Liam Rudden takes a look at the Capital’s top Christmas shows and offers his top ticket tips.
What’s it about? Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students, Glinda and Elphaba. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.
What the Evening News review said: ‘For regular theatre-goers, Wicked is a vocal and visual treat... For anyone looking for festive family fun, there is a lot to recommend Wicked. The youthful vigour of the cast infuses the auditorium with a sense of momentum, joy and exuberance, so much so that the production received a standing ovation as the curtain fell. Good for an infusion of magic this Christmas.’
- Josie Balfour
Star rating: *****
Ticket tip: Sold out for many performances’ If you can avoid matinees and book for performances earlier in the week you’re more likely to bag a good view.
The Playhouse, Greenside Place, until 10 January 2015, various times, £11.50-£75, 0844 871 7627
What’s it about? Evil Abanazar must find the chosen one - that’s Aladdin - in order to obtain the magic lamp. Aladdin, meanwhile, has fallen in love with Princess Jasmine, but if he looks at her, he could lose his head. When Abanazar kidnaps Jasmine, it’s up to Aladdin, his mammy Widow Twankey and her pal Wishee Washee to save the day.
What the Evening News review said: ‘The three King’s panto veterans, Andy Gray, Grant Stott and Allan Stewart embark upon a new adventure, complete with latest addition to the team, Greg Barrowman as Aladdin. Gray continues to reign supreme when it comes to comic timing... Stott remains the most booable baddie in town... Stewart is on top form delivering a belting rendition of This Is The Moment as the show reaches its climax. Should you go? Oh yes you should!’ - Liam Rudden
Star rating: ****
Ticket tip: Groups of eight or more get £3 off (not 19 to 31 December) by calling 0131-529 6005
The King’s, Leven Street, various times, until 18 January 2015, £14-£30, 0131-529 6000
THE BIG FRIENDLY GIANT
What’s it about? Roald Dahl’s Big Friendly Giant captures dreams and keeps them in bottles for children to enjoy whilst they sleep. He is unlike other giants. For a start, he doesn’t like to eat people. Join the BFG and his new best friend – little orphan Sophie – and help them save the children of Britain from the child-eating giants.
What the Evening News review said: ‘Lewis Howden’s charisma as the BFG, carries the tale, and multiple-character actor Claire Knight is a delight to watch every time she enters the spotlight. Our young heroine, Sophie, meanwhile – who kicks the whole thing off by suggesting to her friends and family that they re-enact the BFG book by dressing up, handling puppets, and playing instruments – is carried off with the eager puppy enthusiasm of Robyn Milne.’ - Barry Gordon
Star rating: ***
Ticket tip: The Lyceum keep their pricing structure simple with all kids tickets are half the price of the adult equivalent.
The Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, until 3 January 2015, various times, £19-£28, 0131-248 484
What’s it about? An all -male, sharp shooting cabaret of burlesque with balls, high flying circus bandits and savage gender offenders. Described as an Aussie Cirque du Soleil meets Ru Paul’s Drag Race, get ready for a madcap safari, too-close-for-comfort yo-yo tricks, valiant aerial acrobatics, irreverent interludes, ferocious fanfares and show-stopping drag artistes. Recommended 18+
What the Evening News review said: Read Barry Gordon’s review in next Wednesday’s paper.
Ticket tip: Locals with an EH postcode get a 20% discount on all tickets, just present a utility bill at box office when purchasing tickets.
The Famous Spiegeltent, St Andrew Square, until 4 January 2015, various times, £31-£41, 0844-545 8252
What’s it about? After a fun-filled Christmas party full of magic and celebrations, young Clara falls asleep and dreams that she helps the Nutcracker Prince defeat an army of giant mice. She is rewarded by a visit to the glittering Land of Ice and Snow, where snowflakes come to life, sparkling as they dance - and the magical Kingdom of Sweets - the enchanted Realm of the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy.
What the Evening News review said: ‘Peter Darrell’s beautiful choreography, wonderful music, mischievous children, cheeky monkeys, presents, toy soldiers, magic tricks, and no shortage of sparkle are all here in Scottish Ballet’s super production of the Tchaikovsky classic. If your Christmas is more Winter Wonderland than Away in a Manger or Window
Twankey, then this is the show for you.’ - John McLellan
Star rating: ******
Ticket tip: Book for performances after Christmas for a choice of better seats.
Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, until 3 January 2015, 7.30pm (matinees 2pm), £13-£42.50, 0131-529 6000