Deck the halls with boughs of holly, put on the sprouts and why not try and make this year's festive trimmings eco-friendly – Christmas 2019 is on its way.
And that means just one thing in theatreland. Christmas shows!
From magic carpet rides to glass slippers, poison apples to giant beanstalks, dastardly villains to plucky heroes and heroines, and washer women to talking mirrors, there’s something for everyone heading to a venue near you between now and the depths of January.
There’s a Christmas miracle at the Liverpool Playhouse, a yellow brick road at Knowsley, and this year is a busy time for diminutive septets with no fewer than four different versions of Snow White planned across the ‘city region’.
All in all, it’s another bumper year for fans of seasonal shows.
Here’s what you can see where this wonderful Christmas time.
The Scouse Snow White - Royal Court Liverpool
November 22-January 18
Snow White runs in to some dwarves in the forest and six of the seven of them aren’t happy.
Following last year’s Cinderella, the Royal Court returns to the land of fairytales to present this very Scouse Snow White – complete with seven little fellas, a ‘minging’ witch, and a creepy bloke who is waiting for her to pass out so he can kiss her.
Definitely NOT one for the kids.
Sleeping Beauty – Liverpool Everyman
November 23-January 18
There’s a new dame in town at the Everyman this season.
With Francis Tucker hanging up his girdle and tights, rock ‘n’ roll panto veteran Adam Keast’s Sir Roger will be joined by Matthew Quinn as Queen Gladys in this music-infused version of the fairytale classic Sleeping Beauty.
Danny Burns, Stephanie Hockley and Jamie Noor are also among the cast set to rock Hope Street for Christmas.
Cinderella – Epstein Theatre
December 6-January 5
They’ll be having a ball as well as going to the ball at the Epstein Theatre as the greatest fairytale of them all comes to Hanover Street.
Emmerdale’s Sammy Winward plays the titular heroine, with Crissy Rock and Sarah White as her glamorous Ugly Sisters, Warren Donnelly as Dandini, Lewis Devine as Buttons and The 12 Tenors’ Andrew Greater as love interest Prince Charming.
Expect plenty of fun before the clock strikes midnight.
Peter Pan – Liverpool Empire
Empire audiences will be flying to a Neverland packed with comic talent this Christmas.
Louis Emerick is the dastardly Captain Hook, John Evans returns to Lime Street as sidekick Smee, and Benidorm duo Tony Maudsley and Asa Elliott tread the boards as Kenneth the Cabin Boy and Tiger Billy respectively.
Nikki Evans is the Magical Mermaid in the swashbuckling panto favourite.
Miracle on 34th Street – Liverpool Playhouse
December 7-January 4
It’s one of the best-loved Christmas tales, and now the magical musical version of Miracle on 34th Street is bringing seasonal cheer to Williamson Square.
Meredith Willson’s adaptation for the stage is based on the famous 1947 film about an old bearded gentleman who changes the life of one little girl and her commonsense mother.
The show reunites director Gemma Bodinetz, musical director George Francis and choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves who worked together on the Everyman Rep’s Fiddler on the Roof and Paint Your Wagon.
The cast is led by Tim Parker as Kris Kringle.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Floral Pavilion
December 7-January 5
Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s most evil of them all? Well this Christmas it’s Claire Sweeney who takes on Wicked Queen duties in New Brighton.
When sweet-hearted Snow White is left wandering in the forest she is taken in by the jewel-mining dwarfs – but who can protect her from her wicked stepmother and a magic apple?
The cast also includes Luke Walsh as the Prince, Philip Meeks as Nurse, and Sean Jones as Muddles.
Aladdin - St Helens Theatre Royal
December 7-January 12
It was due to be Kelvin Fletcher – but he had a sudden Strictly call up where his rumba hip action has been leaving the judges all a fluster. So, a former Strictly star has quickstepped into the shoes of Aladdin instead.
Robin Windsor follows in the footsteps of fellow pro dancer Kristina Rihanoff who appeared on stage at St Helens last Christmas.
Windsor takes on hero duties and he’s joined in the cast by Olivia Sloyan (Princess Jasmine), Scott Gallagher (Wishee Washee), Philip McGuinness (Abanazer), Jenna O’Hara, Kai Jolley and Si Foster (Widow Twankey).
The Wizard of Oz – Knowsley Culture and Leisure Park
Join Dorothy Gale as she befriends a brainless Scarecrow, a loveable Tin Man and the cowardly Lion on their quest to thwart the evil powers of the Wicked Witch of the West.
With a little help from Glinda the Good Fairy and the almighty and powerful Wizard of Oz, good is sure to conquer evil.
The Wizard of Oz stars EastEnder’s Melissa Suffield as Dorothy, alongside wizard Chris Rankin (Harry Potter’s Percy Weasley).
Beasty Baby - Unity Theatre
Magical Beasty Baby takes over the Unity stage this Christmas to enchant the city’s youngest theatre goers.
Theatre-Rites’ show has won five-star reviews for its inspired mix of puppetry and live music, taking us on a journey deep into the forest, on a wild adventure to bring up a mischievous and totally loveable child.
It’s a first for Unity to present a Christmas show for the under-fives – and as it launches its own 40th birthday year.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - The Brindley
December 11-January 12
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to panto they go at The Brindley in Runcorn where this year husband and wife duo Michael Starke and Lynn Francis are in the cast.
Starke plays the Huntsman and Francis the Wicked Queen, and they join Brindley panto favourites Rebecca Lake as Snow White, Andrew Curphey as Muddles, Charlie Griffiths as Fairy and Chris Pym as the Prince in the New Pantomime Pantomime Productions Ltd show.
Snow White - Auditorium, M&S Bank Arena
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but it also causes mayhem in the wood where Snow White keeps house for seven small workmen.
Union J’s JJ Hamblett leads a starry cast in this version of the classic story, with Mark Hudson as Dame Dolly, Bippo as Muddles, Leanne Campbell as the Wicked Queen and Ellie Turner in the title role.
Expect mirrors, mining, whistling while you work and merry tunes aplenty at the waterfront venue.
Jack and the Beanstalk – Southport Theatre
Fe-fi-fo-fum, Ritchie Neville comes to Southport this Christmas to play the titular hero in Jack and the Beanstalk at the town’s waterfront theatre.
Poor Dame Trot and her son Jack hardly have a bean to their name, and to make things worse the village is being terrorised by a wicked giant.
Can Jack defeat the giant, win the heart of his one true love and solve their economic woes?
Head to Southport Theatre this Christmas to find out.
Aladdin - Gladstone Theatre
Magic rings and lamps, a flying carpet, a dark cave, a sneering baddie and a whole lot of wishee washing – it can only be Aladdin.
Dreamworld Entertainments team return for another entertaining family pantomime in Port Sunlight.
Spirit of Christmas – Philharmonic Hall
December 14, 17-18 and 20-22
Czech superstar violinist Pavel Sporcl is the special guest at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s annual Spirit of Christmas concerts in Hope Street.
The virtuoso, who plays a custom-built blue violin, recorded an album of Christmas music with the Phil two years ago so expect to hear some special numbers from that as well as festive favourites and some more unusual carols.
The RLPO is joined by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Philharmonic Youth Choir, all under the baton of Ian Tracey, and John Suchet returns to presenter duties.
Merry Christmas, Carol - Royal Court Studio
Liverpool actress Helen Carter has written and is performing this new version of a Christmas story everyone knows.
It’s Christmas Eve and Carol is working. She’s always working. A successful self-made woman she didn’t let being a single mum hold her back and now she is about to get the big promotion that she has always dreamed of.
All she needs to do is take some tough decisions and make a few more sacrifices but… is it worth it?
Visits from the past, present and future help her to make up her mind in this heart-warming Christmas story about hard work and family.
A Christmas Carol – St George’s Hall
Ginificent Productions presents Charles Dickens’ much-loved festive tale of Scrooge, Bob Cratchett, Tiny Tim and three very different ghostly messengers.
Staged in the Concert Room – where Dickens himself read from his popular novel – this production is performed by a talented cast of local actors and directed by Liam Scott.