Gets earlier every year doesn’t it? The John Lewis advert in June; the Mince Pies at the supermarket by August; Christmas panto season in November…
By now you’re probably thinking about what presents to get, rummaging around in the loft for the decorations and eagerly trying to work out whose coming round for Christmas dinner. Amongst all that though, there’s bound to be a space for a good old, family-friendly panto or singalong.
Liverpool is once again spoilt for choice in terms of shows. Yes there’s Disney (sorry parents) and everyone’s favourite pantomime duo – Keast and Tucker – at the Everyman, but we’ve picked out some Christmas shows you may not have expected: in Runcorn, St Helens and Southport; pantomimes and singalongs. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled together a list of this year’s family friendly shows in Liverpool.
“Christmas isn’t really for kids,” said Denise Royle once. She was half-right. It’s not just for kids. There are plenty family-friendly Christmas shows in Liverpool and around Merseyside this festive period to prove it.
The Little Mermaid
The Everyman Rock N’ Roll Panto swims back to shore this Christmas to present the Little Mermaid. You surely know the score by now: a little risqué fun, song-and-dance routines and a hapless Dad getting a supersoaker drenching and ritual humiliation. And the finest pair in all of theatre. No, we mean Adam Keast and Francis Tucker you dirty-minded lot…
The Little Mermaid
Sat 25 Nov 2017 to Sat 20 Jan 2018
Tickets: £10 – £30
Baskerville – A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
No not a play about the typeface but an adaptation of Conan-Doyle’s best-known Sherlock Holmes work. The Playhouse has struggled to pin down exactly hat it wants from a Christmas show of late but some buckles being swashed, period detail and a strong cast look promising. Not convinced by the festivities elsewhere? Baskerville could be the Christmas show for you.
Sat 9 December to Sat 13 January
Spirit Of Christmas
Don’t fancy the bum, fart and knocker gags this Christmas? Try the annual carol concert at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, boasting the full RLPO and choir taking on all your favourite carols, plus seasonal readings from this year’s host, Classic FM’s John Suchet and the return of Mexican tenor Jesús Léon.
Spirit of Christmas
Sat 16 Dec 2017 to Sat 23 Dec 2017
Tickets: £20.00 – £47 (family)
The Jungle Book
Fancy channelling your inner kid this Christmas? Well head on over to the Unity Theatre to see child- friendly version of the Jungle Book for ages 5 and above. This performance aimed at key stage 1 and 2 will be filled with music, song and dance for all the youngsters. On top of all that, an informal Q+A session can be booked for your school with the cast. Occasionally a bit worthy, but not so that the kids will notice.
The Jungle Book
Mon 4 Dec to Fri 22 Dec 2017
Snow White and The Seven Dwarves
On a similar theme local hero Jonny Vegas is quite a coup for the St Helens Theatre Royal in its production of Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, appearing by way of 3-D projection. There’s also a local soap star, rising theatre-school graduate and a host of ‘seven real life dwarfs’ probably providing the greatest star power of all with plenty of big-screen appearances.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Sat 2 Dec 2017 to Sun 7 Jan 2018
St.Helens Theatre Royal
Tickets: £15 – £63 (family)
Dane Bowers and company take on Peter Pan (do the city’s theatres liaise to prevent accidental panto-mimicry?) at the Epstein Christmas show, which promises ‘dazzling sets, sparkling costumes, laugh-a-minute scripts, brilliant songs and exquisite trade-mark choreography’. All that without an Another Level pun eh?
Friday 8 December 2017 – Monday 1 January 2018
Tickets: £13 – £63 (family)
The Scouse Nativity
The Royal Court‘s modus operandi seems to be to provide the risqué panto element without any of the pesky kids’ stuff getting in the way – and it keeps serving them well. Expect bawdy laughs, references The Wirral, the pubs on Lime Street and Roger Philips – but don’t overlook the quality of the cast and crew. Nor the gift potential of a sit-down meal, LOLworthy panto and a pint to wash it all down.
The Scouse Nativity
24 November – 14 January
Royal Court Theatre
Tickets: £13 – £36
Duncan from Blue is the handsome one, Liverpool comedian John Evans is Buttons and I’d Do Anything winner Jodie Prenger as the Fairy Godmother at the Liverpool Empire‘s panto extravaganza. Presumably there’ll be some boo-fodder, signing and dancing to boot.
Sat 16 December – Sun 7 January
Tickets £11 – £40
Britain’s Got Talent stars Michael Auger and Ruby Murray play Aladdin and Widow Twankey in this Echo Arena production about everyone’s favourite faux prince. The boo-hiss of evil magician Abanazar – played by Jimmy Corkhill himself – is sure to be a hit with the whole family and Brookie aficionados alike.
Fri 15 Dec to Sun 24 Dec 2017
Liverpool Echo Arena
Tickets: £12.50 – £68 (family)
You’ve got to take your hat off to The Brindley. As panto dame goes – on the axis between Fame and Pantomime Rating you can’t do much better than Chrissy Rock. Joining La Rock in the Runcorn theatre’s production of Sleeping Beauty are Rebecca Lake as Princess Aurora and Chris Pym as Prince Harry. Needless to say there’s a ‘local favourite’ in the traditional bumpkin role: Andrew Curphey as Chester the Jester in this case.
Sat 16 Dec 2017 to Sun 14 Jan 2018
The Brindley Theatre
Tickets: £17 – £23
After last year’s production of Snow White the Southport Theatre presents the next cab off the panto rank in the form of Cinderella. As always, the production promises ‘spectacular scenery, breath-taking costumes, stunning special effects, fabulous song and dance routines and hilarious slapstick comedy’.
Fri 15 Dec 2017 to Sat 6 Jan 2018
Tickets: £9.10 – £27
By Jamie Tichborne