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November 2011 – January 2012

LONDON’S FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SHOW! Sadler’s Wells presents The Birmingham Repertory Theatre production of


The stage show based upon the book by Raymond Briggs and the film directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates Music and Lyrics by Howard Blake

© Snowman Enterprises Ltd 1982, 2011. By arrangement with Snowman Enterprises Ltd and Chester Music Ltd. Photos: Alastair Muir & Herbie Knott.

Design by Ruari Murchison Lighting Design by Tim Mitchell Choreographed by Robert North Directed by Bill Alexander

“As traditional as mince pies and Santa Claus” Time Out


‘Walking in the Air’

30 November - 8 January



23 Nov – 8 Jan The Snow Queen Based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen

19 Nov – 31 Dec Aladdin Travel to a far away land with Aladdin at the Lyric as East meets West (London) this Christmas. Our Genie has granted three wishes to bring you a show full of fun, laughter and lots of surprises. Last year’s Dick Whittington and his Cat was a huge hit and this year promises to be even better as we welcome back the same writing team to once again create a truly Lyric panto. Info: The Lyric, Lyric Square, King Street, London W6 0QL |

After a freak snowstorm on the southern tip of India, Kumar disappears. Gowri, his best friend, discovers that he has been captured by the formidable Snow Queen, and embarks on a journey across the length and breadth of the continent to save him. From the burning heat of southern India, through lush backwaters, glitzy Bollywood and desolate bandit country, our brave heroine strives to bring the warmth of friendship to the icy north. Will Kumar be trapped forever in the deathly cold of everlasting winter? Or can his closest friend find a way of melting the Snow Queen’s frozen heart? Join the Unicorn for a brand new version of Hans Christian Andersen’s magical tale, transported to a land rich in colour, music and unforgettable imagery. Info: Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street More London London SE1 2HZ | www.unicorntheatre. com


Lime’s Guide to Christmas Shows and Pantos 2011

24 Nov – 08 Jan Aladdin Things are not going well for Aladdin. His mum’s laundry barely earns them enough to live on, let alone feed his pet panda, and to make matters worse he’s just caught a forbidden glimpse of Princess So-Shy and is surely in trouble with the Emperor... His one glimmer of hope arrives in the form of a slightly strange long lost uncle who offers him a job and the promise of untold riches. Could this be the answer to all his problems? Join us for a magical, musical pantomime for all the family, written by and starring Andrew Pollard. Complete with a genie, a villain, a magic lamp and plenty of comedy and romance, this is sure to be the high-flying highlight of the festive season. Info: Greenwich Theatre Crooms Hill London SE10 8ES |

23 Nov – 15 Jan Gruffalo live Everyone’s favourite monster is back - live on stage in London this Christmas! Touring nationally and internationally since 2001, this magical musical adaptation of the awardwinning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, has delighted millions of youngsters, adults, school groups and critics worldwide. Join Mouse on an adventurous journey through the deep dark wood? Meet a wheeler-dealer Fox, an eccentric old Owl, and a maraca-shaking, party-mad Snake! Mouse can scare these hungry animals away with tall stories of the terrifying Gruffalo, but what happens when he comes face to face with the very creature he imagined…? Songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3+ and their grown-ups! Info: Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London |

29 Nov - 30 Dec Twinkle Twonkle From the company that brought you The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Mr Benn and many others. Tall Stories present Twinkle Twonkle inspired by nursery rhymes and the Big Bang - stories, music and the mystery of space lift you up, up and away. Stella loves the stars. Every evening she gazes at them through her telescope. But one night her little brother Ryan wishes on a star, extends the telescope all the way and starts climbing up it. Stella follows him. But something is wrong in the night sky. There’s Pegasus the flying horse but there’s also a cow jumping over the moon. And the Great Bear and the Little Bear have been joined by a medium-sized bear… Info: Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH | Lime’s Guide to Christmas Shows and Pantos 2011


29 Nov – 31 Dec Santa Claus and the Christmas Adventure Do you believe in Santa Claus? If you do, join us for a brand new fun filled show at The Ambassadors Theatre in London’s West End this Christmas. The adventure takes place at Santa’s HQ in the North Pole. The Reindeer Sat Nav is programmed and the toys are piled high on the sleigh, then… chaos strikes! Rudolph is missing and the Elves are misbehaving... will Santa ever deliver the presents to all the boys and girls?! Santa needs your help, and in return the children will get to meet him after the show and even receive a present. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the magic moment your little ones meet Father Christmas for the very first time! A truly unforgettable experience, Santa Claus and the Christmas Adventure promises to be the festive treat you won’t want to miss – come and join the fun and help Santa save the day! For children aged 2-8 Info: Ambassadors Theatre, West St, London, WC2H 9ND | www.theambassadorstheatre.

30 Nov – 14 Jan Cinderella Chickenshed’s spectacular new version of Cinderella takes all the familiar and traditional elements of this muchloved tale, and serves them up with a modern twist. An unforgettable musical extravaganza with a cast of hundreds, this is the festive show that you will never forget! With a feisty heroine who will appeal equally to boys and girls, young and old, everyone will delight in her tough talking adventures on the way to the palace. Age 5+ recommended, approx 2hrs (including an interval) estimated run time. Info: Chickenshed Theatre, Chase Side, Southgate, N14 4PE |


Lime’s Guide to Christmas Shows and Pantos 2011

30 Nov - 31 Dec Aladdin Poor street urchin, Aladdin will be played by Michael Sewell whilst Roxanne Douro will play his on stage love the beautiful Princess Jasmine. Widow Twankey will be played by Marcus Powell and Ashley J will play his (or is that her?) on-stage son Wishee Washee. Benedict Martin is used to playing nasty characters and will take the role of the evil Abanazer whilst Hugh Osborne will play the Emporer. The Genie will be played by Trevor A Toussaint. Info: The Broadway, Broadway, Barking IG11 7LS |

1-31 Dec Holly and Ivan’s Christmas Adventure This year, the Lyric Hammersmith collaborates with Pins and Needles Productions to present the world premiere of a brand new festive show for under 6s; Holly & Ivan’s Christmas Adventure. This is a magical tale of two brave little toys, Holly and Ivan, who fall off the back of Santa’s Sleigh on Christmas Eve. Not wanting their new owners to wake up to no presents, they set off on an epic journey to find them. Info: The Lyric, Lyric Square, King Street, London W6 0QL |

1 Dec – 7 Jan Beasts and Beauties

Grisly and gruesome, hilarious and hair-raising, Hampstead Theatre’s festive treat brings you Brothers Grimm and other European fairytales to make you laugh with delight and shiver with glee. Featuring a beast with bad table manners and a goat that poos gold, Beasts and Beauties includes classic stories such as ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’. Info: Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage, London NW3 3EU | www.



! O T n PA

1 – 31 Dec BAC at Christmas

Come to BAC this Christmas and celebrate with some of the best theatre makers in the UK today - from fairy tales for adults to serious comedy for kids, new shows cooking up and being shared with audiences for the first time, poetry, spoken word, storming live music, a Christmas

Fair throughout December outside on Town Hall Road, and an unmissable New Year’s Eve party. Info: BAC, Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN |

Following their hugely popular performances of How Long is a Piece of String and Mole in the Hole, Oily Cart - Britain’s best-loved creators of theatre for young people - return with an immersive, interactive and multi-sensory show for children aged 3 – 6 and their families. Join us on an epic, though tiny, table-top voyage of discovery, where your fingers and noses will never be far from the action. Info: Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street More London London SE1 2HZ | www.unicorntheatre. com

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Who doesn’t want to play Cinders? Ahead of rehearsals for Cinderella at Theatre Royal Stratford East, we caught up with Ayesha Antoine. Words: Sophia A Jackson


s part of the Open Stage initiative, Theatre Royal Stratford East asked visitors to choose their favourite pantomime and they chose Cinderella. Ayesha Antoine is the leading lady and fills us in on why she loves all things pantomime and why Theatre Royal Stratford East has been a family favourite for many, many years. What attracted you to playing Cinderella? Lots of things really but I’ve been going to panto at Theatre Royal Stratford East since I was about six or seven. It was a family thing where about 20 of us would go every year on 2 January. It’s a family tradition. It’s good fun and the kids love it. I couldn’t think of a reason not to - who doesn’t want to be Cinders? I haven’t worked with the director before, Kerry Michael either but it really was an easy decision.

It’s the archetypical fairy tale story, the under dog is unfairly punished and treated badly but she’s a good person and in the end she gets her prince and they live happily ever after. No matter how old you are it’s a universal story – you work hard to achieve happiness. Has this philosophy worked for you? Yes, I’d like to think so. It’s how mum raised us; she said we shouldn’t aim low. I’ve got over 15 years in the business and although I never wanted worldwide fame – I wanted to have a career and I’m still working and getting good jobs, so that philosophy is holding

Cinderella won the people’s choice awards – why do you think it’s so popular?


Lime’s Guide to Christmas Shows and Pantos 2011

through so far. I work hard and I am privileged to do what I love for living.

How did you research for your part? My generation were brought up on Disney but as part of my research I’ve seen about seven versions of Cinderella. I saw one with Brandy as Cinderella and Whoopi Goldberg as the godmother. What’s your favourite panto? Aladdin at Theatre Royal Stratford East and I loved Jack and the Beanstalk when they did it about eight or nine years ago. I’ve always loved Theatre Royal Stratford East, it’s just a fact. You’ve been acting for many years now. Has fame changed you? [Laughs]. No, I don’t get recognised that much, I come off stage and people don’t know it me, I think that’s a good thing about being able to transform. The only thing that may change people is if they get famous over night, but it’s not about fame it’s about a career. Why was it important to you to excel academically too with regards to your degree in psychology and English? Because I was and am a real geek and love learning and from a young age I loved school and I wanted to get a degree. My mum could not insist enough on how important education is, no matter what you want to do. I

wanted to do something other than drama, Jo Melville, my godmother, she reined me that acting is fickle and it’s such an emotional and draining job you might want to do something else so my education is a safety net also. I’m fascinated by psychology, and if I didn’t act I would be a psychotherapist. How did you feel when you landed your first major role? The biggest one was Grange Hill – that was huge, at the time. It was legendary to be in something like that at that age. I remember me and my mum jumping up and down on the sofa, we were really excited. Doctor Who was another big thing, again because it’s so well known and such an iconic series. Then I went to New York, to star in the play, My Wonderful Day. I loved it, to do something you love and have people rave about - it that’s extra special. Those three were the biggest but every time I get a job it’s like oh my God, because you can go for 50 auditions and get one job, so you have to relish the one job you do get.

have you developed throughout your career because it seems acting and rejections go hand in hand? I would say I’m lucky. I have an amazing support network in my family and partner, they come and see everything I do, when I get to share the job with family and friends that makes everything easier to deal with, too. I have so much respect for people who do this job and their family don’t support them. I’ve got15 years in the business but it’s just a job, it’s not he end of the world if you don’t get something. What’s for you will come for you, work as hard as you can, and rinse every single minute of it. Knowledge is Power: what advice would you give to someone who wants to go into the acting field?

Read. Read, read, and do. As I didn’t go to drama school, I think in this industry your individual path is so unique, the most you can do to start that path is to join a drama school or drama classes in school. I know lots of people, especially men, who get into acting at 35 or even 45. Feel the fear and do it anyway and keep your options open and be available for anything. Why should people come and see Cinderella? Because Theatre Royal Stratford East is THE place for Christmas panto, it’s for everybody, for all backgrounds - everyone is represented in the play and it’s the most welcoming theatre. That’s what I love about it and the panto’s are always brilliant. It will be a magical night. Also, there’s always a twist at Theatre Royal Stratford East, so it won’t be your bog standard panto. Info: Cinderella is at Theatre Royal Stratford East from December 3 to January 21, 2012 | www. stratfordeast. com

What resilience and coping mechanisms Lime’s Guide to Christmas Shows and Pantos 2011


2 Dec – 8 Jan Snow White

3-31 Dec The Enormous Turnip

This Christmas, Jacksons Lane is delighted to present a charming tale to warm your cockles over the festive period in this wholesome theatrical treat. Before they retire, Mr and Mrs Chickweed can’t resist planting one last seed. But as the Enormous Turnip grows, it threatens their house with disaster! Can anyone help them pull up the Enormous Turnip? Following sell-out performances of The Three Little Pigs last year, Stuff and Nonsense return with their infamous blend of unswerving energy, eccentric puppetry and live music. This re-potted version of the world-famous children’s story promises surprises aplenty for the whole family. Info: Jacksons Lane, 269a Archway Road London, N6 5AA |



3 Dec – 21 Jan Cinderella

As part of the theatre’s Open Stage project in which the public choose their favourite productions, audiences were asked which panto they would like to see on stage and the peoples’ choice, Cinderella won! Theatre Royal Stratford

10 Lime’s Guide to Christmas Shows and Pantos 2011

Martin Dodd for UK Productions proudly presents Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs starring Children TV’s favourite Barney Harwood as Muddles, Patsy Kensit as the glamorous Wicked Queen, I’d Do Anything finalist Sarah Lark as our beautiful Snow White and David Spinx (EastEnders). Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the funniest panto of them all? It has got to be the Churchill Theatre’s of course! We are proud that our pantos are the biggest, most traditional and best-loved in the South East region with over 40,000 delighted people joining the CTB for a magical Christmas year after year. Snow White has escaped from her wicked stepmother to Bromley, starting on a journey of adventure in which she meets Seven Dwarfs, a handsome prince and all of you! With glittering costumes and sets, hilarious jokes, song and dance, lots of audience participation, make sure you don’t miss the fun this Christmas Info: The Churchill, High Street Bromley Kent BR1 1HA | East are remounting their Olivier-nominated Cinderella, but the creative team have decided to come back to the show and add a twist! If there’s nothing like a dame, why have one when you can have three? The Wicked Step-Mother and her two Ugly Sisters will all be men in frocks. There will be three times as many baddies to boo and hiss, so even more fun to be had. Info: Theatre Royal Stratford East, Theatre Square, London E15 1BN | We have teamed up with Theatre Royal Stratford East and have a set of family tickets (two adults and two children) to give-away. To enter, email with Cinders in the subject header by December 15. Good luck!

Listings information: The Birmingham Repertory Theatre Production of The Snowman Peacock Theatre Wednesday 30 November 2011 - Sunday 8 January 2012

The Snowman The Birmingham Repertory Theatre Production of

“Sheer theatrical magic. Go see The Snowman and melt” The Times

The West End’s longest running family Christmas show based on Raymond Briggs’ book The Snowman returns to the West End’s Peacock Theatre for a record-breaking 14th consecutive year from the 30 November 2011 – 8 January 2012. When a young boy’s snowman comes to life on Christmas Eve, the two set off on a night-time quest for adventure. On their travels, they meet dancing penguins, reindeer and, of course, Father Christmas.

Featuring Howard Blake’s timeless score, including the ever-popular Walking in the Air played live by a full orchestra; this is the perfect Christmas treat for all the family. With an enchanting set design by Ruari Murchison and lighting by Tim Mitchell, The Snowman, with its mix of storytelling, spectacle and magic, has been delighting children for years. Suitable for all ages, The Snowman is the perfect introduction to dance for the very young.

Performances: 11 am performances 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 Dec 3, 7, 8 Jan 2.30 pm performances 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 Dec 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Jan 7pm performances 30 Nov, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 21, 23, 28, 30 Dec, 7 Jan Tickets: £12 - £32 Family ticket: £95 (4 tickets, must include at least 1 child) Ticket office: 0844 412 4322 / www.

Lime’s Guide to Christmas Shows and Pantos 2011




26 Nov – 8 Jan 2011 Cinderella

Join beautiful Cinderella, two hideous Ugly Sisters, one seriously mean Stepmother, one huge pumpkin, a glitzy Palace Ball and lots of very cute mice. Add to these thrilling adventure, knockabout comedy, Show-stopping musical numbers and the most glittering glass slipper imaginable and you have the perfect family treat for this Christmas. Info: Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London E8 1EJ | Lime magazine has teamed up with the Hackney Empire to offer one lucky reader the opportunity to win tickets to see Cinderella. Just answer this simple question: Which vegetable became a carriage to take Cinderella to the ball? Send your answer plus your name and contact number to with Empire in the Subject Header. Good Luck!

7 Dec – 29 Jan Goldilocks

Young Goldilocks likes to explore the world and experience new things. This time, when she wanders into an empty house, she finds much more than three bowls of porridge…But what will happen when the Bears return and find her? Using table-top puppetry and musical influences from around the world, this production brings this classic story to life with a twist. Info: Little Angel Theatre, 14 Dagmar Passage, Cross St, London N1 2DN | www.

12 Lime’s Guide to Christmas Shows and Pantos 2011

6-24 Dec The Magician’s Daughter Inspired by Shakespeare’s story of The Tempest, Little Angel Theatre bring their trademark blend of puppetry and song to this captivating story of the adventures of a young girl on a magical faraway island. Join Miranda’s daughter as she discovers for herself Ariel, Caliban and the wonders of the ‘isle full of noises’, just like her Mum did many years ago. Written by former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen and directed by Peter Glanville, The Magician’s Daughter is a delightful and funny story. Info: The Albany, Douglas Way London SE8 4AG |

7 – 24 Dec Bollywood Cinderella – the Pantomime

Surinderella is forced to slave night and day making chappals (slippers) for her “Auntiji” and her stepsisters Happy and Lucky, with only her Singing Veggies for company. Little does she know her luck is about to change. A neighbouring Prince, desperate to find a “true heart” to wed, proclaims a grand Bollywood-style Ball to find the finest chappal-wearer. However, Auntiji and her daughters are naturally determined that Surinderella comes nowhere near the Ball – unfortunately it is enough for her to make them the finest chappals. How will the Prince find his true love? And Surinderella escape her fate? Come to Tara Theatre and see Bollywood Cinderella to find out! Info: Tara Studio, 356 Garratt Lane London, SW18 4ES |

6 – 31 Dec Jack and the Beanstalk

The Shaw Theatre presents a GIANT of a pantomime, providing value-for-money Christmas fun for all the family - this is one pantomime that’ll certainly get you “IN THE MOOD FOR DANCING”, with Maureen Nolan taking on the role of Good Fairy Sugarsnap, whilst her real-life sister Linda (nicknamed ‘The Naughty Nolan’ by the press in the 80s) is playing her nemesis, the evil sorceress Venus Flytrap. It’ll be the first time the sisters have shared a stage since the sell-out Nolans reunion tour in 2009, and is sure to prove a treat to fans old and new. Also joining the cast is Devon Anderson as our hero Jack, known to millions as Billie Jackson from EastEnders, and millions more as Sonny Valentine from Hollyoaks. Playing the King is CBBC favourite Chris Stanton, a regular on spy series M.I. High, who more recently took a guest stint in long-running Coronation Street.  The icing on the pantomime cake is provided by the hilarious Rodney Ward, described as “one of Britain’s top panto dames”! Info: Shaw Theatre, 100-110 Euston Road, London NW1 2AJ |

10 - 31 Dec Copyright Christmas by Duckie

After the sell-out run of Lullaby in the Pit this summer, Olivier award-winning theatre collective Duckie return to the Barbican to present the world premiere of Copyright Christmas (age guidance 11+), directed by Mark Whitelaw and designed by artist Robin Whitmore. Continuing their tradition of alternative Christmas shows for the Barbican, Duckie turn to conspicuous consumption and branded Britain in this interactive promenade performance. Audiences are invited to step into the Duckie superstore and meet saucy shopaholics, supermarket sweepers and sweatshop santas. Info: Barbican, Silk Street, London | www.

10 Dec – 2 Jan Jack and the Beanstalk

A pantomime kingdom full of magic and adventure awaits audiences this year at The Broadway Theatre, Catford, when Jack and the Beanstalk will be raising the roof. This year’s pantomime has all the ingredients of a mouth watering feast of fun, frivolity and festive cheer! Our traditional pantomime tale with be served up with spectacular scenery, colourful costumes, creative choreography accompanied by live music and a huge side dish of slapstick delivered by a very talented cast who promise plenty of magic in the giant kingdom of Sunnyvale! Info: The Broadway Theatre, Catford London SE6 4RU |

11 Dec – 30 Dec The Gruffalo’s Child

Following hot on the heels of the sell out tour of The Gruffalo and his monstrous West End success comes the Gruffalo’s Child - with attitude! Just how brave is she? Find out by joining her at artsdepot this Christmas season. The Gruffalo said that no Gruffalo should ever set foot in the deep dark wood... But one wild and windy night, the Gruffalo’s Child ignores her father’s warning and tiptoes out into the snow on her own. After all, the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist... Does he? Tall Stories Theatre Company returns, bringing Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award-winning sequel to life in this magical, musical adaptation. All adults must be accompanied by a responsible child. Info: Arts Depot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, London N12 0GA | www.artsdepot. Lime’s Guide to Christmas Shows and Pantos 2011


13-13 Dec The Sooty Christmas Show

Izzy Wizzy let’s get Busy! Introduce your children to the magic of Sooty this Christmas! The nation’s favourite magical teddy bear returns to The West End this Christmas, to take centre stage in a charming winter treat packed full of giggles. The all new Sooty Christmas Show, featuring TV host Richard Cadell and the legendary trio of Sooty, Sweep and Soo. The show opens as Sooty, Sweep, Soo and Richard are getting ready for their Christmas Party. Sooty is having a few problems rehearsing his magic show, while Sweep’s Christmas cake is a recipe for disaster. Poor little Soo just can’t decide which dress to wear. Luckily Uncle Norman drops by to lend a hand assisted by his amazing troupe of performing budgies! Info: Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0HH

14-23 Dec The Xmas Starty

Gideon Reeling is proud to present the return of last year’s sell-out Xmas Starties. …like a Christmas party but before the main one and it’s better. OK, not definitely better than the one with all the presents and piles of food and family rows but definitely better than all the other yuletide seasonal celebrationing. Expect

music, passion, laughs, games, dances, prizes and crafting. And hats, expect hats. Come join in – our Santa’s grotty and our acts are alive… with the sound of Holly and the smell of Plum Duff! The most bizarre office Christmas party you will ever attend. Info: Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE | www.

14 Lime’s Guide to Christmas Shows and Pantos 2011

16 - 31 December Mojo by TheatreRites – Barbican Christmas

For families this Christmas (age recommendation 5+) Mojo reunites Theatre-Rites Artistic Director Sue Buckmaster with choreographer Arthur Pita, winners of the 2008 TMA Achievement in Dance Award for Mischief. Co-produced by the Barbican and the Salzburg Festival, this world premiere is a riot of dance, puppetry and music, taking the audience on a spectacular journey through the magic and mayhem of growing up. Info: Barbican, Silk Street, London |


Limes Guide to Pantos and Christmas Shows 2011  

Your Essential Guide to the best Christmas Shows and Pantos from 2011 into 2012

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