CHESTER: December 4-30 - Tip Top Productions present Dick Whittington at the Forum Studio Theatre in Hamilton Place. Tip Top Productions have been celebrating Christmas in Pantoland since 1996. This year it has launched its first professional company of performers. Join them for Peter Swingler’s 33rd pantomime and as always it’s been written especially for local audiences of all ages. Make yourselves comfortable as we follow a young man and his cat on the road to fame and fortune. Featuring everything you have come to love about the Tip Top pantomime - silly comic, daft dame in outrageous frocks, a talking cat, custard pies, and much more. Adults £10, concessions £9, family ticket £34. Call 01244 341296 or visit www.tiptopproductions.co.uk.
COLWYN BAY: December 19-January 3 - Cinderella at Theatr Colwyn. New dazzling pantomime of the classic story will be magically brought to life with amazing sets, stunning costumes, magic, illusion, special effects, song, dance, puppets and an abundance of laughter with a fabulous cast of characters. The cast of Cinderella is made up from local professional actors - Jenna Louise Grace is Cinderella, Jayne Loughland is the Fairy Godmother, Libby Edwards plays Baroness Lavinia Stoneybroke, Steve Bloor is Buttons, Martyn Wickens as Prince Charming and Neill Scullard and Stuart Loughland are the Ugly Sisters. Tickets £12, children £9. Visit www.theatrcolwyn.co.uk or call 01492 577888/872000.
CREWE: December 12-January 3 - Cinderella at the Lyceum Theatre in Heath Street. Starring Gareth Gates, Jimmy Tamley and Alice Baker. The most popular and magical pantomime arrives at the Lyceum for Christmas 2015. With an abundance of comedy, stunning sets and fabulous costumes you’re sure to have a ball filled with pantomime magic. Cinderella is by the same team behind the theatre’s recent record-breaking pantomimes. Tickets £22.50-£16.50. Call 01270 368242 or visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk.
ELLESMERE PORT: December 13-19 - Jack and the Beanstalk at the Civic Hall. Anne Hegerty from ITV’s The Chase headlines the cast for a rollercoaster ride through panto land. See stunning costumes and dazzling special effects. Adults £10, concessions £9, children £8, family £32. Visit theatrebooking.brioleisure.org.
LIVERPOOL: November 27-January 16 - Pharoah ‘Cross The Mersey at the Royal Court Theatre. Fred Lawless is back at the Court for the seventh consecutive year with a Christmas show following on from the smash hit that was Scouse Of The Antarctic. This year we are off to Ancient Egypt so there will be sand dunes, show tunes, hired goons and a script soon! There’ll be pyramids, soft lids, old bids and more sand than you can shake a stick at! Age advisory 16+ for some strong language. Cast includes Michael Fletcher, Lindzi Germain, Hayley Hampson, Danny O’Brien, Andrew Schofield and Michael Starke. Tickets £16-£13. Call 0151 709 4321 or visit www.royalcourtliverpool.co.uk.
LIVERPOOL: November 28-January 23 - Rapunzel Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto at the Everyman Theatre in Hope Street. Regular writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton have adapted the Brothers Grimm’s tale. Expect the tradition tale of the heroine with long flowing locks, but with a twist. The multi-talented cast – including regular duo Francis Tucker and Adam Keast – sings, dances, entertains and plays music live. Tickets £27.50-£12.50. Visit www.everymanplayhouse.com or call 0151 709 4776.
LIVERPOOL: December 4-January 9 - Unity Theatre Liverpool in association with Action Transport Theatre of Ellesmere Port present The Princess and the Pea at the Unity Theatre. Devised by the company and written by Kevin Dyer. A funny, original, beautiful retelling of the much loved and familiar tale, set against the backdrop of the global refugee crisis. Suitable for all ages 5+. Tickets are priced from £14-£8 (child tickets £12-£8). Family tickets are also available for £45-£30. Call 0151 709 4988 or visit www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk.
LIVERPOOL: December 7-January 16 - The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Christmas may be about pantos but it is also the perfect time for a spooky ghost story and that’s exactly what the Playhouse is serving up for the festive season. No-one ever visits Hill House, especially not after dark. When three strangers are invited to join the mysterious Dr Montague at the eerie house on the hill, not even their darkest dreams could have prepared them for what awaits. As their stay unfolds, they are plagued by a series of inexplicable events that propel them to the very edge of their existence. A terrifying psychological thriller that plays with our perceptions of reality, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House became one of the greatest horror films ever made (The Haunting, 1963) and her work influenced writers such as Stephen King and Neil Gaiman. Tickets £25-£14. Call 0151 709 4776 or visit www.everymanplayhouse.com.
LIVERPOOL: December 10-January 3 - Cinderella at the Epstein Theatre in Hanover Street. Starring Calum Best, Beryl Marsden, Alison Crawford, Lesley Butler and Michael Chapman. The well loved story of a beautiful young girl kept captive by her wicked ugly-step sisters, fate steps in and gives a helping hand when cinders is invited to a magnificent ball held at the palace, but her two fiendish step-sisters forbid her to attend. With a wave of a magical wand, her very own fairy godmother appears to save the day and make sure the maiden goes to the ball – with a bibbity-bobbity-boo she is transformed in to a lavish princess. Adults £19, concessions £17, family ticket £66. Visit www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk or call 0844 888 4411.
LIVERPOOL: December 12-January 3 - Dick Whittington at the Empire Theatre. Starring Sally Lindsay (Coronation Street, Mount Pleasant) as Fairy Fazakerley, Radio City’s Leanne Campbell as Alice Fitzwarren, Eric Potts (Coronation Street) as Sarah the Cook, City Talk’s Pete Price as Alderman Fitzwarren and Kurtis Stacey (Emmerdale) in the title role of Dick Whittington. Along with all the traditional ingredients - sensational songs, a live band, magic, dazzling dance routines, magnificent slapstick comedy and bags of audience participation - there’s also an extra special treat - an incredible scene in 3D! Tickets £33.90-£10. Visit www.atgtickets.com/shows/dick-whittington/liverpool-empire or call 0151 702 7320.
LLANDUDNO: December 10-31 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Venue Cymru. Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor will be swapping the Paso Doble for pantomime this Christmas as he stars in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Appearing as The Man in the Mirror, Robin will be bringing his own brand of fleeting fancy footwork to the stage and starring alongside Llandudno favourite John Evans as Muddles and Nigel Ellicott. Tickets £21-£19, concessions available. Call 01492 872000 or visit www.venuecymru.co.uk.
MANCHESTER: December 4-January 16 - Into The Woods by Stephen Sondheim at the Royal Exchange Theatre in St Ann’s Square. Not strictly speaking a festive show but everyone loves a musical at Christmas and this is likely to gain an even bigger audience in the wake of the film version which was released earlier this year. On the outskirts of the city lies a fantastical forest where curses are reversed and wishes can come true. In the shadows of the trees something magical, fanciful and strange is happening, but wishes are dangerous beasts to manage. The story begins in a clearing not far from you where a baker and his wife dream of a child, a flash of red captivates a tall, furry stranger and a girl with golden slippers is on the run. Tickets £38-£16. Call 0161 833 9833 or visit http://www.royalexchange.co.uk.
MANCHESTER: December 5-January 3 - Cinderella at the Opera House in Quay Street. First Family Entertainment brings you the most magical pantomime of all and this year proves to be bigger and more spectacular than ever as national icons Torvill & Dean make their pantomime debut as the Fairy Godparents. Britain’s most beloved sporting heroes bring their unique talents to the Opera House for the first time ever and will be wowing audiences with their amazing routines. Torvill & Dean will be joined on stage by Wicked star Liam Doyle as Prince Charming with his loyal sidekick, funny-man Samuel Holmes. Stand-up comedian and actor Andre Vincent will play the smitten Buttons with the beautiful Eloise Davies in the title role alongside the best boo-able ‘Uglies’ in pantoland Tim Hudson and Dave Lynn as her nasty stepsisters, so you can expect bags of audience participation! The classic rags to riches tale will be transformed into a breathtaking family extravaganza with glittering sets, gorgeous costumes, big song and dance numbers, real Shetland ponies and jaw-dropping skating sequences. Visit www.atgtickets.com/venues/opera-house-manchester or call 0844 871 3018.
MANCHESTER: December 8-January 9 - The Bodyguard at the Palace Theatre in Oxford Road. Starring Alexandra Burke. If pantos are not your thing, what better way to spend a festive night out than going to see this touring version of the hit West End show based on the movie blockbuster starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge – what they don’t expect is to fall in love. Songs include Queen of the Night, I Have Nothing and, of course, the showstopping I Will Always Love You. Tickets £52.50-£18.50. Call 0161 245 6600 or visit www.atgtickets.com/venues/palace-theatre-manchester.
MOLD: November 27-January 23 - Cinderella - The Panto With Soul by Peter Rowe in the Anthony Hopkins Theatre at Theatr Clwyd. A heady cocktail of traditional panto, laced with a string of smash hits – rock ‘n’ roll, soul and pop favourites – all played live by a multi-talented cast of 10 actor/musicians. A Wicked Stepmother, Ugly Sisters, Prince Charming and a beautiful slipper are the catalyst for lashings of audience participation, a bundle of laughs and a generous helping of slapstick, mixed with all the traditional ingredients that make up the best in festive fun and served up with more than 20 classic hits including Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, It’s Raining Men and Try a Little Tenderness. Tickets £23-£14. Call 01352 701521 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
RHYL: December 11-January 9 - Cinderella at the Pavilion Theatre. Starring Rhydian Roberts as the dashing Prince Charming, High 5’s Emma Nowell as Cinderella, 80s pop sensation Sonia as the Fairy GodmotherJamie Morris and Tarot Joseph as The Ugly Sisters and Denbigh born Sean Jones as Buttons. Cinderella comes complete with a full supporting cast, which includes two talented dance schools, the Gay Harris Dancers and North Wales School of Dance. Tickets £8.50-£18. Call 01745 330000 or visit www.rhylpavilion.co.uk.
RUNCORN: December 10-January 10 - Aladdin at The Brindley. Starring Dean Gaffney from EastEnders and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and Craig Cowdroy. A great cast, spectacular scenery, plenty of audience participation, modern songs to sing along to and amazing special effects, it promises to be another magical production. Tickets £20 adults, £16 juniors, senior citizens £19. Call 0151 907 8360 or visit www.thebrindley.org.uk.
SALFORD QUAYS: December 10-January 10 - Mr Popper’s Penguins at The Lowry. Painter and decorator by day, Mr Popper spends his time dreaming of Antarctic adventures. He is astounded when one day a packing crate arrives on his doorstep, out of which waddles a penguin! With songs, puppets and a family of performing penguins, this delightful musical adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater’s popular book (also made into a Hollywood film starring Jim Carrey) is brought to you by the producers of The Tiger Who Came to Tea and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Tickets £17-£14. Visit www.thelowry.com or call 0843 208 6000.
SALFORD QUAYS: December 14-January 2 - The Sound of Music at The Lowry. A new production of the timeless family classic starring Lucy O’Byrne as Maria Von Trapp fresh from her success on BBC 1 The Voice 2015. Award-winning actor and TV heart-throb Gray O’Brien plays the dashing Captain Von Trapp. With a career that has spanned two decades he is best loved for his roles in Peak Practice, Casualty and, of course, Coronation Street. Based on Baroness Maria von Trapp’s 1949 autobiography, this lavish new staging tells the true story of the world-famous singing family, from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom as their beloved Austria becomes part of the Third Reich at the start of World War Two. Tickets £63-£25. Visit www.thelowry.com or call 0843 208 6000.
WIRRAL: December 9-January 3 - Sleeping Beauty at the Floral Pavilion. Another spectacular show jam-packed with smash-hit songs, stunning sets, fabulous costumes and an effervescent cast which includes Coronation Street’s Vicky Entwistle as Carabosse, Amy Thompson from Channel 5’s Milkshake plays ‘Princess Briar Rose and Hollyoaks actress Sarah-Jane Buckley is The Good Fairy. Tickets £19-£16. Call 0151 666 0000 or visit www.floralpavilion.com.
WREXHAM: December 4 -January 2 - Cinderella at the Grove Park Theatre. Matthew Richards and Simon Price star as Ugly Sisters Miss Behave and Miss Demeanour in Grove Park’s annual family feast, which is now in its 35th year. With 31 performances, there are still plenty of chances to secure a ticket to see this highlight of the yuletide festivities. Tickets £9 adult, £7 children under 16 and £29 family ticket for two adults and two children. Visit groveparktheatre.co.uk or call 01978 351091.
WREXHAM: December 11-30 - Aladdin at The Stiwt Theatre. Starring Alex Reid, Sean Smith and Michael Jenkins. Following on from the critically acclaimed Jack and The Beanstalk and Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, The Stiwt Theatre and LHK productions bring you the year’s Christmas panto. Aladdin has enough magic, sparkle and panache to keep everyone wanting more. With striking sets, sparkling costumes, a laugh a minute script that will have you rolling in the aisle and the unmistakable LHK magic that makes their production a cut above any other seasonal show around, this will be an unmissable Christmas extravaganza. Adults £15.50, children £13.50, family ticket £50. Call 01978 841300 or visit www.stiwt.com.