1. Santa’s Little Trolls.
The award-winning Bristol-based puppet company Pickled Image present Santa’s Little Trolls at Worthing’s Connaught Theatre from Friday to Sunday, December 21-23. A spokesperson said: “Jeremy really loves Christmas. All he wants is for each Christmas to be perfect; mince pies, stockings, mistletoe and especially lots and lots of snow. But, who exactly brings the snow? Santa? Rudolph? Jack Frost? No, it’s the one job left in the heavy hands of the Trolls of Winter. However, the trolls are fed up with never getting any of the credit.” The company’s previous work includes Yana and The Yeti (2017-2018) and Christmas Tales with Granddad (2015-2017). Tickets for this show cost £12.50. Call the box office on 01903 206206.
Until Sunday, January 6, The Hawth Theatre, Crawley, 01293 553636. The Hawth’s fun-packed pantomime features plenty of comedy, singing, dancing, stunning sets, dazzling costumes, and a top-quality cast. Aladdin stars Dancing on Ice’s Jason Gardiner as Abanazar, Shaheen Jafargholi as Aladdin, Jess Robinson as the Spirit of the Ring, Nathaniel Morrison as the Genie of the Lamp, Ian Jones as Wishee Washee, Phil Stewart as the Emperor and Emily Day as Princess Jasmine. The panto also sees the return of two Crawley favourites: Michael J Batchelor as Widow Twankey and Richard Franks as PC Pongo. The show is presented by Evolution Pantomimes, the producers of last year’s hilarious box office record-breaking hit Snow White.
3. NT Live Encore – Antony and Cleopatra.
Sunday, December 23, 3pm, £14-£16, The Hawth, Crawley, 01293 553636, www.hawth.co.uk. Antony and Cleopatra will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and internationally as part of National Theatre Live. A spokesperson said: “Caesar and his assassins are dead. General Mark Antony (Ralph Fiennes) now rules alongside his fellow defenders of Rome. But at the fringes of a war-torn empire the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra (Sophie Okonedo) and Mark Antony have fallen fiercely in love. In a tragic fight between devotion and duty, obsession becomes a catalyst for war. Politics and passion are violently intertwined in Shakespeare’s gripping tale of power.” Visit ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk to find out more about this production.
4. Sleeping Beauty.
Until January 6, The Capitol, Horsham, 01403 750220, www.thecapitolhorsham.com. Natasha Hoeberigs plays Princess Aurora and James Fletcher is back to play Lester The Jester in The Capitol’s annual pantomime. The show also stars Heart FM’s Nicola Hume, Bad Girls’ Nicole Faraday, Phats and Small’s Ben Ofoedu, diamond dame Hywel Dowsell, West End performer James Dinsmore and X Factor singing sensation Sean Smith. A Capitol spokesperson said: “More than a traditional take of good triumphing over evil, this tale of a cursed young girl, brought up by the family nursemaid, who sleeps for 100 years before being woken by true love’s kiss, is a roller-coaster ride through time, emotion, laughter and song.”
5. The Ho Ho Ho! Christmas Show.
Until Monday, December 24, £12.50, various times, The Capitol studio, North Street, Horsham, 01403 750220, www.thecapitolhorsham.com. The Ho Ho Ho! Christmas Show, an alternative to Horsham’s annual pantomime, is at The Capitol until Christmas Eve. A spokesperson said: “Head to Santa’s Workshop to meet Steve the elf. He is busy preparing everything for Santa in time for Christmas Eve. There are presents to wrap and reindeer to feed, so he needs your help to get it all done. At last Santa returns to the workshop to see all the good work and his faithful elf learns the true meaning of Christmas. After each performance every child will be able to meet Santa Claus and receive a special gift.” There will be a SEND (relaxed) performance on Thursday, December 20.
6. Thank You for The Music – The tribute to ABBA.
Friday, December 21, £25, 7.45pm, Worthing Assembly Hall, 01903 206 206. This smash-hit tribute show brings all of ABBA’s number one hits to the stage. It combines the popular harmonies, with some colourful costumes and dazzling performances by an all-star cast that’ll have you thanking ABBA for the music once again.
7. Long Nose Puppets present Out of the Hat.
Until December 30, Brighton Komedia, 0845 293 8480, komedia.co.uk.
A spokesperson said: “When Doris and Delilah wake up to find something strange and sparkly has fallen from the sky, they are inspired to put on the world’s greatest magic show. But how do you make real magic happen?”
8. Nellie Limelight and the Oysters of Time.
Until January 2, Theatre Royal, Brighton, 0844 871 7650. A funny, enchanting, seasonal adventure for four-to-seven year-olds. Spokeswoman Laura Poncia said: “There’s something fishy going on in Brighton… When theatre detective Nellie Limelight receives an anonymous call for help she sets out to investigate and uncovers a story of stolen jewels, panto villains, a broken time machine and a misplaced sea creature! This magical tale unfolds as you follow intrepid investigator Nellie around Theatre Royal Brighton.”
9. Keep It Cash – Johnny Cash Tribute.
December 27, 7.30pm, £17, Komedia, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton 0845 293 8480. The UK’s finest tribute to Johnny Cash returns to perform a two-hour set of classic Cash tunes. Expect to hear ‘Ring of Fire’, ‘Thing Called Love’, ‘Boy Named Sue’, ‘Hurt’ and many more. This has been hailed as a must-see show for any Johnny Cash fan. Plus DJ Mumbles playing rock and roll.
10. The Rocky Horror Show.
Until January 5, Theatre Royal Brighton, 0844 871 7650. The Rocky Horror Show is the big Christmas event at Brighton’s Theatre Royal this year. A spokesperson said: “The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank’n’Furter when their car breaks down outside his house while on their way to visit their former college professor. It is an adventure they’ll never forget.”
Sleeping Beauty, The Capitol, Horsham: There’s no chance you’ll fall asleep during this high-energy show. Click here to read our review.