The Celebrity One: Cinderella

This is the big one. Paul O’Grady plays the wicked stepmother and Julian Clary Dandini in this star-studded pantomime. Natasha J Barnes – last seen standing in for Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl – takes the lead, ably supported by Amanda Holden, Lee Mead (Prince Charming, of course), Nigel Havers and Count Arthur Strong.

London Palladium, 10 December to 15 January

The Trippy Update: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Anthony Neilson has created a trippy new version of the classic which plays out on a stunning Victorian playground set, complete with hot air balloons. Nick Powell composes the psychedelic songs and in a stroke of genius, Tam Dean Burn plays the Mad Hatter. Magic.

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, to 31 December

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Press photo

The Musical: Strictly Ballroom

West Yorkshire Playhouse have scored quite the Christmas coup with this, the UK premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s film about a ballroom dancer who defies the odds. Terry Johnson adapts the script while Drew McOnie – who won an Olivier for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights – directs and choreographs.

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, to 21 January

The Millennial Panto: Ricky Whittington

Almost certainly the only “panto for millennials” on offer, this show updates the old story to take in very modern metropolitan concerns such as political disillusionment, alienation, and economic instability. Written by stand-up Liam Williams and his fellow Sheeps sketch trouper Daran Johnson, it stars Charlotte Ritchie (Fresh Meat’s Oregon) alongside a cast of young comedians, including Ellie White, David Elms and Rob Carter.

New Diorama Theatre, London NW1, 10 December to 7 January 

The Immersive One: The Great Gatsby

The alternative panto of choice, Theatre Delicatessen’s immersive production takes place in and around a derelict Woolworths in Sheffield city centre. Audiences will be invited to drink cocktails, dance and infiltrate one of the greatest stories of the 20th century. 1920s dress positively encouraged.

17 The Moor, Sheffield, to 31 December 

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This post was written by Alice Jones.

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