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Back to Xmas

Sussex Christmas & NY shows 2019-20

It's panto season (oh yes it is...) and there are plenty of other festive options besides with ballet, musicals, circus, drag and more

Peter Pan, The Capitol, Horsham, Fri 13 Dec – Sun 5 Jan  

Heart FM’s Nicola Hume and funny faves Hywel Dowsell and James Fletcher are back among the cast in Horsham’s panto Peter Pan with jokes both clever and corny. There’ll also be a support from a team of Lost Boys selected from local schools in summer auditions. Like Peter, tickets are flying out the door, so book quickly. There’s a relaxed performance on Thurs 2 Jan.

Aladdin, White Rock Theatre, Hastings, Fri 13 to Sun 29 Dec

Duncan James from Blue is singing his way out of trouble as Aladdin at Hastings this Chrimbo. Wishee Washee and Window Twankey will be joining him to provide the laughs, of course. There’s a relaxed and signed performance on the 19th.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Tues 17 Dec – Sat 4 Jan

Well-loved drag musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert will be back in Brighton this Xmas with Strictly winner Joe McFadden. Don’t expect all the bitchy cutting wit of the original film but do expect dazzling costumes, dance floor classics, a poignant backstory and plenty of feel-good fun to get you in festive mood. Tickets from £13.

Cinderella, Worthing, Fri 29 Nov to Sun 5 Jan

Strictly’s Ian Waite is the prince’s cheeky sidekick Dandini, CBBC favourite Naomi Wilkinson is Cinders, A1’s Mark Read is Prince Charming, Nicole Faraday from Bad Girls is the Wicked Stepmother and comedian Mark Jones is Buttons. If you fancy a date with the ugly sisters, get booking.

Jack & The Beanstalk, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Fri 6 Dec – Sun 12 Jan

The team behind 2018’s Cinderella promises more Fe-Fi-Fo-Fun this year with Clarabelle the cow, a bad tempered giant and Simple Simon’s bringing home the beans.

Super Sunday, The Dome, Brighton, Tues 17 – Fri 27 Dec 

Photo by Petter Hellman

Breath-taking stunts and dark humour combine in this international hit show from Finnish circus troupe Race Horse Company. The six acrobats blaze through scenes from ‘an amusement park for the end of the world’ showing their skill on trampolines, human catapults and a wheel of death. £15 for adults, £12.50 for kids, £65 family tickets.

The Ho, Ho, Ho! Christmas Show, The Park Barn (opposite The Capitol), Horsham, Sat 7 & Sun 8, Tues 10 – Mon 16, Wed 18 – Tues 24

Got wee ones too young for Panto? They can help busy Steve the elf as he wraps presents and feeds the reindeer in Santa’s workshop. Every child gets to meet Father Christmas after the show. Performances are at child-friendly times of the day. Tickets are £12.50. Suitable for ages 3+ babes in arms also welcome (free). There’s a SEND performance on 15 Dec.

The Snow Queen, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Fri 13 – Tue 31 Dec

After seasonal but non-panto? Kai meets the Snow Queen and is transported far away in this famous tale. Follow the journey of his friend Gerda as she sets off all alone to find him on an enchanting, winter adventure.

Nellie Limelight and the Oysters of Time, Theatre Royal Brighton, Thu 19 Dec – Sun 5 Jan

Photo by Pete Jones

Here’s a Christmas treat for youngsters – a promenade performance at Brighton’s Theatre Royal. Theatre detective Nellie Limelight receives an anonymous call for help and sets out to investigate. Who is Dame Battie Baubles? What has Bert built in his workshop? Why is there seaweed in the grandfather clock? Follow the intrepid investigator around the theatre to uncover a story of stolen jewels, pantomime villains, a broken time machine and a misplaced sea creature. £12 – £14.50.

Ballet Theatre UK: Wizard of Oz, Brighton Dome/The Capitol, Horsham, Sat 28 & Sun 29 Dec/Thurs 16 Jan

Here’s a refreshing way to see The Wizard of Oz on stage. Ballet Theatre UK will be dancing up the Yellow Brick Road this January in a full length family-friendly production based on the original novel. It’s on at Brighton Dome Sat 28 & Sun 29 Dec, then helping to cheer up January at The Capitol, Horsham.

Dick Whittington, The Hawth, Crawley, Fri 6 Dec – Sun 5 Jan 

We can only imagine the innuendos as Dick Whittington takes to the stage at Crawley. I’m a Celebrity… winner and Eastenders actress Charlie Brooks is set to be booed as Queen Rat with Gemma Hunt from CBeebies’ Swashbuckle as Fairy Bowbells and Channel 5 Milkshake! presenter David Ribi in the title role.

Snow White, The Ropetackle, Shoreham-by-Sea, Fri 13 – Tues 31 Dec 

It’s mirrors, poisoned apples and seven dwarves at Shoreham as Snow White comes to the Ropetackle with three shows most days of its run (phew, all hail that cast!) – good if you’re looking for day time slots.

The Wizard of Oz, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre at the Festival Theatre, Sat 14 – Sun 29 Dec

Don your ruby slippers and join Chichester Festival Youth Theatre on the yellow brick road. This one’s not a panto but a faithful adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s novel and features all the songs from the 1939 classic film, including Over The Rainbow, If I Only Had a Brain and We’re Off To See The Wizard.

A Christmas Carol, Fri 13 – Sun 15 and Sun 22 – Tues 24 Dec, The Capitol Studio, Horsham

Acclaimed character actors Jack Lane  – (who was just brilliant in his one man show Wisdom of a Fool) and David Benson (One Man, Two Guvnors) between them play every character in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in this brand new staging of the classic story.

Cinderella, Chequer Mead Theatre, East Grinstead, Sat 14 – Mon 30 Dec

Join Cinders as she goes from rags to riches, outwits her wicked step-sisters and meets her dashing Prince Charming from family theatre specialists LP Creative.

Peter Pan, Hilton Metropole, Brighton, Thurs 19 – Sun 29 Dec 

Peter Pan flies into Brighton this year for the panto at the Metropole on the seafront with Nathan Charman from The Voice UK as Hook and BBC Sussex’s Allison Ferns donning a mermaid tail.

Peter Pan, The Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Sat 7 Dec to Sun 5 Jan

For a swashbuckling classic, look no further than Peter Pan at The Assembly Hall this Christmas. Starring Paul Bradley (Holby City’s Elliot Hope), Quinn Patrick (Tunbridge Wells favourite dame), Lloyd Warbey (Disney’s Art Attack), Sarah Jane Buckley (Hollyoaks), and Holly Atterton (Nick Junior’s Go Go Go).

Peter Pan, Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne, Sat 21 Dec – Wed 1 Jan

Luke Roberts from CITV’s HI-5 leads the cast as Peter Pan, also joined by Britain’s Got Talent’s Sarah Jameson as Mrs Darling and Rachel Cantrill as Smee. Preview night tickets from £8, otherwise from £12.50. The theatre also has The Lost Toys’ Big Christmas Adventure (set in Eastbourne!) on Tues 17 and Wed 18 Dec (adults £10).

Moscow City Ballet: Sleeping Beauty, Chichester Festival Theatre, Thu 2 Jan  – Sun 5 Jan

The classic romantic fairytale set to Tchaikovsky’s glorious score and danced by the Moscow City Ballet is coming to Chichester in early January. Beat the back-to-work blues with this new year treat complete with Princess Aurora, wicked Carabosse and the Lilac Fairy and, of course, great dancing backed by a full orchestra. Tickets from £10.

1927: Roots. The Old Market, Hove, Fri 3 Jan to Sat 18 Jan 

Here’s an anecdote to everything sparkly to start the new year. From the company behind Golem and The Animals and Children Took To The Streets, this brand new show is a collection of rarely told folktales, brought to life to a live score and fusing intricately handcrafted animation, the style of early cinema and a fondness for the fantastic, the dark, the weird and the wonderful. Advised for ages 12+ Tickets from £22. Check out the trailer.


Goldilocks and the Three Bears, London Palladium, Sat 7 Dec – Sun 12 Jan

If you’re up for a big ticket panto in London this one has fantasy panto casting with Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary, Nigel Havers, and more.

Pinocchio on Ice, Alexandra Palace, London, Fri 13 – Mon 16 Dec

A panto but with a few triple salchows thrown in for good measure. This show features pro skaters, a mix of modern and traditional music, a performance from a West End star and plenty of festive spirit all performed on Ally Pally’s ice rink.


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