The Best Shows To Catch This Christmas in London
Planning a festive trip to the theatre? There’s always plenty to see on the stage in London around this time of year: feel-good musicals, Christmas classics, ballets, comedy performances and more. Here we highlight the best shows to watch this Christmas, from an orchestra-led screening of Love Actually to a retelling of a Dickensian classic.
Shows To Watch This Christmas 2022
A Christmas Carol-ish
Soho Theatre, London
Ted Lasso star Nick Mohammed returns to his Mr Swallow alter ego for a comic rewrite of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Running at the Soho Theatre this December, the show will reunite some of the team behind previous Mr Swallow creations, like Houdini and Dracula!, starring David Elms, Kieran Hodgson and Sarah Hadland.
7 – 23 December 2022, sohotheatre.com
Elf the Musical
While Will Ferrell sadly doesn’t feature in the stage version of hit Christmas film Elf, it’s still well worth a watch. Coming to London for an eight-week season this November, the musical stars Simon Lipkin as the loveable Buddy, who is raised by Santa’s elves in the North Pole, and one day embarks on a trip to New York City to find his father. A feel-good favourite that all the family will love.
14 November 2022 – 7 January 2023, elflondon.com
Rufus Norris directs the National Theatre’s big Christmas show this year, which is a dark musical version of Sleeping Beauty. The focus here is on not princess Aurora, but the fairy who is summoned to the palace to help her sleep, with music by Jim Fortune and choreography by Jade Hackett.
26 November – 14 January 2022, nationaltheatre.org.uk
Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol
Another twist on Dickens, this time featuring Dolly Parton songs and set in rural Tennessee. With a score written by Parton herself, the show has toured around America – but its run at the Southbank Centre will be the biggest yet. Set in the 1930s, this retelling of A Christmas Carol reimagines Ebeneezer Scrooge as the owner of a mining company town who is approached by three ghosts who encourage him to discover a life anew.
8 December 2022 – 8 January 2023, southbankcentre.co.uk
Cabaret and circus acts might not scream festive, but it’s always a highlight on London’s Christmas calendar. The award-winning show returns to Leicester Square’s Spiegeltent this November, complete with aerial performances, acrobatic dance, visual art, burlesque and more. Throughout the season, a line-up of special guests will join the original cast for a run of performances, including renowned cabaret dancer Kitty Bang Bang.
9 November 2022 – 7 January 2023, lacliquetheshow.com
Love Actually In Concert
There are few things more festive than a viewing of Love Actually, and this version adds a new dimension to the table. Love Actually Live in Concert sees the soundtrack of Richard Curtis’ 2003 film performed live to picture – and fans of the movie know Craig Armstrong’s score is a big part of its magic. Hugh Grant’s legendary dance to The Pointer Sisters’ Jump, the unique performance of All You Need is Love at Kiera Knightley’s wedding, and of course Bill Nighy’s rendition of Christmas is All Around will all be brought to life at Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo.
10 December 2022, eventimapollo.com
Royal Opera House
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without The Nutcracker, and happily The Royal Ballet’s version returns to the Royal Opera House this November. Set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, this classical production follows Clara and her Nutcracker as they travel to the Land of Sweets. Expect stunning set designs from Julia Trevelyan Oman and faultless dancing.
6 December 2022 – 14 January 2023, roh.org.uk
Main image by Tristram Kenton
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