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Top Picks for Christmas and New Year Shows in London

Christmas at the theatre, it is more than pantomime and mince pies. If you are looking for something Christmassy or even something a bit more secular London Theatre Direct has it covered.

A Christmas Carol, Old Vic
Rhys Ifans, pictured above, returns to The Old Vic following his role as The Fool in King Lear. Can Ifan’s Ebenezer be saved by the all-female ghosts who take him through his Christmases past, present and future as he remembers lost loves and strained family relationships.
Jack Thorne’s (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) new adaptation in this historic theatre is bound to get you in the mood for Christmas. An uplifting story for families aged 11+, is brought to the stage in a big-hearted production full of music, cheer and mince pies.

La Soiree, Aldwych Theatre
Bright lights and a mix of cabaret, burlesque, circus sideshow and modern variety La Soiree is very much in keeping with the seasonal spirit. It will make an excellent alternative to the bog-standard Office Christmas Party or just a night out where you can see an ever-changing lineup, which includes well-known names such as Camille O’Sullivan, Frisky (of Frisky and Mannish), Meow Meow and Le Gateaux Chocolat.

The Great Gatsby, Gatsby’s Drugstore
It may be cold but there is no excuse not to step into your finest 1920s gear. The Great Gatsby immersive experience returns following sell-out runs in London earlier this year. Watch the intriguing Great Gatsby plot unfold around you in this unique theatrical performance. The cocktails are mixed, the jazz is playing, the party is sheer indulgence and what exactly is going on between Daisy Buchanan and mysterious Mr Jay Gatsby. A perfect night for catching up with friends over cocktails and flapper dresses

The Rat Pack: Live From Las Vegas Christmas Special, Theatre Royal Haymarket
This show is not just recreation but a tribute to Las Vegas cabaret/old Hollywood performance. The show, making a welcome return, focuses on the big three of the Rat Pack; Sammy, Dean and Frank. This show has all the classics;
The Lady is a Tramp", "That’s Amore", "I’ve Got You Under My Skin", “My Way” amongst Christmas hits such as Baby It’s Cold Outside", "Merry Little Christmas", "White Christmas", "Winter Wonderland", "Jingle Bells" and "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow". This show brings the heyday of Vegas to the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Mischief Movie Night, Arts Theatre
Did you love The Play That Goes Wrong, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery and, my favourite Christmas production, Peter Pan Goes Wrong? Of course you did! As those shows go from strength to strength across London and Broadway the original Mischief Theatre team come to the Arts Theatre, where you (the audience) get to direct them in this new improvisation show. How amazing this show is depends on you (and maybe a bit of them).

A Christmas Carol (with dinner by Natalie Coleman), Shoreditch
Flanagan Collective’s annual immersive A Christmas Carol is very much a case of me saving the best for last. I went to see this show during its run last year in Central London. We the audience find ourselves joining Ebenezer (and his ghosts) for a meal as we convince him that Christmas is brilliant because it has mince pies and presents. You even get to pull crackers with your fellow audience member. Now in its fifth year, this is a show (and menu) not to be missed.
It also includes a Christmas dinner prepared by Masterchef winner Natalie Coleman. If it is half as good last year’s meal this show will become a regular Christmas staple on everyone’s calendar.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, good shows and lots of food. See you all in the new year for all the fantastic shows 2018 has to offer.

 


Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.


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