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Published: 3 December 2009
Skellig at the Bloomsbury Theatre
Skellig at the Bloomsbury Theatre
Shows Yule love to see...


PUT simply, Theatreland is as chock-a-block with boughs of holly-decked shows as people’s stomachs will be with grub after feasting on Christmas Day.
Swans, genies and snowmen will bestride the city’s stages, bestowing entertainment on young and old. Here’s a festive theatre rundown...
If you like panto, a must see is Aladdin at the Hackney Empire. The show features the talents of Clive Rowe, acclaimed for his performance in last year’s Mother Goose.
For a guitar-filled version of the same story, head to Euston’s Shaw Theatre for Rock ‘n’ Roll Aladdin, while for panto of a more outrageous bent, see Sinderfella at the Leicester Square Theatre.
Also in the West End is Stephen and the Sexy Partridge, “a surreal tale of love between one man and a bird”, at the Trafalgar Studios.
At the Soho Theatre, meanwhile, you can experience the stage adaptation of Stick Man by Julia Donaldson, the writer behind kids’ book sensation The Gruffalo.
More book-inspired fare can be consumed at the Bloomsbury Theatre, in the form of Skellig, based on the children’s novel by David Almond.
At the Duchess Theatre meanwhile, there’s Morecambe, celebrating the life of the comic legend Eric Morecambe, and at the Peacock Theatre there’s that perennial Christmas favourite The Snowman.
No need to ask what’s on at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. The hugely popular musical Oliver! of course!
Speaking of which, watch out for an alternative version of Dickens’s tale at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre. Oliver Twist comes courtesy of the creative team responsible for last year’s Christmas Carol.
And while we’re on the subject, A Christmas Carol is on at the King’s Head in a vibrant musical adaptation by Phil Willmott. At the nearby Hen and Chickens, meanwhile, is The Night Before Christmas, a comedy.
Staying with Islington, there’s Swan Lake at Sadlers Wells, and at Jacksons Lane, opposite Highgate station, Cinderella in an updated version in which the protagonist finds herself competing in a reality TV show.
In Highgate village, the brilliant Upstairs at the Gatehouse is staging Cole Porter’s High Society. Travel west to Hampstead and you can travel back in time to Christmas 1875 for the Hampstead Theatre’s Darker Shores – a suspenseful tale starring Mark Gatiss.
Just up the road, the New End Theatre is reviving its celebrated Great American Songbook in the form of The Great American Seasonal Songbook, while down the hill in Chalk Farm, critically acclaimed cabaret show La Clique continues its run at the Roundhouse, which will also host child-friendly Jelly Bean Jack. Further west in Kilburn, look out for Puccini’s La Boheme in a new translation.
Speak­ing of opera, why not check out the Rosemary Branch, where Charles Court Opera are staging Dick Whittington?
Meanwhile at the Cochrane Theatre, you can see, er, Dick Whittington.
Phew! You should find something you like in amongst those. And if you can’t – bah, humbug.

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