A stunning stage version of Lewis Carroll's fantastical tale.
Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD
Dates: 6th December 2014 to 16th January 2015
The Royal Ballet stages a stunning stage version of Lewis Carroll's fantastical tale which returns to the Royal Opera House following its well received 2011 world premiere here. Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland combines elaborate costumes, projections and backdrops with inventive props and music by Joby Talbot. Praised for its theatrical effects, all of Carroll's famous characters through the looking glass are portrayed in incredibly inventive ways. Although the story has been tweaked, beginning with a party in Oxford held by Alice's parents, children (from five years old) will enjoy the engaging show and atmospheric music and will recognise the twitchy White Rabbit, a tap dancing Mad Hatter, a sinuous caterpillar and The Queen of Hearts.
Magical new ballet based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic story.
Sadler's Wells: Lilian Baylis Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN
Tube: Angel Station
Dates: 13th December 2014 to 10th January 2015
A snowy stage sets the scene for an icy cold Christmas Eve, where the Little Match Girl paces the emptying streets, shivering and desperate, trying to sell her matches. This magical new production based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic story, adapted by celebrated director and choreographer Arthur Pita, gets its first London showing as the Sadler's Wells Christmas show at the Lilian Baylis Theatre. Classically based dance moves are performed against a clever set by Yann Seabra and a score by Frank Moon which uses pre-recorded and live sound. The story may not be the most cheerful but a trip to the moon prompts a fun-filled episode with an astronaut and a miniature space shuttle - more than enough to keep the over 5s enthralled.
Loved by children and adults alike, this festive tale returns for its annual sob-fest.
Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HT
Dates: 26th November 2014 to 4th January 2015
This staging of Raymond Briggs's The Snowman by Sadler's Wells, suitable for children aged 4 and over and staged in the Peacock Theatre, has become a much-loved festive tradition in London. Translating the beautifully-illustrated book to dance, the respected ballet company creates a winter wonderland of a stage show at their West End theatre. This is the theatrical equivalent of going to see Father Christmas except infinitely more spectacular as a young boy's snowman comes to life and the two of them fly across the sky. When Father Christmas does appear it's in a shimmering woodland, surrounded by magical reindeer, dancing penguins and a host of snowy friends. As the first notes of Walking in the Air fill the theatre, the heart-melting factor will not disappoint as awe-struck children (and adults) are mesmerised by the dazzling light show of snow.
Matthew Bourne brings Edward Scissorhands to Sadler's Wells this Christmas.
Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN
Tube: Angel Station
Dates: 2nd December 2014 to 11th January 2015
Having so successfully given new interpretations to classics like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Nutcracker!, Matthew Bourne now brings Edward Scissorhands to Sadler's Wells this Christmas. This delightful dance adaptation of the classic 1990 Tim Burton film in which Johnny Depp plays a boy with scissors for hands returns for a six week season having first been staged in 2005. The title role will be played by popular New Adventures stars, Dominic North (Sleeping Beauty) "a strong dancer" who "conveys the pathos of the character with subtlety and restraint" (The Observer) and Liam Mower (the original Billy Elliot). Promising "a fresh new look at this magical production", Bourne has reworked the show for this revival. "The show's other star is Lez Brotherston's set," wrote Luke Jennings in The Observer reviewing the production at Sadler's Wells six years ago. "The Middle-American 'burbs are created by ranks of miniature candy-coloured villas in extreme perspective, a glance at one of the interiors revealing a hideous vase and a Tretchikoff print... Like all Bourne's shows, Scissorhands has its sophisticated little bonuses."
Alan Titchmarsh makes his West End debut as the singing narrator.
Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH
Dates: 26th November 2014 to 17th January 2015
Gardener, broadcaster and novelist Alan Titchmarsh makes his West End debut as the narrator in Will Tuckett's production of The Wind in the Willows, the role performed last year by Blackadder star Tony Robinson. The TV host and gardener loved the show so much when he saw it that he said it would be a "dream" to play the part of the narrator. Now his 'dream' has come true as he takes on the singing narrator role in The Royal Opera House production, named Best Entertainment and Family Show at the 2014 Olivier Awards, which returns to London's West End for an eight-week run at the Vaudeville Theatre, bringing Kenneth Grahame's classic story to life through dance, song, music and puppetry. The tale of four friends - Ratty, Mole and Badger and the reckless Mr Toad - is "an energetic, enjoyable and atmospheric production" said The Telegraph, "just make sure you take your three best friends along for the ride". Will Tuckett directs and choreographs and the narration is written by the former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion. Suitable for over 5s.
The Irish dance spectacular celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street, London, W6 9QH
Tube: Hammersmith Station
Dates: 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th Dec 2014
The show which brought Irish dancing to the world stage celebrates its 20th anniversary with a nationwide tour which comes to London's Hammersmith Apollo in December. Riverdance started as the interval act during the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest and went on to become a worldwide hit, a show that has played 10,000 performances to more than 23 million fans in 45 countries. Following in the famous firey footsteps of Michel Flatley is James Greenan, the principle dancer of the Riverdance 20th Anniversary Tour which combines Celtic and Irish dance to a score by Bill Whelan. The London shows are the finale to a tour which calls at 16 venues across the UK from September 2014.
A glittering production with an Edwardian setting, staged at the London Coliseum.
London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4ES
Dates: 11th December 2014 to 4th January 2015
A very traditional interpretation of E.T.A. Hoffman's the Nutcracker, English National Ballet's version has been staged every year since 1950. In 2010 Wayne Eagling (artistic director of the company from 2005 to 2012) created this version to celebrate the company's 60th birthday. This glittering production, with an Edwardian setting created by Peter Farmer, cannot fail to get you in the Christmas spirit. As sure as putting up fairy lights, filling Christmas stockings and having too much mulled wine at the office party, watching Clara dance in front of the Christmas tree is a truly festive thing to do. It's hard to imagine a production more indulgently sumptuous than Wayne Eagling's choreography to Tchaikovsky's famous score. From the heart-warming family party of the opening scene to the appearance of the magical kingdom, the action beckons you in. View our great ticket deals for English National Ballet's Nutcracker.
Hip hop meets the heady nonsense of Lewis Carroll.
Linbury Studio Theatre, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD
Dates: 6th December 2014 to 3rd January 2015
A new family Christmas show from ZooNation, the company who have put hip hop centre stage, The Mad Hatter's Tea Party taps into the heady nonsense of Lewis Carroll's much-loved world in an interactive show. ZooNation has already enjoyed success with shows like Into the Hoods and Some Like it Hip Hop, and this playful take on Alice in Wonderland's zany tea party is sure to prove equally popular with youngsters. Artistic Director Kate Prince and her company have worked together with regular collaborators Ben Stones with his innovative set designs and the musical team Josh Cohen and DJ Walde to produce this high energy dance adventure.