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The Muddy Panto Guide 2019

It’s panto season. Oh yes, it is! Enough already…. Here’s the cream of the Christmas crop from Hants, IoW and beyond.

It’s that time again (Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is!) the widows have been Twankeyed, the beanstalks have grown and it’s time to get the annual panto in. Book onto one of these 35 festive panto/Xmas production picks in Hants, IoW and beyond.

THE PANTO

HAMPSHIRE

Dick Whittington, The Point, Eastleigh, Wed 27 – Sat 30 Nov

Dick Whittington Spot on Productions The Point EAstleightHead down to Eastleigh this Christmas and find your sense of adventure with Dick (the chap that made a stick and a chequered napkin a practical form of hand luggage) and his most beloved cat. This is an adored classic family tale brought to life with comedy and colour. Accompanied with singalong songs and outstanding special effects this is a traditional pantomime you would hate to miss out on. thepointeastleigh.co.uk

 Dick Whittington, The Theatre Royal, Winchester, Sat 30 Nov 2019 – Sun 5 Jan 2020

Join Dick and his cat on their wild adventure to the streets of Winchester. As Dick seeks to make his fame and fortune, he must overcome challenges and obstacles (such as the Winchester one way system) set by the sinister King Rat and his revolting rodents. Filled with plenty of audience participation, festive songs and ‘oh yes you did’ this is a great take on a classic panto. theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk

Jack and the Beanstalk, The Groundlings Theatre, Portsmouth, Wed 4 Dec 2019 – Sun 5 Jan 2020

Jack is back, and he’s thrown those magic beans down in Portsmouth. One of the most magical pantomimes is brought to life this Christmas and you don’t want to miss out. Full of laughter and colourful costumes this pantomime is perfect for all families. Tickets

 Jack and the Beanstalk, Prince Albert Hall, Aldershot, Fri 6 – Tues 31 Dec

It has taken a whole year to make this panto so we expect great things. So, imagine a panto with up off your seats dancing, stunning costumes, fabulous sets and excellent music – this is it! Plus, they are even encouraging audience members to come in fancy dress… now where’s my Wicked Witch costume…?  princeshall.com

Aladdin, Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, Wed 11 Dec 2019 –Sun 5 Jan 2020

Aladdin Kings TheatreAladdin is all the rage this year and I promise you that this show is worth it. With a star-studded cast including The Voice’s Lucy Kane, Phats & Small’s Ben Ofoedu and none other than (drum roll, please) Boyzone’s Shane Lynch  this pantomime will be an epic festive production. kingsportsmouth.co.uk

 Aladdin, The Anvil, Basingstoke, Wed 12 Dec 2019 – Sun 5 Jan 2020

Anvil PantoAladdin and the gang have landed safely via a magic carpet ride. Be mesmerized this Christmas by creative scenery, gorgeous costumes and ‘a whole new world’ of panto. With CBBC’s Mark Rhodes and Chris Pizzey this is a fantastic production that the kids will adore. anvilarts.org.uk

 Aladdin, The Harlington, Fleet, Wed 12 – Sat 28 Dec

Enjoy some Arabian nights with the Starburst Foundation as Aladdin, Jasmine, Mother Twankey and the evil Abanazar, unravel secrets, jewels and, of course, magic genies. This is a fantastic panto in aid of an even better cause. theharlington

Beauty and the Beast, Ferneham Hall, Fareham, Thurs 13 Dec 2019 – Sun 5 Jan 2020

Be our guest this Christmas at the magical castle where household objects come to life and men are disguised as monsters (shock that one). A tale of love, enchantment and friendship and star-studded performances from Eurovision’s Nickie French and EastEnders Anthony Moon, this a perfect panto for getting you in the festive mood. fernehamhall.co.uk

 Peter Pan, The Mayflower, Southampton, Fri 14 Dec 2019 –Sun 5 Jan 2020

Peter_Pan Darren Day as Mr Smee (2)Sprinkle on some fairy dust and fly down to the Mayflower to enjoy the swashbuckling magic of Peter Pan. This panto is packed full of amazing special effects and celeb guests including the award-winning singer Marti Pellow (SWOOOON) and Darren Day. With the odd cheeky jokes for the grownups, this panto is fab for the entire family. mayflower.org.uk

Rapunzel, The Point, Eastleigh, Tues 9  – Sun 12 Jan 2020

Let your hair down this Christmas with this fun-filled adaptation of Rapunzel. With beautiful costumes, comedy gold and fantastic music all produced by the theatres’ very own live professional band, this is a unique production the family will love. I wonder how much hairspray they’ll have to use…  thepointeastleigh.co.uk

 ISLE OF WIGHT

Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp, Trinity Theatre, Cowes, Fri 29 Nov – Sun 8 Dec

We all know the story of Aladdin – boy finds a lamp with a wish-granting Genie inside (also, if anyone knows the whereabouts of said lamp please send to me) and falls in love with a princess. However, there is so much more, and this colourful and entertaining production has all of it. Tickets

Cinderella, Medina Theatre, Newport, Sat 7 – Sun 8 Dec

We could all do with a fairy godmother this Christmas, so why not join Cinderella and hers as they perform a magical makeover that Trinny and Susanna would be proud of. Grab your glass slippers (or not … they seem very impractical), enjoy the show and we promise that you’ll be home by midnight. iow.gov.uk

Aladdin, Shanklin Theatre, Sun 22 Dec 2019 – Thurs 2 Jan 2020

I’m not sure if we have the 2019s Disney remake to thank for this overload of Aladdin productions but whatever it is Aladdin is the hottest performance on this Crimbo. Enjoy the trad panto at the Island’s gorgeous Shanklin Theatre, plus if you come over from the mainland and miss the ferry, I bet Aladdin will give us all a lift home on his magic carpet. shanklintheatre.com

FAMILY CHRISTMAS SHOWS

HAMPSHIRE

A Christmas Carol, The Groundlings Theatre, Portsmouth, Thurs 21 – Sat 23 Nov

Dickens’ most famous story is brought to the stage in this highly anticipated adaptation of A Christmas Carol. This unique production presents two actors taking on every single role in just 60 minutes. With great reviews last year this is a streamlined Christmas show for those who are in a mad festive rush. groundlings.com

Cinderella The Musical, The Nuffield Theatres, Southampton, Sat 23 Nov –Sun 5 Jan 2020

Branded as one of the top 12 musicals heading to UK stages, this retelling of the beloved fairy-tale is not one to miss. With completely new characters including the evil step nieces – Ivanka and Melania (hmmm…we wonder where that name inspiration came from), and both Cinder and Ella, this musical remix will not disappoint. nstheatres.co.uk

The Nutcracker, Ferneham Hall, Fareham, Sun 24 Nov

Nutcracker Ferneham HallBecome enchanted with the Russian National Ballet’s performance of this timeless piece. With music from the incredible composer Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky, this special production has focussed on bringing beautiful dance to quaint regional theatres for a more intimate experience. tickets.com

 The Little Mermaid, The Lights Theatre, Andover, Sat 30 Nov – Sun 8 Dec

A retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s most famous fairytale turned into a ballet? We are very excited indeed – who else would love to see Flounder dancing ballet?! So, go on, book tickets and see if life is better down where it’s wetter. https://www.thelights.org.uk/WhatsOn/55/the-little-mermaid

Nativity! The Musical, The Mayflower, Southampton, Tues 3 – Sat 7 Dec

Nativity Mayflower TheatreFollowing two sell-out seasons in the West End, Nativity! The Musical is touring and it’s starring none other than Love Island winner, Dani Dyer. So, in the words of Dani, don’t get ‘mugged off’, buy a ticket and have a great evening because I guarantee this will be ‘100% your type on paper’. mayflower.org.uk

 The Wizard of Oz, The Anvil, Basingstoke, Wed 4 Dec

Dance your way down the yellow brick road to Basingstoke (not as glam as the Emerald City but that’s okay). This ballet follows L.Frank Baum’s original story, with wonderful costumes and magical backdrops this is a great way to introduce children to ballet. anvilarts.org.uk

Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, Ferneham Hall, Fareham, Wed 4 – Sun 8 Dec 2019

With a promise that the theatre can accept no responsibility for the contents of Baldricks trousers, we are intrigued! Perhaps the most hilarious adaptation of Dickens’ Christmas tale, this show will guarantee a laugh a minute. tickets.com

Dear Santa, The Anvil Basingstoke and The Nuffield Southampton Theatres. Fri 6 – Sun 8 Dec & Thurs 12 – Fri 13 Dec

Dear SantaSanta is working very hard this year to make sure all children wake up to a magical Christmas morning. With help from his cheeky Elf, Santa delivers a truly merry production. This an ideal theatre introduction for any aspiring actors and actresses and all children get to meet Santa after the show, who is waiting with a special gift for every boy and girl (Do I get one too?) anvilarts.org.uk and nstheatres.co.uk

Cruise into Christmas, Plaza Theatre, Romsey, Mon 9 – Tues 10 Dec 2019

Begin your festive season with an evening of classic Christmas tunes, festive food and an excuse to belt out some of your favourite carols. With music from the award-winning, critically acclaimed Michelmersh Silver Band you’ll be cruising into Christmas happily this year. plazatheatre.com

The Nutcracker, New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, Fri 13 Dec – Tues 31 Dec

Get swept away this festive season and join Clara and the Nutcracker Prince on their quest to defeat the evil Mouse King. This musical version of the beloved Christmas tale is perfect for young children and adults who aren’t so keen on the ballet. newtheatreroyal.com

Snow White, The Lights, Andover, Sat 14 Dec 2019

Feeling fancy this Christmas? Then this ballet is perfect. Following on the traditional Grimm brothers’ story, this spellbinding production incorporates it all. Yes, your children might become sceptical when you next give them an apple but it might also inspire the prima ballerina in them. tickets.com

Santa’s Christmas Countdown, Theatre Royal, Winchester, Mon 16 Dec 2019

Santa is in a spot of trouble this festive season with his Christmas Calendar being broken. But have no fear, this interactive show is the perfect opportunity for your little ones to join Dotty the Elf, Dasher and Jack Frost help Santa fix Christmas. Plus, after all their hard work, Santa is giving presents away at the end of the show. theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk

ISLE OF WIGHT

Swan Lake, Shanklin Theatre, Fri 29 Nov – Sun 8 Dec 2019

After sell-out performances last year, the most iconic ballet is back on the Wight. A compelling tale of tragedy and romance expressed through beautiful dance and stunning costumes, Swan Lake captures ballet like no other. shanklintheatre.com 

The Nutcracker, Medina Theatre, Newport, Wed 11 Dec

Returning by popular demand the Vienna Festival Ballet promise a true Christmas treat. With its international dancers providing energy and freshness to every performance, this ballet will an enchanting way to spend the festive season. medinatheatre.co.uk

The Night Before Christmas, The Mayflower, Southampton, Fri 20 Dec

‘Twas the night before Christmas… just hearing those words makes us all feel Christmassy. This really is the best way to get well and truly into the Christmas mood. And, being just five days away from the big day itself, this will leave everyone counting down.  mayflower.org.uk

Heart of Winter, The Point, Eastleigh, Fri 20 Dec– Tues 24 Dec 2019

Heart Of WinterIt’s Christmas Eve and Sally can’t sleep because it’s too hot – a charming Christmas tale with just a hint of global warming. This new musical show comes complete with themes of friendship and family accompanied by song and dance. thepointeastleigh.co.uk

ADULTS ONLY

Dick Whittington, Medina Theatre, Newport, Sat 7 – Sun 8 Dec

Ever wondered what the cast might get up to if children weren’t there? Well, now is your chance! Have you a good laugh this Christmas with Dick and the very non-PG gang. iow.gov.uk

The Adult Panto, Peter Panties, The Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, Sun 2 Feb

Corny jokes, inappropriate plots and plenty of blatant innuendos, are you excited about watching this? ‘Oh yes, you are’! With just a cast of three, this hilarious company is back for a fast-moving, laugh out loud production involving Peter Pan and a pair of panties. Oooherrr! kingsportsmouth.co.uk

FURTHER AFIELD

Cinderella, Lyric, Hammersmith, Sat 16 Nov– Sun 5 Jan 2020

Expect wicked stepsisters, evil stepmothers, sweet mice, caring fairy godmothers and so much more at this London show. You’ll want to be quick to get these tickets, rumour has it if you leave it until midnight you might turn into a pumpkin! lyric.co.uk

Goldilocks and The Three Bears, London Palladium, Sat 7 Dec– Sun 12 Jan 2019

London Palladium PantoA timeless fairy tale, which taught us important life lessons such as not to break into people’s houses and most certainly not to help yourself to their porridge. With a star-studded cast including Julian Clary, Nigel Havers, Paul O’Grady, and Matt Baker this will be an absolute showstopper. palladiumpantomime.com

Dick Whittington and His Cat, Hackney Empire, Sat 23 Nov– Sun 5 Jan 2020

It’s the chap who thought the streets of London were paved with gold (ho ho ho, obviously hasn’t seen the West End on a Saturday night then).  This classic tale is full of dance numbers, singalongs and comedy gold (the only gold you’ll find in the show). With celebrity appearances from Olivier Award-Winning Dame, Clive Rowe and Hamilton star Tarrin Callander this will be good old-fashioned panto fun. Tickets

Words: Phoebe Jordan

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