Entertainment editor Liam Rudden picks his Top 10 shows to see locally this festive season
WHITE CHRISTMAS - FESTIVAL THEATRE , NICOLSON STREET
Starring television favourites Graham Cole (The Bill), Steven Houghton (London’s Burning) and Wendi Peters (Coronation Street).
THE last time Irving Berlin’s White Christmas played the Capital, in 2007, it proved a huge hit. Six years later it’s back, this time for a five-week run at the Festival Theatre.
White Christmas is the feel good tale of two army buddies who put on a show in a Vermont Inn and find their perfect partners in the process.
Based on Bing Crosby’s classic 1954 movie, expect to hear old favourites such as Happy Holidays, Sisters and, of course, White Christmas.
29 Nov-4 Jan, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm), £16-£46.50, 0131-529 6000
PETER PAN - KING’S THEATRE, LEVEN STREET
Starring regular panto team Andy Gray (City Lights), Grant Stott (Forth 1) and resident Dame Alan Stewart.
ALL the gang are back and this time they’re off to Neverland to battle Captain Hook. Not one of the traditional panto canon, this Peter Pan has been written for the Capital and boasts a new production team.
Expect a spectacular show featuring crocodiles, lost boys, pirates and fairies, as well as the best slapstick comedy and stunning flying sequences - you will believe a boy can fly.
30 Nov-19 Jan, various times, £10-£29, 0131-529 6000
A CHRISTMAS CAROL - ROYAL LYCEUM, GRINDLAY STREET
Starring Christopher Fairbank (Auf Wiedersehen Pet)
CHARLES Dickens ultimate Christmas classic returns to the stage of the Lyceum. Scrooge is shown the cruel mistakes and misconceptions he has made during his life when the three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future visit him one cold and wintry night in December. He comes to his senses and realises that there is more to life than being mean and miserable. Comes complete with Christmas carols.
28 Nov–4 Jan, 7pm (matinees 2.30pm) £10-£27, 0131-248-4848
THE POLAR BEARS GO WILD - TRAVERSE 2, CAMBRIDGE STREET
SOMETHING a bit different for the under-fives this Christmas.
It’s time to get on your skis or snow shoes and join two friendly (but slightly naughty) polar bears on the adventure of a lifetime. Where are they going, what will they get up to next? and have they got enough sandwiches (polar bears love sandwiches, everyone knows that)?
With music and laughter, The Polar Bears Go Wild is a perfect festive treat for young audiences.
5-21 Dec, 10.30am and 2pm, £10, 0131-228 1404
MOLLY WHUPPIE - NORTH EDINBURGH ARTS, PENNYWELL COURT
BASED on an ancient Scottish tale, Molly Whuppie is a super-hero, a bold wee girl who braves the forest and confronts a giant and a king who are not all they appear, in search of food.
Expect a ukelele-playing, gardening giant a wicked King with a never empty purse.
5-21 December, various times, £4-£7, 0131-315 2151
LIMBO - EDINBURGH’S CHRISTMAS ST ANDREW SQUARE
ONE for the adults this, well, over 12s. Witness heart-stopping illusions, a mind-bending contortionist, breathtaking dance moves, fire-eating and sword-swallowing and thrilling live music from a coterie of highly skilled performers. Sexy, sassy and just a bit scary, Limbo will leave you awestruck and just a little bit disturbed.
23 Nov 2013-4 Jan 2014, 7.45pm, £10-£25, 0844-573 8455
SLEEPING BEAUTY - BRUNTON THEATRE, MUSSELBURGH
OVER in East Lothian, there’s a chance to join Princess Aurora and Prince Finlay of Fisherrow as they battle the evil Fairy Nightshade in this traditional tale. Always a panto favourite, will the handsome prince be able to waken the sleeping princess from the spell cast on her by the wicked fairy?
26 Nov-4 Jan, various times, £14.35-£16.50, 0131 665 2240
EPT: THE SLEEPING BEAUTY - CHURCH HILL THEATRE, MORNINGSIDE ROAD
EDINBURGH has its own sleeping beauty too, courtesy of Edinburgh people’s Theatre. King Rumbletum and Queen Gigglebelly longed for a child. When at long last Princess Beauty was born, they arranged a Christening party... but they forgot to invite evil witch, Olga Pong, who cast a sleeping spell on the baby. Can Nurse Pinchme and Prince Handsome find a way to awaken the princess? Featuring local kids from the Mandy Black School of Dance.
19-29 Dec, 7pm (Matinees 2.30pm), £10, 0844-870 0887
ST SERF’S PLAYERS: HICKORY DICKORY DOCK - ST SERF’S CHURCH HALL, CLARK ROAD
THE seldom staged panto Hickory Dickory Dock is revived by the St Serf’s Players this year. One of the Capital’s oldest amateur clubs their annual Christmas show is always popular, with sell out performances last year, so make sure you book quickly to avoid missing out.
4-7 Dec, various times, £7, 0131-249 4899
THE LION KING - THE PLAYHOUSE, GREENSIDE PLACE
The Disney favourite continues throughout the festive season. Join Simba the lion cub as he comes of age and takes his rightful place as King of the Pridelands.
Until 18 January 2014, 7.30pm (Matinees 2.30pm), £22-£75, 0844-871 3014