FROM pantomime to pop concerts, musicals to magical light shows and from traditional favourites to cult classics, the festive season always boasts entertainment for every taste and this year is no different.
With tickets ranging from £15 to £115 there’s something for most pockets too, whether it’s an evening booing the baddie and cheering the goodies in true panto-style, communal carol-singing or a night at the ballet, there’s an eclectic choice on offer both here in the Capital and further afield.
Here are 13 Christmas Crackers worth booking for now before the ‘House Full’ signs go up - some performances have already sold out.
PANTO: GOLDILOCKS & THE THREE BEARS, King’s Theatre, Leven Street, 30 November-19 January 2020, £18.50-£36
KING’S panto regulars Allan Stewart, the returning Andy Gray, Grant Stott and Gillian Parkhouse are joined by Scot Squad and River City star Jordan Young in the Capital’s annual must see pantomime. This year, expect comedy routines, laughter, special effects and hair-rising displays as the worlds of circus and pantomime collide in a seasonal spectacular. www.capitaltheatres.com
FAMILY: AN EDINBURGH CHRISTMAS CAROL, Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, 28 November-4 January 2020, £20-£32
DICKEN’S festive favourite is given a local twist at the Lyceum this Christmas.
Edinburgh folklore tells that when Charles Dickens was visiting the city, a stroll through a kirkyard brought him to the tombstone of one Ebenezer Scroggie, inspiration struck and A Christmas Carol was born. Writer and director Tony Cownie brings this famous festive story back to the city of its birth with a guest appearance from Edinburgh’s best loved Victorian, Greyfriars Bobby. www.lyceum.org.uk
MUSICAL: DISNEY’S LION KING, The Playhouse, Greenside Place, 5 December-29 March 2020... £20-£115
IT’S back, set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s multi-award-winning musical tells the powerful story of Simba the lion cub and his epic adventure to his destined role as King of the Pridelands. www.atgtickets.com/
BALLET: THE SNOW QUEEN, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, 7-29 November, £19-£46
A GLITTERING winter’s tale brings Scottish Ballet’s 50th anniversary year to a close.
Hans Christian Andersen’s much-loved tale will take you from the bustle of a winter’s market to the shivers of a fairytale forest and the Snow Queen’s palace.
Along the way, meet a colourful cast of characters, from young lovers parted by a spell to a circus ringmaster with a few tricks up his sleeve. www.capitaltheatres.com
PANTOMIME: SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARVES, SEC Armadillo, Glasgow, 14-31 December, £18.75-£33.50
HIYA! Gary Tank Commander is returning to pantoland this year. However, you’ll have to take a trip through to Glasgow to see Edinburgh-born Greg McHugh’s most famous creation, Gary McLintoch, back in action alongside Two Doors Down regular Doon Mackichan, Gary Tank Commander co-star Leah MacRae and Frances Thorburn. www.sec.co.uk
OUTDOORS: CHRISTMAS AT THE BOTANICS, Arboretum Place, 22 November-29 December, £17
ALWAYS a highlight of the Capital’s festive events, Christmas at the Botanics, returns for its third year.
The after-dark extravaganza will again see the Botanics transformed. Step into the Laser Garden, stroll by the waterside reflections, travel the Tunnel of Light and be mesmerised by the Scented Fire Garden. For the Finale, brightly coloured projections dance in time to much loved Christmas classics. www.rbge.org.uk
POP: RONNIE SPECTOR & THE RONETTES, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, 23 December, £32.35-£35.75
‘TIS The Season... for Ronnie Spector & the Ronettes to spread holiday cheer with their ‘Best Christmas Party Ever’.
Bringing a beloved New York holiday tradition to the Capital, the iconic singer and pop’s ultimate girl group perform a raucous and rocking blend of Christmas classics, including Frosty The Snowman and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, along with off-the-cuff musings and anecdotes from Spector’s childhood Christmases in New York City. www.usherhall.co.uk
PANTO: CINDERELLA, The Brunton, Musselburgh, 26 November-4 January 2020, £15-£21
MUSSELBURGH’S traditional pantomime returns with fun for all the family.
Expect an interactive family panto suitable for all ages as the tale of Cinderella is told with comedy, special effects, songs and joining in. www.thebrunton.co.uk
CONCERT: TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, The SEC Hydro, Glasgow, 2 December, £42.55 - £85.15
LEGENDARY Hollywood composer Danny Elfman brings The Nightmare Before Christmas Live In Concert to the UK for its sole Scottish date.
Elfman will perform as Jack Skellington, joined by original cast members Catherine O’Hara as Sally and Ken Page as the voice of Oogie Boogie, with full orchestral accompaniment from the RSNO. First released in 1993, Tim Burton’s cult classic follows the misguided adventures of Skellington, Halloween Town’s Pumpkin King, as he attempts to take over Christmas. www.sec.co.uk
MUSICAL: HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, 26 November-1 December, £28-£48
RAB C NESBITT himself, Gregor Fisher stars as Max the Dog in this heart-warming musical based on Dr Seuss’ hugely popular best-selling books.
Welcome to the whimsical world of Whoville, where Max the Dog narrates the story of the scheming Grinch whose heart is ‘two sizes too small,’ as he decides to steal Christmas... www.capitaltheatres.com
CONCERT: THE SNOWMAN - RSNO CHRISTMAS CONCERT, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, 22 December, £19-£49
IT used to be that it wasn’t Christmas until you’d heard Noddy Holder scream, ‘It’s Christmaaaas...’ Now that could be said it isn’t Christmas until The Snowman has taken you on his magical journey. It’s time to go ‘walking in the air’ once more as the RSNO provide a live soundtrack for the film.
Then expect seasonal favourites, carols and a chance to sing along. www.usherhall.co.uk
EVENT: ELF - A CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR, The SEC Hydro, Glasgow, 14-15 December, £37.50-£49.50
TAKE a family trip through to the west this festive season to see the Broadway musical based on the hit Will Ferrell movie super-sized into a huge Christmas spectacular.
This is the heart-warming story of how human Buddy, raised by Santa’s elves at the North Pole, travels to New York to find his real father, falls in love and brings Christmas happiness to everyone. It stars Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh, ex-EastEnder Shaun Williamson and Father Christmas, in a 100-strong cast. www.sec.co.uk
FOLK: PHIL CUNNINGHAM’S CHRISTMAS SONGBOOK; A YULETIDE CAROUSAL, Queens Hall, Clerk Street, 21 & 22 December, £22-£27
LEGENDARY Phil Cunningham returns with his Christmas Songbook in this its 13th year.
Once again he has teamed up with some of the finest musicians on the Scottish folk scene including Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, John McCusker and a special guest Brass Band.
Expect an evening of genial anecdotes, modern and traditional Christmas music and musicianship that will tug at the heartstrings. www.thequeenshall.net