Wondering what do over the next seven days? Here are ten of the best events.
1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Until Sunday, January 7, The Hawth Theatre, Crawley, 01293 553636, www.hawth.co.uk. TV personality Stephen Mulhern is back at The Hawth, Crawley, for this year’s pantomime. Joining the Catchphrase star will be a top quality cast, which includes Michael J. Batchelor as the Dame, Lauren Cocoracchio as Snow White and Kain Francis as Loopy.
2. The Nutcracker.
Until December 23, £11-£13, 11am/ 1pm/3.30pm, The Hawth Theatre, Crawley, 01293 553636. After sell-out tours across the country, Let’s All Dance presents this Christmas classic. With dazzling professional dancing, all the famous characters and sumptuous music, this shortened version of The Nutcracker, is a treat for the whole family.
3. Jack and the Beanstalk.
Until December 31, The Capitol, Horsham, 01403 750220, www.thecapitolhorsham.com. Jack and The Beanstalk is a pantomime about an ordinary boy on an extraordinary adventure. The show stars CBBC’s Olly Pike as Jack, Hollyoaks star James Fletcher as his brother Simon, CiTV presenter Chris Edgerley as Fleshcreep, Richard Alan as King Crumble, Jill Greenacre as Fairy Potter, Hywel Dowsell as Dame Trott and Lauren Osborn as Princess Apricot.
4. Beauty and the Beast.
Until December 31, tickets from £10, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, www.cft.org.uk, 01243 781312. Oluwafunmilayo (‘Funmi’) Ajayi had the honour of handing flowers to the Queen on her visit to Chichester Festival Theatre last month. Now she is back in the building, this time as Poppy in Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s production of Beauty and The Beast. “Meeting the Queen was really exciting. I had to give her some flowers, which smelt really nice, and she said thank you and that she had really enjoyed the performance. I just said ‘Thank you for coming’, and she was just saying that she enjoyed it and that she wanted to come back. I wouldn’t say it was frightening. It was just very exciting! And it was just really interesting. I don’t think I am ever going to speak to another royal again. I just had to make the most of it!” Funmi is a student a Bishop Luffa and got involved with CFYT through a friend who was in A Christmas Carol a couple of years ago and recommended it. Funmi joined and played a brave in last Christmas’ production of Peter Pan. It’s an experience that will help her with Beauty and the Beast this year. Funmi said: “It is funny, the stage seems a lot smaller than it actually is. The first time I was on it, I was really scared, and after I had been on and gone off a few times, you just get used to it, and you don’t really think about it.”
5. A Christmas Carol.
Clive Francis performs Charles Dickens’ all-time Christmas classic as A Christmas Carol comes to the Mill Studio at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud from Wednesday to Tuesday, December 20-26. Bringing to life a whole host of Dickensian characters from the spectral Jacob Marley to the warm and loving Bob Cratchit and his son Tiny Tim, plus the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, Clive repeats his popular RSC performance as the misanthropic Ebenezer Scrooge. All tickets cost £15. Call 01483 440000 or visit www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk.
6. Air Play.
Top circular picture. Brighton Dome, Concert Hall, December 21-26. This Christmas, enter a world of flying umbrellas, giant kites floating over the audience, and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen. Spokesman Joe Fuller said: “Air Play brings to life the very air we breathe, weaving together breathtaking circus, comedy and scenic effects for a family show that captures the wonder of the season.” Call 01273 709709 or visit brightondome.org.
Brighton’s only professional pantomime is Pinocchio at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex, Falmer. One night, Geppetto, a puppet maker, wishes upon a star and his life changes forever. His most beloved creation, Pinocchio, springs to life, and with that the amazing adventures begin. The venue promises: “All the magic of Christmas and the wonder of the circus collide to create a spectacle to delight all ages.” Directed by James Weisz. December 20-January 6. Visit www.attenborough
centre.com to purchase tickets.
8. Beauty and the Beast.
December 16-31. £14.50-£16, various times, Chequer Mead, East Grinstead, 01342 302000. An LP Creative presentation. The tale of Beauty and the Beast (bottom circular picture) has all the features of a traditional pantomime. The exciting adventure transports audiences to the French village of ‘Marsh de Mello’, where a love story is waiting to be told. CBeebies TV star Rebecca Keatley makes a magical appearance in a pre-recorded performance as the Marvellous Magical Mirror. The show also stars Tim Ames, Callum Donnelly, Maurice Thorogood, Hannah Bond and Dan Stark.
9. Peter Pan.
Hurstpierpoint Players offer Peter Pan as their panto this year. Spokesman Bob Sampson said: “This year’s show is a traditional panto based on J M Barrie’s story of Peter Pan – lots of pirates, Indians, lost boys, mermaids and a fairy called Tinkerbell. This hilarious version, written by Tracy Rogers, will be a joy for all the family, with a lot of jokes and some great songs.” There will be evening shows at 7.30pm on December 28 and 29 and January 5, with matinées at 1pm on December 30, 31, January 1, 6 and 7 and at 5pm on December 30, January 1 and 6. Tickets are £10 adults, £6 children (under 12), £28 family. Visit www.hurstplayers.org.uk or Clifford Dann in Hurstpierpoint High Street. Picture shows Izzie Holmes as Tinkerbell and Samantha Nixon as Peter Pan.
10. Comic Boom.
Thursday, December 28, 8pm (doors 7pm), Komedia, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton, 0845 293 8480. This is Komedia’s sell-out monthly night of exciting new comedy without the gamble. One of the venue’s fantastic MCs hosts a friendly, fast-paced quality night featuring a top headline comic and ‘catch ’em while you can’ rising stars of the comedy circuit. The headliner for this show is Louise Reay. The MC is Mark Simmons.
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