Christmas shows spreading cheer in Liverpool City Region this season
Tis the season to be jolly and Liverpool City Region’s theatres are promising big laughs this Christmas – oh yes they are!
From traditional pantos to Christmas-themed shows to a selection box of seasonal fun – and a musical about half-a-dozen feisty women – the stage is set for a magical and mayhem-filled festive season.
The Royal Court is first out of the starting blocks with its (adult) Scouse take on Jack and the Beanstalk, one of three theatrical trips into the clouds thanks to a bag of magic beans.
Add in two Cinderellas, two Aladdins, and a Goldilocks, Red Riding Hood and Snow White and there’s plenty of fairytale fun on offer.
Meanwhile it’s bah humbug at Shakespeare North, and they’re dreaming of a White Christmas at the Empire.
Here’s what you can catch where across the region.
The Scouse Jack and the Beanstalk – Royal Court
November 11-January 21 202
Jack’s mum is fewmin! Jack has taken their only cow to Greaty Market and instead of selling it for cash, he’s come home with a handful of beans which, thrown into the back yard, have played havoc with her Italian paving.
But Jack’s troubles are only just beginning – as he discovers when he legs it up the tree that has sprung up and finds himself in strife with a fearsome giant who accuses him of stealing his bird.
The show is directed by Stephen Fletcher and stars Lindzi Germain, Drew Schofield, Keddy Sutton, Michael Fletcher, Hayley Sheen, Liam Tobin, Jake Abraham, Emma Bispham and Emma Grace Arends.
Red Riding Hood – Liverpool Everyman
November 25-January 14 2023
The Everyman’s famous rock ‘n’ roll panto has had a shake-up for 2022 with a creative team which brings old and new faces together.
Peter Rowe, who has penned 11 rock ‘n’ roll pantos in the past, is the man behind this year’s script while the Everyman and Playhouse’s creative director Suba Das directs.
Panto veteran Adam Keast is on hand to play Ruffles in what is his 20th Everyman panto, while Paislie Reid is the titular Red Riding Hood and Ben Welch is Grandma Millicent Merry.
Read a review HERE
A Christmas Carol – Shakespeare North Playhouse
November 25-January 7 2023
Shakespeare North Playhouse celebrates its first Christmas with a funny, fast and furious musical retelling of Charles Dickens’ festive favourite.
Known as the meanest man in Prescot, Ebenezer Scrooge would cancel Christmas if he could. That is until one fateful evening when three unexpected and mysterious visitors make him see there’s more to life than counting his pennies.
A quartet of actor-musicians – Zoe West, Jessica Dives, Abigail Middleton and Eddy Westbury - will perform the classic story which has been adapted by Nick Lane and is directed by Ellie Hurt.
Christmas Festival – Unity Theatre
Last year the Unity staged its first Christmas Festival – and now it’s back with another (chocolate) box of delights to delve into over the course of two weeks.
The December event will feature festive music, cabaret, circus, workshops and family events alongside some seasonal shopping opportunities.
Cinderella – St Helens Theatre Royal
December 3-January 8 2023
Audiences are being promised a sparking seasonal treat at St Helens Theatre Royal which is staging the world’s most beloved and famous fairytale.
Emmerdale’s Kimberly Hart-Simpson will be having a ball playing the title role while the cast also includes Britain’s Got Talent winner Jon Courteney as Dandini, Lewis Devine as Buttons and Joe Sleight as Prince Charming.
BGT’s Jamie Leahey and Chuck will also appear on selected dates.
Read an interview with Jon Courtenay
Cinderella - Floral Pavilion
December 3-January 2 2023
Glass slippers, pumpkins, a Fairy Godmother and a clock chiming midnight? It can only mean one thing – Cinderella.
The seasonal show stars Steps’ Lee Latchford-Evans as the Prince and CBeebies presenter Katrina Bryan as the Fairy Godmother, while Blood Brothers’ favourite Sean Jones returns to New Brighton to play Buttons.
Meanwhile Bethan Jacks takes on the title role.
Read a review HERE
SIX The Musical – Liverpool Playhouse
December 6-January 8
After last year’s Fantastically Great Women, come a sextet of fantastically great queens ready to rock the Playhouse through Christmas and into the New Year.
The Tudor-tastic smash hit SIX the Musical makes a royal return to the Williamson Square theatre where it had a successful run in March 2020, just ahead of the first Covid lockdown.
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded….and live as the six wives of Henry VIII take centre stage to tell their own stories.
Read a review of SIX the Musical
White Christmas – Liverpool Empire
This new musical spectacular of Irving Berlin’s classic musical will bring a White Christmas to the Liverpool Empire stage.
Join veterans Bob Wallace (Jay McGuiness of The Wanted and Strictly fame) and Phil Davis (Dan Burton) as, fuelled by love, they follow the Hayes sisters Betty and Judy (Jessica Daley and Monique Young) to a Vermont lodge for a special seasonal show.
Singer Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland, plays the lodge’s housekeeper Martha and Liverpool’s own Michael Starke is Bob and Phil’s old army general.
Blue Skies? Or a White Christmas? There might well be both.
Read an interview with Jay McGuiness.
Read a Q&A with members of the cast.
Jack the Beanstalk – The Brindley, Runcorn
December 7-January 8 2023
Fe fi fo fum, there’s an unfriendly giant on the loose at The Brindley this Christmas and only poor country boy Jack can stop them.
Tall stories and big adventures are promised at the top of a beanstalk that reaches into the clouds.
The New Pantomime Productions’ show stars Eurovision’s Nikki French, X Factor’s David Heath and Britain’s Got Talent’s Paul Tate among a panto-tastic cast.
Aladdin – The Atkinson, Southport
Patsy Kensit appears as the Genie of the Lamp in this LHK Productions seasonal smash at The Atkinson in Southport.
She will be joined by a cast which includes Michael Chapman, Mia Molloy, Lewis Pryor and Claire Simmo as the Spirit of the Ring while Dominic Gore is the titular Aladdin and Tom Burroughs plays the evil Abanazer.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Epstein Theatre
December 9-January 1 2023
Roll up, roll up for big top fun at the Epstein Theatre this December.
Emmerdale’s David Tag returns as the Ringmaster after playing the role at St Helens last Christmas, while the cast also includes Tim Lucas as Baron von Vipplema and Britain’s Got Talent’s Mama G.
The show, written by Reece Sibbald, is 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.
Snow White – Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight
Dreamworld Entertainments returns to the Gladstone Theatre for another seasonal treat which gives a modern twist to a family favourite.
When the Wicked Queen’s magic mirror proclaims her stepdaughter Snow White to be the ‘fairest of them all’, things don’t look rosy for the pretty princess.
Can a chance encounter with seven diminutive miners help keep Snow White safe from her stepmother’s grasp? Or will a prince arrive in time to help save the day?
Jack and the Beanstalk – Hope Street Theatre
Just Entertainments presents an all-local cast in this bright and breezy version of the story in which Jack swaps the family cow (Cilla) for a bag of ‘magic’ beans, with unexpected consequences.
LIPA graduate Joe Owens is Jack, BGT golden buzzer finalist Alice Carlile is Jill, and Lesley Butler plays Mother Nature while Liverpool legend Billy Butler is the voice of the giant.
Fe fi fo fum, something silly this way comes.
Aladdin – M&S Bank Arena
Open sesame! The arena’s annual panto transports audiences to old Peking where Aladdin, his washer woman mum Widow Twankey, and brother Wishee Washee embark on a magical adventure to try and defeat the evil Abanazer.
The show promises great songs and dance routines and some magical special effects.
Corrie’s Connor McIntyre appears as the Abanazer, Leanne Campbell is the Spirit of the Ring, West End star Scott Sutcliffe is Aladdin and Princess Jasmine is played by The Voice’s Kelsey Beth Crossley, while Bippo the Clown is Wishee Washee.