On 14 December, it was announced that London will move to tier 3 from Wednesday 16 December. As a result of this, theatres will be closed until we receive further guidance from Government. You can read more about the Government’s announcement and its impact on the theatre industry here.
We’ll keep this article as up-to-date as possible with the shows that are still open around the UK (tier 1 and tier 2 areas) so that you can enjoy the magic of theatre while supporting your local venues.
If the theatres near you have had to close, don’t lose heart! You can find out all the wonderful things theatres are doing online to keep us entertained on our Theatre Fix page. Do check out what your local theatre is doing to fundraise, too, and consider donating to help them survive this difficult period.
We are very grateful to all the audiences who have so far come back to theatre – it has meant such a lot to the producers and theatres to have your support. We have been capturing audience reactions as we celebrate the shows that have been able to get back on stage.
We asked audience members at @OpenAirTheatre‘s @JCSTheMusical how it feels to be back at the theatre, their responses have us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside 🥰 #BackOnStage pic.twitter.com/N8q4LR1Bkn
— Official London Theatre (@london_theatre) September 22, 2020
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Once we are open again please do share your experiences and tag #BackOnStage.
Now is the time to play your part and book a ticket and see a show. Whether you’re looking for a panto to help you get into the festive spirit, a comedy to watch with your support bubble or a musical that’ll sweep you off your feet, there’s plenty for you to choose from in our roundup of December shows, including not only West End shows but those also opening around the UK.
If you’re out and about in the West End this festive period don’t forget to check out the TfL West End Walking map – help keep public transport more socially distanced and catch some of the sights and Christmas lights at the same time!
Shows around the UK:
3 – 24 December
David Bradley stars in Simon Callow’s acclaimed one-man adaptation of the ultimate classic Christmas tale. Based on Charles Dickens’ own one man readings of the story, this moving, captivating stage version, goes straight to the heart of an all-time literary classic.
So join Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and a trio of ghosts for a festive story designed to rescue Christmas from all the scrooges out there! Mulled wine, atmospheric live music and one of the most loved classics of the English language should make this a Christmas trip to remember.
5 – 24 December
Take a thrilling journey through Scrooge’s past, present and future in the company of characters who leap out from Dickens’ unforgettable tale. Playfully adapted by Patrick Barlow – writer of hit comic thriller The 39 Steps – this warm, witty and inventive show delivers tender moments and hilarious comedy as Christmas works its irresistible magic.
5 – 24 December
If you’re looking to introduce your little ones to theatre, this is a great pick! From the author of the well-loved children’s book Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell, comes a Christmas present children and parents alike will never forget.
Santa is determined to deliver the Christmas present to our little hero 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.
All the ingredients of Rod Campbell’s ingeniously simple and charming style are brought to life on stage, plus a whole lot more, with music, laughter and plenty of audience participation.
7 – 27 December
Christmas is coming and little Robin is very, very excited. To help him count down the days, Mummy and Daddy have given Robin an advent calendar. Behind every window is a picture and every picture tells a story. Join Robin as he embarks upon a magical quest, encountering a street wise squirrel, an attention seeking mouse, a family of reindeer and a curious cat.
From the writers of The Night Before Christmas and The Tailor of Gloucester, Little Robin Redbreast is full of magic, laughter, song, dance and surprise for children and their grownups.
9 December – 9 January 2021
Featuring swashbuckling pirates, tropical islands and a mermaid you will never forget, set sail on the Jolly Todger with Jim Lad, Long John Silver and a whole host of other characters as they make their way to the Caribbean to seek out a bounty of elusive treasure. But will they get there in one piece and is everyone really who they say they are?
This festive season join award-winning funny men Le Navet Bete (The Three Musketeers: A Comedy Adventure, Dracula: The Bloody Truth) as they play out Robert Louis Stevenson’s legendary tale as you’ve NEVER seen it before.
11 – 24 December
This winter, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds brings you a brand-new adaptation of one of the country’s best-loved Christmas stories. Set against the beautiful backdrop of The Angel Hotel this outdoor production will bring the streets of Victorian London right to the heart of Bury St Edmunds. So wrap up tight and prepare for cold toes but a very warm heart.
12 – 24 December
Christmas is fast approaching and Santa’s Sleigh is nowhere to be found. Will Sprocket and Dibs be able to create a new sleigh in time or will Christmas be cancelled? Can you help them save the day?
Only time will tell but with audience participation, sing-a-long songs and a present from Santa for every child, it promises to be the perfect festive treat.
12 – 24 December
After receiving standing ovations and playing to sold-out houses in 2019, acclaimed character actors Jack Lane (Wisdom of a Fool & Dad’s Army Radio Show) and David Benson (Goodnight Sweetheart & One Man, Two Guvnors) are returning to The Capitol with their beautiful staging of A Christmas Carol.
16 December – 24 December
Enjoy a brand new version of this classic tale, written especially for by Chichester Festival Theatre’s Writer in Resident Anna Ledwich (The Butterfly Lion, Crossing Lines and Beauty And The Beast).
Follow along as Pinocchio encounters a host of fascinating characters, from Punch and Judy to the wily Fox and Cat and the strange Sea Monster, as he journeys to Wonderland and the world beneath the sea. But he discovers that it isn’t easy hiding the truth – especially when your nose gets longer with every lie you tell…
17 – 24 December
Inspired by the glitzy underground cabaret bars at the heart of New York, musical director George Francis (Fiddler on the Roof, Paint Your Wagon, Amelie, Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical) curates an evening of songs and performance in an Everyman transformed into a beautiful and intimate venue.
Expect songs from the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Billy Joel, Shaina Taub, Joni Mitchell and some Christmas classics too. Whether you dress up or dress down, come along with your bubble for a night of jolly holly delight.
17 December – 16 January 2021
Mischief Theatre’s multi-award-winning international smash hit comedy The Play That Goes Wrong is returning to Theatre Royal Bath for some calamitous Christmas cheer!
The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does! As the accident-prone thesps battle on against all the odds to reach their final curtain call, hilarious results ensue! Don’t miss this brilliantly funny comedy that’s guaranteed to leave you aching with laughter!
18 December – 24 December
The classic French tale of Beauty and The Beast tells of a bright and beautiful young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. She learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realise the kind heart and soul that lies within.
The enormously popular Living Spit stars Howard Coggins and Stu McLoughlin. Howard is beautiful. There’s no escaping that. But then so is Stu. In fact, Living Spit is widely known as the most physically attractive two-man musical comedy theatre company in the South-West. However, in this tale as old as time one of them will have to portray an ugly, foul-tempered beast. But which one will it be?
With live broadcasts from 18 Dec and in-person performances from 19 Dec, watch this hilarious Christmas show in whichever way you like!
21 – 31 December 2020
Join original Pop Idol Gareth and his Christmas friends, including multi-platinum selling recording artist and Eurovision royalty Nicki French, the hilarious father and son comedy duo Simmons and Simmons and international circus performer Naomi Scott.
Celebrating the very best in Variety & Pantomime, with hilarious comedy routines and show-stopping numbers, this star-filled spectacular will entertain socially distanced audiences this festive season.