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The Muddy Panto Guide 2018!

It's what you've all been waiting for. Oh no it isn't! Oh yes it is! Oh no.... OK, enough! Here are 17 of the perkiest pantos in Berkshire and beyond.

Ready or not, here come the pantos! Dig out your stripy tights, winkle pickers, false eyelashes and wiggery, and book in for one of our 23 festive panto/Xmas production picks in Berkshire and beyond!

Cast of Aladdin Reading Panto CBeebies star Juston Fletcher Paul Morse Widow Twankey chinese lantern non head

Aladdin, The Hexagon Reading, Sat 8 Dec – Sun 6 Jan 2019

Mr TUUUUUUUUUMBBBBBLE! CBeebies mega star Justin Fletcher will be rubbing his lamp this year, while dame Paul Morse is up to his neck in laundry (I hear you) as Widow Twankey. Justin may make you reach for the gin bottle but any small people in your charge probably worship him. Reading’s mega panto is always a sell out, so get on that magic carpet to the box office pronto.

readingarts.com/hexagon

 

Dick Whittington, Theatre Royal Windsor, Fri 23 Nov – Sun 6 Jan 2019

The fur’s gonna a fly with a cat and a fox in the house. Basil Brush returns to star in the Windsor panto alongside Anne Hegerty – The Governess on The Chase (rumoured to also be going into the I’m A Celebrity jungle) and 80s Radio 1 DJ Mike Read.

theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

 

Dick Whittington & His Cat, South Hill Park Bracknell, Fri 30 Nov – Sat 5 Jan 2019 

With a whiff of X Factor style desperation, Dick Whittington and his Cat will be hitting the streets of Bracknell seeking fame and fortune. The South Hill Park production is always cleverly staged and very funny. Spice up your life with an adult only performance or enjoy the relaxed shows suited to young first-time theatregoers, the autistic, dementia sufferers or anyone who prefers less whizz bangery.

southhillpark.org.uk

 

Jack and the Beanstalk, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 30 Nov – Sun 6 Jan 2019

Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, we smell lots of panto fun! Expect adventure, mayhem and and the return of the utterly brilliant Matthew Grace – aka Billy Bumpkin. He missed his train to Newbury last year, bless him, and spent the season riding the Circle Line. But he’s back and we couldn’t be more excited.

cornexchangenew.com

 

Dick Whittington, Kenton Theatre, Sat 15 – Sat 29 Dec 

Here puss puss! Immersion Theatre returns to Henley’s Kenton Theatre for Dick Whittington – always a sell out, this year sees the return of James Clifford in the title role. kentontheatre.co.uk

 

CHRISTMAS SHOWS

Moon The Fir Trees live show puppets wearing red and white trousers and blue and white scarf

The Fir Tree, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Tue 20 Nov – Sun 30 Dec

The marshmallow-looking Moomin family are moving to Maidenhead. Created by Finnish author Tove Jansson, The Fir Tree is a heartwarming family tale about the true meaning of Christmas featuring music, live puppetry and a Moomins. The Norden Farm show is always beautifully staged and perfect for smaller children. 

norden.farm

Guys & Dolls, Mill at Sonning, Fri 23 Nov – Sat 23 Feb 2019

Get your glad rags on because The Mill at Sonning are bringing New York to Berks with Guys & Dolls. Director Joseph Pitcher and Conductor Charles Ingles, who put on last year’s My Fair Lady, are back along with the promise of post-show piano tunes on Friday and Saturday evenings and cocktails from the Waterwheel Bar – music to my ears. First person to spy George wins Christmas at the Clooneys (joke, obvs). Ticket price also includes lunch/dinner.

millatsonning.com

Robin Hood, Watermill Theatre Bagnor, Thu 15 Nov –  Sat 5 Jan 2o19

Bow and arrows at the ready! Critically acclaimed children’s author Laura Dockrill has written this year’s panto for Watermill Theatre that promises to be a barrel of laughs.

watermill.org.uk

The Princess and The Pantomime, Windsor Castle, Sat, 1; Fri 7, Sat 8 and Sun 9 Dec

Something a little spesh at Windsor Castle, no less. The Queen and Princess Margaret famously staged their own pantos (possibly the poshest costumes ever) and now you can enjoy a theatrical retelling of Christmases past at Windsor Castle. including a pop-up panto in the Waterloo Chamber, exactly where The Queen performed wartime shows when a princess.

rct.uk

 

A Christmas Carol, Theatre Royal Windsor, Mon 12 – Sun 17 Dec

Love a good sing along but hate the panto? Theatre Royal Windsor has the answer to your prayers in the form of A Christmas Carol The Musical. The show has been adapted by big Broadway names Alan Menken (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid) and Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical) so no doubt you’ll be swaying your lighters in the air in no time.

theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

 

FURTHER AFIELD

Rumpelstiltskin, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 13 Dec- 6 Jan 

All the way from Australia for it’s UK premier, this performance of Rumplestiltskin is promising something different from your traditional stage show. On offer are funky costumes, super modern staging and a contemporary twist to the old fairy tale. Aussie cabaret king Paul Capsis is playing the big R. southbankcentre.co.uk

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Wycombe Swan, Fri 7 – Sun 30 Dec 

Brendan Cole as the comely Prince? Yes indeedy, Strictly’s nemesis to Craig Revel Horwood makes his panto debut alongside Britain’s Got Talent’s comedian Mandy Muden as the evil Queen and panto dame veteran Jason Sutton. It’s a 10 from us for comedy casting, darling! wycombeswan.co.uk

 

A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic London, Sat 24 Nov – Sat 19 Jan 

This production of festive classic A Christmas Carol staged by The Old Vic’s artistic director Matthew Warchus had such great reviews last year that it’s returning for round two. Adapted by Jack Thorne, co-writer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. 8+ it stars Stephen Tomkinson. oldvictheatre.com

 

Snow White, London Palladium, Sat 8 Dec – Sun 13 Jan 

Punchy and very funny cast, with Dawn French taking the starring role, accompanied with a fleckle heel by Strictly’s Vincent and Flavia, Broadway’s Charles Stemp and Over The Rainbow’s Danielle Hope. A dead cert. snowwhitepalladium.com

 

Aladdin, Hackney Empire, Sat 24 Nov – Sun 6 Jan 

The unashamed home of panto, Hackney Empire’s in-house team celebrates its 20th birthday. Olivier Award-winner and panto dame extraordinaire Clive Rowe returns to Hackney Empire’s stage after a three year hiatus, alongside West End star Tameka Empson. hackneyempire.co.uk

 

Nativity! The Musical, Oxford’s New Theatre, Tues 11- Sat 15 Dec

Last year Nativity made the leap from film to Christmas show in a touring production – now it’s back again with more shows and Oxford on the location list for the first time. Good cast for this one with Eastenders’ favourite Jake Wood, plus Scott Garnham (BillyElliott the musical) Ashleigh Gray (Wicked) and Simon Lipkin reprising his role as happy-go-lucky Mr Poppy. The show has been adapted for the stage by the film’s creator Debbie Isitt, and had great reviews last year, so you’re in perfect Christmas kiddie catnip territory.  If you fancy seeing Nativity! The Musical further afield then the show will also be in London with a comedy gold cast of father and daughter duo Danny and Dani Dyer and funny-woman Jo Brand.atgtickets.com

 

Horrible Christmas, Alexandra Palace, Thurs 13 – Sun 30 Dec 

A jolly man in red tries to ruin Christmas. Not Mr Muddy as it happens (though he does his best every year), expect typical Horrible Histories style with terrible Tudors and Vile Victorians giving a history of Crimbo. tickets.london

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