Christmas shows in Liverpool City Region this festive season
Venues are spreading plenty of seasonal cheer as pantos and Christmas shows return to stages across the Liverpool City Region this winter.
Last Christmas was a mixed picture with some theatres offering festive fun while others were still dark as we struggled with the ongoing pandemic.
But 2021 looks like it’s shaping up to be a return to as normal as we can get in these trying times, with a host of goodies under the theatrical tree.
There are a trio of Cinderellas and a brace each of Beauty and the Beasts and Sleeping Beauties (on of them of the Scouse variety) on offer, along with Aladdin, Robin Hood and Goldilocks.
The Playhouse is celebrating some great women while over at the Empire women also take centre stage. And the popular Christmas concerts are back with full audiences and stages at the Philharmonic Hall.
Here’s what you can see where and how to book.
The Scouse Sleeping Beauty - Royal Court Liverpool
November 5- January 15
It’s usually a battle between the Royal Court and Everyman as to which is the first Christmas show to open in Liverpool – but the Court is definitely first out of the starting blocks this season.
The Scouse Sleeping Beauty is a panto that’s definitely for the adults, packed with what the Court calls ‘stupid jokes, loads of live music and utterly inappropriate content’.
The Royal Court’s crack, Christmas comedy cast includes Emma Bispham, Drew Schofield, Keddy Sutton and Liam Tobin.
Read an interview with Keddy Sutton HERE
Robin Hood – Liverpool Everyman
November 30-January 15
We all know Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Everyman Rock ‘n’ Roll panto and so hurrah for its return to the Hope Street stage after last year’s pandemic panto hiatus.
Robin Hood – Tights in White Satin sees the return of rock ‘n’ roll panto favourites like Adam Keast, dame Matthew Quinn and Stephanie Hockley and a new musical director in Jamie Noar.
The show is written as always by husband-and-wife team Mark Chatterton and Sarah A Nixon.
Read a review HERE
Beauty and the Beast – Floral Pavilion
December 4-January 2
Be their guest at the Floral Pavilion which has rescheduled its 2020 panto for this Christmas.
Join Belle (Milkshake's Olivia Birchenough), The Beast (West End’s Shaun Dalton), Fairy Bon Bon (Gavin & Stacey’s Melanie Walters), larger than life Polly La Plonk (Quinn Patrick) and her cheeky chappy son Louis La Plonk (Sean Jones) as they are transported to a cursed castle under the spell of an evil enchantress.
Can the wicked Hugo be defeated, can Belle see beyond the Beast and fall in love with her captor, and will the Beast's heart be melted by Belle’s beauty?
Read an interview with Sean Jones HERE
Aladdin – Knowsley Culture and Leisure Park
Christmas is back on at Knowsley Culture and Leisure Park this December.
Trio Entertainment returns to Knowsley after 2019’s The Wizard of Oz, this time with the magical tale of Aladdin.
Join Aladdin (Tiago de Sousa) who joined by his wacky washerwoman mother Widow Twankey (Garry King) along with the beautiful Princess Jasmine, her guardian the crazy but strict police chief and a magical spirit.t
Meanwhile Emmerdale’s Peter Amory appears as the wicked Abanazar.
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World – Liverpool Playhouse
December 8-January 2
The Playhouse has gone in a different direction this festive season with a show which celebrates Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World.
The “new kickass-pirational pop musical from the producers of SIX” is a stage adaptation of Kate Pankhurst’s award-winning picture book of the same name.
From explorers to artists, scientists to secret agents, hear the stories of some of history’s strongest mothers, sisters and daughters; all independent icons who really did change the world.
YEP Directors graduate Ellie Hurt is associate director.
Cinderella – The Brindley, Runcorn
December 8-January 9
The Brindley has been closed for a long time due to the pandemic but now it’s doors are wide open again and its popular panto is back for 2021.
X Factor’s Sam Callahan is Dandini, Andrew Curphey returns as Buttons, Charlie Griffiths channels her inner Baroness and Rebecca Lake takes the title role in this rags-to-riches tale packed with pumpkins, princes, magic wands and glass slippers.
Just remember to be home by midnight.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears – St Helens Theatre Royal
December 10-January 9
Roll up, roll up for the St Helens Theatre Royal panto this Christmas!
Hollyoaks’ David Tag appears as the Ringmaster in this show packed with circus tricks and madcap comedy capers as Goldilocks tries to save her Big Top from a rival circus owner, assisted by the Three Bears.
The cast also includes St Helens favourites Timothy Lucas as Baron von Vippemall and Olivia Sloyan as the titular heroine. The show is written by Reece Sibbald.
Read an interview with Timothy Lucas HERE
Cinderella – The Atkinson, Southport
December 10-January 2
There’s a chance to go to the ball at The Atkinson over this festive season – but glass slippers and pumpkins are optional.
Claire Sweeney plays the Fairy Godmother and Mia Molloy is Cinders, who battles her wicked stepmother and jealous stepsisters (Tom Burroughs and panto dame Michael Chapman) to live happily ever after with her Prince Charming.
Blood Brothers’ actor Alex Patmore is the Prince and Lewis Pryor plays Buttons in the sparkling seasonal show from LHK Productions.
Dreamgirls – Liverpool Empire
December 14-January 1
Lavish, multi award-winning West End hit Dreamgirls is setting the Empire sparkling this Christmas.
This is the second year the theatre will have planned to host a stage spectacular rather than traditional panto. Meatloaf musical Bat Out of Hell was due to be the Christmas 2020 show until the Covid pandemic struck.
Dreamgirls tells the story of three talented young singers – Effie (ITV’s The Voice finalist 2019 Nicole Raquel Dennis), Lorrell and Deena – making their way against the revolutionary musical backdrop of 1960s America.
Beauty and the Beast – Epstein Theatre
December 16-January 9
West End and TV star Ben Richards heads the cast in the first festive panto at the Epstein Theatre in two years.
The Hollyoaks, Footballers’ Wives and Holby City actor will step into the shoes of the blustering Gaston in the enchanting family favourite - the timeless story of Belle, a beautiful young woman who falls in love with the most unexpected of princes.
The Hanover Street’s new management team is promising to sprinkle magic over the Christmas season.
Read an interview with Ben Richards HERE
Sleeping Beauty – Hope Street Theatre
The Hope Street Theatre has recently reopened for the first time in 18 months and its autumn season is crowned with an enchanting seasonal panto.
Lesley Butler plays the evil fairy Carabosse who casts a spell on Lucy Forrester’s beautiful Princess Aurora in the show which has been written by Christopher Jones of Just Entertainment.
The company will be joined by an adult ensemble from Liverpool Theatre School and a Junior Ensemble from Performers Theatre School.
Spirit of Christmas – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
December 17-19 and 21-23
The Philharmonic Hall was one of a handful of Liverpool venues to continue with its Christmas programme last year – albeit in reduced fashion.
But now its popular Spirit of Christmas concerts are back to full strength, hosted once again by John Suchet and this year with special guest, baritone Thomas Weinhappel.
Ian Tracey is on the box and the orchestra will be joined by the massed ranks of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir for beautiful seasonal music and readings.
Santa’s Countdown to Christmas – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
The ‘Phil’ is throwing a musical Christmas party for children to enjoy this festive season.
The brilliant Alasdair Malloy is presenter, Ben Palmer conducts, and the Liverpool Philharmonic Children’s Choirs perform in the hour-long concerts which promise “songs to sing, tunes to enjoy and a stocking full of festive surprises”.
Bring along some sleigh bells and jingle all the way in this Countdown to Christmas. And don’t forget to watch out for Santa.
Cinderella – The Auditorium, M&S Bank Arena
Fairy godmothers, glass slippers, wicked stepmothers and ugly sisters – it’s not Christmas without the world’s best-loved fairytale.
This waterfront Cinderella starts Radio City’s Leanne Campbell as The Fairy Godmother, comedy star Bippo as Buttons, X Factor’s David Heath as Prince Charming and David Drewitt and Danny Jay as the Ugly Sisters.
Shone Productions Ltd is promising ‘great songs, dazzling dance routines, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and amazing special effects’. Oh yes it is!