Jan 7
Starring one of the nation’s favourite soap actors Shane Richie, Robin Hood features all of the ingredients of a perfect pantomime; a fabulous cast and orchestra, laugh out loud comedy, bundles of audience participation, stunning scenery and special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses for all the family to enjoy.
Aladdin – Richmond Theatre, Dec 9-Jan 14
Starring panto-legend Christopher Biggins, TV and radio’s Count Arthur Strong, West End star Issy Van Randwyck and comedian Rikki Jay. Follow Aladdin, his hapless brother, and his mother Widow Twankey on a spectacular adventure featuring a beautiful love story, flying carpets, a wish-granting genie, an evil sorcerer and a lamp packed full of spectacular family entertainment.
Peter Pan - Camberley Theatre, Dec 12- 31
Join Peter Pan as he takes Wendy and her brothers on an action packed adventure in Neverland. Complete with flying, laugh out loud gags, singalong songs, breath-taking choreography and bucket loads of audience interaction.
Dick Whittington – Nomad Theatre, East Horsley, Dec 12-16
A traditional pantomime which follows the story of Dick Whittington, his cat and his rise to fame in London. This show has got it all – from shipwrecks to streets paved with gold, with barrels of laughs, slapstick, great musical numbers and plenty of audience participation.
The Wintershall Nativity Play - Holly Barn, Wintershall estate, Dec 13-17
Dramatic and intimate, the story begins in the open air with the shepherds. The audience then take their seats in the atmospheric barn, where the story unfolds of how Jesus changed the world. The play is performed by 50 volunteer cast in beautiful biblical costumes, with songs and music, assisted by a full complement of sheep, donkeys, horses and a sheepdog.
More info: https://www.wintershall-estate.com/
Jack and the Beanstalk - The Harlington, Fleet, Dec 13-24
Humour, audience participation, and several set piece comic routines in a traditional panto with songs, dances and special effects!
A Christmas Carol - Electric Theatre Guildford, Dec 14-16
The Man in the Moon present Charles Dickens' classic.A magical youth theatre production for all the family brought to the stage by a large, talented cast, aged 5 to 18 years old. A wonderful Christmas treat for the whole family.
Wendy and Peter Pan, Yvonne Arnaud Guildford, Dec 14-16
Snow is falling across London. Wendy Darling and her brothers sleep peacefully in the bedroom, as their parents bicker downstairs. In a sudden flurry of snow their window blows open, and into their lives tumbles a mischievous boy called Peter.
Aladdin on Ice – Guildford Spectrum, Dec 15-17
Arabian adventures with a Bollywood twist in the Spectrum's pantomime Aladdin on Ice, featuring performances from some of the region’s rising skate stars.
Cinderella – Epsom Playhouse, Dec 15-Jan 7
Join Cinderella on a pumpkin coach ride through pantoland with fancy balls, midnight curfew, pumpkins and magic slippers. All-singing, all-dancing, laugh-out-loud silliness with a big helping of festive mayhem.
Peter Pan - Chaldon Village Hall, Dec 15-17, 22 & 23
Local pantomime by community performing arts organisation Castrey Theatre Arts. All money raised will be put back into local organisations with the production itself supporting Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.
Sleeping Beauty – Dorking Halls, Dec 16-28
The show stars X Factor finalist Christopher Maloney and will include fun and laughter, audience participation, songs, dance routines, spectacular sets and fabulous costumes.
Jack and the Beanstalk – The Leatherhead Theatre, Dec 20-30
Panto baddy Tom Beard returns to head another fantastic cast, including the cream of Leatherhead's very own local children's talent, on an unforgettable journey this Christmas.
Aladdin – Haslemere Hall, Jan 12-14, 19 & 20
Follow Aladdin, his brother Wishee Washee and Widow Twankey on a romantic comedy adventure through the street circus of Old Peking; a magic carpet ride with a wish-granting Genie and a lamp-full of laughs across the ancient earth. With all the family fun, glittering costumes and audience participation that you’d expect.
Have a great show and don't forget to join in!