Eight of the best Christmas pantomimes and shows in and around Edinburgh to get tickets for now
From panto to pre-school, ballet to Broadway, there’s something for everyone this Christmas on stages in and around the Capital. Here, Entertainment Editor Liam Rudden picks his five Hot Tickets for the festive season. Book now!
Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article
PANTO: Sleeping Beauty
King's Theatre, Leven Street
November 27, 2021-January 16, 2022
Of course Scotland's biggest, most spectacular, panto can be found in Edinburgh. Oh, yes it can! Rise and shine for the pantomime of your dreams. This year's King's extravaganza sees the return of legendary Dame Allan Stewart as Queen Aunty May alongside the Capital's favourite baddy Grant Stott as Carabosse in the magical tale of a princess bewitched to sleep for 100 years.
Also returning to the Old Lady of Leven Street is River City and Scot Squad star Jordan Young as Muddles and Clare Gray as Narcissa. All are joined by newcomers Sia Dauda and Nicola Meehan. Expect the usual madcap mayhem, breath-taking effects, shout outs and laugh out loud gags.
DRAMA: Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street
December 6 2021-January 2, 2022
Panto'd out already? The Lyceum has something a bit different this year. Christmas is not happening for stage manager Lesley. The closest she wants to come to festive joy is the turkey sandwich in her lunch box, so she's shutting down the theatre, turning off the lights, packing up the glitter curtain, the giant beanstalk, the fake snow, and going home to have dinner alone.
Or at least, that’s the plan… but as the bells of St Cuthbert’s strike midnight, it seems the theatre has other ideas. From the back of the costume cupboard, a troupe of festive spirits emerge... From Snow White, to Cinderella, to giant talking sprouts, the theatre throws everything it has at Lesley in a bid to persuade her of the need for some joy and maybe a sequined jumpsuit or two after a tricky couple of years.
MUSICAL: White Christmas
The Playhouse, Greenside Place
December 14, 2021-January 2, 2022
I'm dreaming of a... timeless romantic comedy to warm the hearts of all ages. If you are too, head to The Playhouse where all singing, all dancing US Army veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, fuelled by love, follow the stunning Haynes Sisters to a Vermont lodge for a special Christmas show. Bob and Phil's journey takes a misstep when they discover the lodge is owned by their old Army General and is in desperate need of their help.
A tale of love and friendship, based on the Bing Crosby film of the same name, White Christmas features favourites songs such as Blue Skies, Sisters, Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep and the most famous festive song of all, White Christmas.
December 11-29, 2021
Edinburgh's very own Greg McHugh heads west once again this festive season to enable Gary: Tank Commander to team up with Still Game favourite Gavin Mitchell and River City's Leah MacRae in the wish-filled family pantomime, Aladdin. Get ready to wonder at incredible 3D effects, flying carpets, a wish-granting genie and even a plate or two of Gary’s much-loved cheesy pasta.
December 15-27, 2021
Cinderella frequently tops the panto charts and is arguably the most traditional of them all. Over in Fife, former Stenhouse Primary and Tynecastle High pupil Jenny Douglas stars in the title role at the Alhambra this year, you may remember her from the BBC talent search Over The Rainbow or have seen her in We Will Rock You at The Playhouse. This Christmas, she is joined in Dunfermline by River City’s Cameron Fulton and David Rankine as the Ugly Sisters and Ian ‘Sheepie’ Smith as Buttons.
PANTO: Hansel & Gretel
The Brunton, Musselburgh
December 7-31, 2021
Four familiar Brunton faces return to the Brunton to tell the story of what happens when Gretel, played by Eilidh Weir, and her wee brother Hansel, played by Ross Donnachie, come face to face with Witch Wart-Nose, played by Wendy Seager. Fear not, resident panto dame, Maisie Nature, played by Graham Crammond, is on hand to help save the day. The cast are joined by a 34-strong local kids chorus.
BALLET: Scottish Ballet's The Nutcracker
Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street
December 1-31, 2021
This Christmas ballet has become a firm family favourite. Join wee Clara as she drifts off to sleep on Christmas Eve and meets the dashing Nutcracker Prince, fights off the larger-than-life Rat King, and is welcomed into the Land of Sweets by the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy.
Danced to Tchaikovsky's much loved score, The Nutcracker was originally choreographed by Scottish Ballet founder Peter Darrell in 1972 before being reimagined in 2014 by Christopher Hampson.
KIDS: The Enormous Christmas Turnip
Studio Theatre, Potterrow
December 17-31, 2021
There's something special for the weans aged two to seven at the Studio Theatre, this December, where they can help two playful bunnies get ready... set... and, grow grow grow... But what happens when one vegetable grows a little too big?
Rabbits get a bad rap. Everyone thinks they steal your carrots and poo everywhere. Well, these rabbits are growing their own delicious vegetables for a great big festive feast and there’ll be plenty for everyone.
Described as a magical, musical rollercoaster of a Christmas dinner party like no other, there are even twilight performances on December 17 and 18 at 6pm when kids can come along in their pyjamas and enjoy a warm mug of hot chocolate while watching the show.