December in London 2017

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ABBA: Super Troupers
Slava's Snowshow
Great Christmas Pudding Race
Spitalfields Music Festival 2017
Shard Lights
The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker
Saint Etienne
London Musical Theatre Orchestra: A Christmas Carol
English National Ballet: Nutcracker
The Little Match Girl
Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race
Pop-Up Screens Cinema in the Snow
Dick Whittington
Aladdin is at Richmond Theatre
BalletBoyz: Fourteen Days
Mariah Carey
Wilde Creatures
Peter Pan, An Arena Spectacular
Temple Winter Festival
Some Voices: Romeo & Juliet
OSS December Dip
Bill Bailey: Larks In Transit
The Grinning Man


Multi Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton comes to Victoria, Robert Lindsay reprises his role as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and the seasonal productions of E.T.A. Hoffman's the Nutcracker return. These are just a handful of the top London events beginning in December 2017.

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Dreamworks Animation In Concert

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs top tracks from well-known animations.

SSE Arena, Wembley, Arena Square, Engineers Way, London, HA9 0DH

Tube: Wembley Park Station


Dates: 01st December 2017


A celebration of 20 years of animation and iconic music scores, DreamWorks Animation in Concert will see well-known songs from popular movies performed by a live orchestra. Coming to Wembley Arena as part of a UK tour, the show will welcome the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra to perform music from films such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and Madagascar, with scores by the likes of Hans Zimmer, John Powell, Harry Gregson-Williams and Danny Elfman. The scenes from the films will also be projected in HD onto the big screen while the music is played.



Take a magical journey with Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.

National Theatre: Lyttelton Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station


Dates: 01st December - 07th April 2018


After co-writing Matilda the Musical, Dennis Kelly now brings Pinocchio to life at the National Theatre. The new production will be directed by John Tiffany, former director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and will feature songs and score from the Walt Disney film, including I've Got No Strings, Give a Little Whistle and When You Wish Upon a Star. Audiences will take a journey with Pinocchio as he leaves Geppetto's workshop and embarks on an exciting adventure through alpine forests and Pleasure Island with Jiminy Cricket in tow.


Greenwich Winter Time Festival

A winter wonderland with actors, musicians, jugglers and more.

Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, London, SE10 9LW

Tube: New Cross Station (East London line closed. Bus service operates)


Dates: 01st - 31st December 2017


This December, Greenwich Winter Time brings Martine McCutcheon, The Snowman and a covered ice rink, set against the beautiful backdrop of Christopher Wren's Old Royal Naval College. Spend three hours at the festival and you'll encounter actors, musicians, jugglers, magicians, wandering performers and a stage adaptation of Nicholas Allan's The Giant's Loo Roll. A special treat for families, the East London Brass perform live to The Snowman, and young ones can meet Father Christmas on his magical 'launch pad' at the beginning of his Christmas journey. On the ice, under a canopy of sparkling lights, freestyle ice-skaters show us how it's done, performing at the start of each session. The Mirror Stage is the place to go for live music from Martine McCutcheon, The Puppini Sisters and The Magnets as well as festival favourites Uncle Funk and Boogie Wonderband, DJs and choirs. Alongside artisan food stalls there's a wonderful Christmas market. On throughout December, the festival culminates in a spectacular closing night gala on New Year's Eve.


The Box of Delights

An enchanting reworking of John Masefield's Christmas classic.

Wilton's Music Hall, Graces Alley, Off Ensign Street, London, E1 8JB

Tube: Aldgate East Station


Dates: 01st December - 06th January 2018


National treasure Matthew Kelly and West End star Josefina Gabrielle appear in an enchanting reworking of The Box of Delights, the Christmas classic by John Masefield, staged in the gloriously Christmassy surroundings of Wilton's Music Hall. This brand new stage show, written by children's author Piers Torday (whose behind the bestselling Last Wild trilogy and new novel There May Be A Castle), tells the story of young orphan Kay Harker, the boy who must save Christmas. On the train home for the holidays he encounters an old magician who tasks him with protecting his Box of Delights, a wondrous device with time travelling powers. An exciting time-travel adventure brought to life with Justin Audibert directing and Olivier award-winning Tom Piper designing.


Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree & Carols

The enormous tree returns along with a choir singing carols.

Trafalgar Square, Central, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DS

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Leicester Square Station, Embankment Underground Station, Piccadilly Circus Station


Dates: 07th December - 04th January 2018


Since 1947, stately Trafalgar Square receives a majestic Norwegian Christmas Tree as an annual gift from the people of Oslo, thanking Britain for its support and friendship during World War Two. The enormous tree is a popular seasonal tourist attraction, particularly in the fortnight leading up to Christmas, when each evening (from 4pm to 8pm on weekdays, and from 2pm to 6pm at weekends) a different choir gathers there to sing carols and raise money for a range of voluntary or charitable organisations. Passers-by are welcome to come and listen to the carols in the square and join in the festive cheer. Nelson's Column is decorated with Norwegian white lights and the tree is illuminated from noon until midnight until the Twelfth Night of Christmas in early January. A few days after the official lighting of the tree there's a torch-lit procession on the steps of St Martin-in-the-Fields, as the choir and clergy bless the Crib in a special ceremony in Trafalgar Square. The tree actually goes up in late November if you want to see it in all its naked evergreen glory.


London Illustration Fair

Three days of art, workshops, talks and music.

Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, London, SE1 9PH

Tube: Temple Station


Dates: 30th November, 1st December and 2nd December 2018


The London Illustration Fair returns this December, taking over the Bargehouse, a four-storey warehouse by the Oxo Tower on the South Bank. The fair will showcase the work of illustrators, designers, print makers, publishers and crafty businesses for a three-day illustration extravaganza. Exhibiting alongside the artist-led stands will also be a line-up of handpicked creative partners and a packed programme of workshops, artist-led talks and workshops, live DJs and a fully stocked winter-warming bar.


BalletBoyz: Fourteen Days

Four choreographers, four composers; each pair given fourteen days to create a dance.

Richmond Theatre, The Green, Surrey, London, TW9 1QJ

Tube: Richmond Station


Dates: 01st - 02nd December 2017


When Strictly Come Dancing judge and West End star Craig Revel Horwood filmed Who Do You Think You Are? in Australia he discovered that his great, great grandfather was a champion clog dancer. He also learnt that the other side of his family were gold miners and thought "wouldn't it be interesting to get the miners clog dancing?" Based on his hometown of Ballarat, where there was a miners' revolt in the mid-19th century, this contemporary dance is based on a clog dance battle between the miners and the soldiers. The new work is one of four short pieces created by four choreographers - Javier De Frutos, Craig Revel Horwood, Ivan Perez and Christopher Wheeldon - and four composers (Scott Walker, Charlotte Harding, Joby Talbot and Keaton Henson) with each pair given just fourteen days to create it.


Great Christmas Pudding Race

A seasonal take on the egg and spoon race.

Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station, Charing Cross Station


Dates: 02nd December 2017


You're familiar with the egg and spoon race. Well how about the Christmas Pudding Race? Covent Garden Piazza swells with spectators as about 150 contestants in teams of six don fancy dress and race around a course strewn with flour-filled balloons, foam jets and other obstacles - all while trying to balance a Christmas pudding on a flimsy plate! The race has been going on every year since 1980 and it raises money for Cancer Research. At this time of year Covent Garden is a great place to be, with shops full of Christmas decorations and street entertainers putting on some diverting shows before and after the main event. The perfect way to break up a day of Christmas shopping in Covent Garden's collection of stylish stores.


Spitalfields Music Festival 2017

Conductor Andre de Ridder conducts the end of year musical celebration.

Various Venues East London, Walthamstow, Spitalfields, London, EC2M 7QH

Tube: Walthamstow Central Station


Dates: 02nd - 10th December 2017


The end of year Spitalfields musical celebration returns to warm up the winter nights with conductor Andre de Ridder curating this year's festival. Taking place at several Spitalfields locations, the festival explores the east London area's hidden corners with early and contemporary music, musical tours, opera for under 2s, and free events which bring together global and local artists. The best thing about the biannual Spitalfields festivals (a summer festival is held in June) is the variety of musical styles - Bengali folk, rap, classical, soul and jazz - played in contrasting venues: from the historic Huguenot Houses of Spitalfields to Shoreditch Church and the hip Rich Mix to a mystery location that will host the East End Speed Histories: Tales Less Told.


OSS December Dip

Don fancy dress and brace yourself for the Outdoor Swimming Society's annual winter dip.

Parliament Hill Lido, Parliament Hill Fields, Gordon House Road, London, NW5 1LP

Tube: Belsize Park Station


Dates: 02nd December 2017


This annual freezing (not to mention crazy) dip into Parliament Hill Lido takes place on Saturday 2nd December in 2017. This is the first swim of the season organised by the Outdoor Swimming Society, who each year organise festive swims as far away and chilly as Scotland. This year the hotly contested Best Dressed Dipper cup is back - don your best fancy dress and see if you can knock three times champion Andrew Heather off his perch. Take inspiration from this year's theme - The Twelve Days of Christmas - and be ready to parade your creations around the pool at 12.10pm. In addition, there will be a sauna, mince pies and general merrymaking to dispel the inevitable goosebumps and chattering teeth.


Shard Lights

The tallest building in town puts on a festive light show.

The Shard, 96 Tooley Street, Bankside, London, SE1 9SG

Tube: London Bridge Station


Dates: 04th - 31st December 2017


Shining like a beacon over London, the tallest building in town puts on a festive light show throughout December as the top 20 storeys of The Shard are lit up, illuminating the city's skyline. With a very special theme, unveiled on the first night, Shard Lights makes us look up and enjoy the night sky, illuminated from dusk until early morning with one of five colours each day, on rotation. There will be an array of visual effects including gradients, patterns and sparkles throughout the evening. The show builds to a crescendo at midnight and features special one-off displays to mark the first night, on Monday 4th December, and New Year's Eve. Returning for a fifth year, the Shard Lights are an alternative to the traditional Christmas Lights in the capital.



The animated electropop outfit fronted by Damon Albarn is back.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 04th - 05th December 2017


Following on from a secret London show in March and a headline gig at the inaugural Demon Dayz festival in Margate this summer, Gorillaz, the animated electropop outfit fronted by Damon Albarn, is back and playing a big concert at The O2. With new album Humanz recently released, their first new studio album in 7 years, fans can hear new contributions from the likes of Grace Jones, De La Soul and Rag'N'Bone Man.


The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker

A pure spectacle, the great seasonal stalwart returns.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 05th December - 10th January 2018


That great seasonal stalwart The Nutcracker starts playing at the Royal Opera House on the 5th December, offering families a fun and festive treat watching Clara dance in front of the Christmas tree. It's hard to imagine a production more indulgently sumptuous than Peter Wright's restaging of Lev Ivanov'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, helped every ballet step of the way by Julie Trevelyan Oman's gorgeous, nostalgic designs out of the late 1800s. This is pure spectacle but The Royal Ballet pulls it off with such beauty and style that it's a Christmas cracker...


Project Polunin

Natalia Osipova and an all-star cast join Sergei Polunin for a night of first class dance.

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station, Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 05th - 10th December 2017


Natalia Osipova, Yonah Acosta and Evgenia Savarskaya join Ukrainian ballet prodigy Sergei Polunin for Project Polunin which presents Satori, running for a limited season at the London Coliseum this December. An all-star cast drawn from The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Stanislavsky, Bolshoi Ballet and other leading dance companies perform in the world premiere of Satori which has sets designed by David LaChapelle and is directed by Gabriel Marcel del Vecchio, Master Clown with the prestigious Cirque du Soleil. The programme also includes First Solo, a new 7-minute ballet created by Andrey Kaydanovskiy and starring Polunin himself, and the London premiere of Kasyan Goleizovsky's ballet suite, Scriabiniana.



The multi Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of one of America's founding fathers.

Victoria Palace Theatre, Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5EA

Tube: Victoria Station


Dates: 6th December 2017 to 15th December 2018


Lin-Manuel Miranda's Pulitzer Prize winning hip hop musical, which won 11 Tony Awards in 2016, tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of America's founding fathers, who served as chief staff aide to General George Washington and was killed in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. "Hamilton has been a sensation in America," says the Daily Telegraph, and with tickets re-selling for £3,000, that success is clearly going to be repeated across the pond. The story of an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man, told to a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R & B and Broadway, "could not be more timely" (Guardian).



James Norton and Imogen Poots star in the UK premiere of Amy Herzog's acclaimed play.

The Donmar Warehouse, 41 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9LD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station, Tottenham Court Road Station


Dates: 07th December - 03rd February 2018


James Norton, star of War & Peace and Happy Valley, and Imogen Poots play American newlyweds living a too-perfect life in Paris in the UK premiere of Amy Herzog's acclaimed play about a romantic dream gone sour. Putting on an American accent, Norton stars as Zack, a doctor combating infant disease. He's recently married Abby an actress and yoga teacher. It's just before Christmas and they're living the expat highlife in bohemian Belleville, Paris. Michael Longhurst, who gave us Amadeus at the National and Constellations at the Royal Court, directs at the Donmar for the first time.


Jack and the Beanstalk

Al Murray and Clive Rowe lead the cast this festive pantomime.

New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, London, SW19 1QG

Tube: Wimbledon Station


Dates: 07th December - 14th January 2018


Pub landlord Al Murray and West End, television and Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe lead the cast of this year's New Wimbledon Theatre pantomime. Follow Jack, his hapless brother, his mother Dame Trot and climb a beanstalk of gigantic proportions to cloudland in the spectacular family pantomime. Doomed to sell his trusty cow, join Jack as he fights to save the beautiful Princess, outwit the evil giant and win riches beyond his wildest dreams, and the hand of the girl he loves. Brought to you by Qdos Entertainment, with beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses, Jack and the Beanstalk has all the right ingredients for a fun, family panto.


The Jungle

This immersive new play sees two worlds collide.

Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5DE

Tube: Embankment Underground Station , Charing Cross Station


Dates: 16th June to 3rd November 2018


An immersive new play from Good Chance Theatre, The Jungle sees different worlds collide and shows how in the worst places you meet the best people. Directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin and staged at the Young Vic, the play delves into the world of the hopeful, resilient residents of The Jungle just across the Channel. Join refugees and volunteers from around the world over fresh baked naan and sweet milky chai. Meet Okot, who wants nothing more than to get to the UK, and Beth, who wants nothing more than to help him, along the way.


Pop-Up Screens Cinema in the Snow

This cinema guarantees a white Christmas.

Hackney Showroom, Amhurst Terrace, London, E8 2BT

Tube: Manor House Station


Dates: 08th - 24th December 2017


Pop Up Screens returns to the Hackney Showroom for a winter residency this year, transforming the former print works into a Cinema in the Snow. The winter wonderland will be a snow-filled world of film, accessed through a magic wardrobe, and feature a line-up of festive favourites, kicking off with Elf on 8th and 9th December. Other films being screened include Love Actually, Frozen, Home Alone, Toy Story, Sleepless in Seattle and Muppets Christmas Carol as well the multi Oscar award-winning La La Land. Hot Chocolate, handmade brownies, popcorn and mulled wine will be on offer and you can bet on a white Christmas here - on entering through the wardrobe, visitors will be greeted by falling snow.


Robert Plant

The former Led Zeppelin vocalist and Grammy Award-winner performs live.

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 08th December 2017


Bona-fide rock legend and former Led Zeppelin vocalist and Grammy Award-winner Robert Plant performs at the Royal Albert Hall in December 2017, his first show at the London venue in four years. Fans will get to hear music both old and new - including tracks from his new album, Carry Fire, his 11th solo album and first full-length release since 2014's acclaimed 'lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar'. Special guests include Lakeman, Albanian cellist Redi Hasa, and Chrissie Hynde, who duets with Plant on 'Bluebirds Over The Mountain'.


Dick Whittington

Pantomime returns to the London Palladium this festive season.

London Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, London, W1F 7TF

Tube: Oxford Circus Station


Dates: 09th December - 14th January 2018


After staging Cinderella (the first pantomime at the theatre for 29 years) last Christmas, the London Palladium now presents another pantomime with a new production of Dick Whittington. The all-star cast features Julian Clary, who also starred in Cinderella, Elaine Page, Ashley Banjo, Nigel Havers and Charlie Stemp as Dick Whittington. Telling the story of the poor boy who heads travels to London to find fame and fortune, it's a charming tale that's perfect for a festive family outing.


Aladdin, Richmond Theatre

Jump aboard a high-flying magical carpet at this festive panto.

Richmond Theatre, The Green, Surrey, London, TW9 1QJ

Tube: Richmond Station


Dates: 09th December - 14th January 2018


Panto legend Christopher Biggins plays Aladdin's mother Widow Twankey in this year's panto at Richmond Theatre. Jump aboard a high-flying magical carpet headed for Old Peking as Aladdin goes on a spectacular adventure. Featuring a beautiful love story, flying carpets, a wish-granting genie, an evil sorcerer and a lamp packed full of spectacular family entertainment, this Christmas treat is brought to you by Qdos Entertainment, the world's biggest pantomime producer. With a live orchestra, laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery and special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses, it's a fun outing for all the family.


New Adventures: Matthew Bourne's Cinderella

This revised production commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Blitz.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 09th December - 27th January 2018


Matthew Bourne commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Blitz with a revised production of his sweeping wartime romance set to Prokofiev's score, which charts Cinderella's dalliances with a young RAF pilot. Set in London during the Second World War, Bourne's unique interpretation of Prokofiev's haunting score has, at its heart, a true wartime romance and his storytelling has never been more passionate and touching. A chance meeting results in a magical night for our heroine Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the Blitz. "A dazzling spectacle. Fresh and vital, hilarious, profound and stunningly original," says The Times.


Saint Etienne

The indie '90s band perform old favourites and new material.

Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green, London, W12 8TT

Tube: Goldhawk Road Station , Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line), Shepherd's Bush Station (Central)


Dates: 09th December 2017


The London-based alt dance-pop threesome, a household name in the early 90s, is "still making bold, inventive music" (The Guardian) almost 30 years after they first made it big. At this Shepherds Bush Empire gig indie band Saint Etienne will be performing old favourites and new songs from their latest album, Home Counties, reclaiming the places they grew up in south-east England.


The Piccadilly Christmas Concert

Warren Mailley-Smith presents an evening of classical music.

St James's Church Piccadilly, 197 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LL

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Green Park Station


Dates: 09th December 2017


For a perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations, join Warren Mailley-Smith for an evening of classical music in one of London's most beautiful and atmospheric venues, St James's Church, Piccadilly. The talented pianist, who has played for the Royal Family and debuted with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, will play a selection of classics by Beethoven and Mendelssohn and will be joined by young string quartet in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12 and soprano Susan Parkes will sing arias by Puccini as well as festive songs including "O Holy Night" by Adolphe Adam.


Winnie-The-Pooh: Exploring A Classic

Explore the timeless and universal appeal of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 09th December - 08th April 2018


The V&A invites visitors to experience the timeless and universal appeal of Winnie-the-Pooh with its new exhibition, Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic. The exhibition will look at how the much-loved bear has retained its popularity through countless generations and delve into the story behind the creative partnership of A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepherd. Visitors will be able to look through sketches, letters, photographs, cartoons, ceramics and fashion that all contribute to the story of everyone's favourite honey-guzzling bear.


Temple Winter Festival

A series of concerts with music inspired by the Christmas story.

Temple Church, Fleet Street, Temple, London, EC4Y 7BL

Tube: Temple Station


Dates: 11th - 15th December 2017


Back for its fifth year, the Temple Winter Festival presents a series of concerts with music inspired by the Christmas story written over the centuries. Running for five days, it will see the famous historic Temple Church, located in a picturesque courtyard between the Middle and Inner Temples, filled with festive music from the likes of the BBC Singers, Polyphony and the Tallis Scholars. The church's own choir and the Temple Singers will kick off proceedings on 11th December while other performances come from the Choir of Merton College, Gesualdo Six and Voces 8.


London Musical Theatre Orchestra: A Christmas Carol

Robert Lindsay reprises the role of penny-pinching Scrooge.

The Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7RQ

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Temple Station


Dates: 11th - 18th December 2017


Robert Lindsay reprises the role of penny-pinching Scrooge as the London Musical Theatre Orchestra returns to the Lyceum Theatre for two performances of A Christmas Carol. The star of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and BBC's My Family, who won an Olivier for his performance in Me And My Girl, is guided by ghosts through Christmases past, present and future as the Charles Dickens classic gets the full Broadway treatment by the award-winning team of Alan Menken (Beauty And The Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) responsible for the music, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical) and book by Mike Ockrent (Crazy For You, Me And My Girl) and Lynn Ahrens.


Mariah Carey

Bringing her Christmas show to the U.K for the first time ever.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 11th December 2017


The Grammy-winning American superstar returns with her best-selling pop and R&B hits in a seasonal performance that features All I Want For Christmas, stopping off at The O2 on 11th December 2017 for the only European performance on the tour. Well known for her timeless classic Christmas #1, which she wrote and produced early in her career, Mariah Carey brings her Christmas show to the U.K for the first time ever.


Some Voices: Romeo & Juliet

1990s film Romeo & Juliet provides the soundtrack for an immersive evening.

Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, London, E1 0HX

Tube: Stepney Green Station


Dates: 11th - 13th December 2017


The 500 strong choir sings songs from the soundtrack of '90s film Romeo & Juliet at the Troxy. Join Some Voices for an immersive evening set in the glamorous Capulet's masquerade ball and play your part in the most famous of family feuds. Featuring tracks such as Young Hearts Run Free and Kissing You, 500 voices transform Prince songs into hymns. They are pulling out all the stops for what promises to be a fun Christmas party - neon crosses will be on disco lights mode, angel wings will be fluttering and knights will be arriving in their shining armour.


London Santa Dash

Throw on your Santa suit and dash 5k around the City.

Old Spitalfields Market, 1 Crispin Place, London, E1 6DW

Tube: Liverpool Street Station


Dates: Wednesday 5th December 2018


For one night only, throw on your Santa suit and join the Santa Dash, running 5k around the City of London. Starting from Old Spitalfields Market, you'll get your own Santa suit to dress up in and race against the clock - and other Santas - around the circular route. Dashing pastSt. Paul's Cathedral and the Gherkin, you'll then head back to the finish line where you will be greeted with a medal and a celebratory drink on SOMA's Scandinavian terrace. Anyone over the age of 18 can enter, in teams or as individuals, and there are no limits to how many Santas you can have in your team, but on the night you will run in groups of up to 10. There's a serious side to all this fun - all Santas will be raising money for children with disabilities.


English National Ballet: Nutcracker

Wayne Eagling presents this staging of E.T.A Hoffman's the Nutcracker.

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4ES

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station, Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 13th December - 06th January 2018


A very traditional interpretation of E.T.A. Hoffman's the Nutcracker, English National Ballet's version was first performed in 2010 to celebrate the company's 60th birthday and was seen by a record breaking 79,000 people in 2016. This glittering production was created by Wayne Eagling (artistic director of the company from 2005 to 2012), and with its Edwardian setting created by Peter Farmer, it 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. Wayne Eagling's choreography to Tchaikovsky's famous score is continuously heart-warming and every beautiful scene, from the family party to the appearance of the magical kingdom, lures you in.


The Little Match Girl

A magical production based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic story.

Sadler's Wells: Lilian Baylis Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 13th - 24th December 2017


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 production based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic story, adapted by celebrated director and choreographer Arthur Pita, returns following a sell-out season last year 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. The Little Match Girl is one of three Christmas shows presented by Sadler's Wells this festive season, along with the record-breaking return of The Snowman and Matthew Bourne's Cinderella.


Nativity! The Musical

The festive film is adapted for the stage this Christmas.

Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street, London, W6 9QH

Tube: Hammersmith Station


Dates: 13th - 17th December 2017


Originally a festive film series starring Martin Freeman and David Tennant, Nativity! has now been turned into a musical and will come to the London Apollo as part of a UK tour. Nativity! The Musical has been written and directed by Debbie Isitt and will star Daniels Boys (Boys in the Band), Sarah Earnshaw (Wicked) and Simon Lipkin (Avenue Q) as well as Louis Walsh as The Hollywood Producer. The much-loved story sees Mr Maddens promise the children at St Bernadette's that there's a Hollywood producer coming to see this year's show. Along with his teaching assistant, the crazy Mr Poppy, can he make everyone's Christmas wish come true?


ABBA: Super Troupers

This major immersive exhibition charts the band's successful career.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 14th December - 29th July 2018


This December, the Southbank Centre presents major new exhibition Abba: Super Troupers. Created in association with ABBA The Museum in Stockholm, the immersive event brings to life the world of the chart-topping Swedish pop sensation, who infiltrated the popular consciousness with their optimism and seemingly carefree pop during the tumultuous 1970s. Original costumes, handwritten notes and sketches, personal photographs, music, album artwork, and more will take visitors on a journey through their successful career, with many of the private archives being shown in the UK for the first time.


The Grinning Man

A romantic gothic musical love story set in a fantastical world with a dark heart.

Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 05th December - 05th May 2018


Tony award-winning Tom Morris (War Horse) directs the West End transfer of Bristol Old Vic's acclaimed staging of the tragicomic musical based on Victor Hugo's The Man Who Laughs. A romantic gothic musical love story, The Grinning Man is set in a fantastical world with a dark heart. It's brought to life by Kneehigh writer Carl Grose (Dead Dog in a Suitcase). The cast is led by Louis Maskell, who reprises the title role, and Julian Bleach, who plays Barkilphedro, a vengeful clown. Macabre, dealing with dark subject matter with some scenes of a sexual nature, it's also visually astonishing and an ultimately elating love story.


Wilde Creatures

The Olivier-nominated Tall Stories bring Oscar Wilde's classic fairy tales to life.

Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Charing Cross Station, Embankment Underground Station, Leicester Square Station


Dates: 15th - 31st December 2017


A month after staging The Gruffalo's Child at the Lyric Shaftesbury Avenue, the Olivier-nominated Tall Stories present a new musical adventure for audiences of all ages at the Vaudeville Theatre. Wilde Creatures brings Oscar Wilde's classic fairy tales to life through imaginative storytelling and music and takes the audience on a fantastical journey through palaces, forests and beyond, meeting characters from The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose and The Birthday of the Infanta along the way.


Moomin Winter Weekend

A family Moomin-themed weekend with a Friday late for adults.

Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich Village, London, SE21 7AD

Tube: Denmark Hill Station


Dates: 15th - 17th December 2017


In celebration of its major retrospective of Tove Jansson the Dulwich Picture Gallery hosts a special Moomin Winter Weekend in mid December with a Friday Late for adults and fun-filled family weekend. On Friday night you can take a Moomin personality test with Moomin expert, Sirke Happonen, lecturer at University of Helsinki, create a Moominvalley-inspired landscape in the photo booth and hear stories, lit by candlelight. It's also an excuse to drink whisky (Moominpappa's favourite tipple) and eat traditional Finnish dishes. Over the weekend, families can enjoy Moomin-themed drop-in activities, meet Polka Theatre puppets and join a glass bauble-making workshop.


Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics

The BBC Radio 1 DJ is joined by a 65-piece Heritage Orchestra.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 15th - 16th December 2017


From the dance floors of Ibiza to London's O2, BBC Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong is joined by the 65-piece Heritage Orchestra to present a line-up of live artists to perform a homage to the dance tracks which put the Balearic isle on the map. He first brought the Ibiza Prom to the Royal Albert Hall two summers ago and now returns for a second year to The O2. Expect reinterpetations of classic dancefloor fillers in this brand new show. "Finally, a chance to cut some moves, to 'stack some shelves'" said The Guardian ahead of Tong's Proms performance.



Experimental electro and dance-punk from the musical duo.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station


Dates: 15th - 16th December 2017


Since the creation of Soulwax in 1995, brothers David and Stephen Dewaele have consistently pushed the boundaries of new music, experimental electro and dance-punk. Following a sold out spring and summer tour Soulwax kick off an extended run in December, coming to The Roundhouse before travelling to Paris, Utrecht and Belgium. Known for their boundary pushing live shows, performed on a specially designed set, the band includes original member Stefaan Van Leuven on bass guitar and synth and three drummers among its seven touring members. As well as the tour, the Dewaele brothers release new single 'Is It Always Binary', from studio album FROM DEEWEE - recorded in one take at their DEEWEE studio in Ghent, Belgium earlier this year.


Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People

A series of variety shows with a line-up of intellectuals, musicians and comedians.

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, Bloomsbury, London, WC1R 4RL

Tube: Holborn Station , Chancery Lane Station


Dates: 16th - 22nd December 2017


Not seen in London since 2013, Robin Ince's hugely popular Christmas variety shows, Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People, returns with a fine line-up of intellectuals, musicians and comedians on a mission to take the Christ out of Christmas. Join Robin, who has just finished a world record setting arena tour with Professor Brian Cox, for four nights of comedy, music, science, satire and silliness. In many ways, it's testament to the Church of England's genial tolerance that this tongue-in-cheeky event can take place with so little complaint, but it offers great entertainment for atheists who've reached the seasonal saturation point. Shows in previous years have proved extremely popular and tickets usually sell out so get in there quick.


ProseccoFest UK

The fizzy festival arrives just in time for Christmas.

Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, London, E1W 2SF

Tube: Rotherhithe Overground Station


Dates: 16th - 17th December 2017


With festive season and fizz going hand in hand, the Prosecco Festival comes to Tobacco Dock at the perfect time this December. Taking place at the venue for the first time, the festival will bring together a huge number of Prosecco, Spumante, Cava, Brut, pink Champagne and Prosecco cocktails together for two days of fizzy fun. There will be the chance to meet traders, enjoy tastings and purchase drinks by the glass or the bottle. There will also be live entertainment and street food across the two days.


Classic FM Christmas

A programme of classical Christmas favourites.

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5JF

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Holborn Station, Temple Station


Dates: 17th December 2017


Aled Jones hosts a programme of classical Christmas favourites including Hark The Herald Angels, O Come All Ye Faithful, excerpts from Handel's Messiah and Anderson's Sleigh Ride. The live concert at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, features over 100 performers, including the full orchestra and chorus of the English National Opera.


Slava's Snowshow

The multi-award-winning sensation returns after taking a break last year.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 18th December - 04th January 2018


After taking a break last year, the multi-award-winning sensation Slava's Snowshow is back for 2017. The show has delighted audiences in over 80 cities around the world including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Hong Kong and Moscow. And now this visual masterpiece returns to London for another Christmas season at the Southbank Centre this December. Loved by children and adults alike, Slava's Snowshow is a combination of theatrical clowning and stunning spectacle performed by the internationally renowned company of clowns lead by Slava Polunin. Experience a unique dream-like world which culminates in a breathtaking blizzard leaving you (literally) knee deep in snow! The Independent was moved to describe it as "simply thrilling - an unmissable comedy masterpiece." Recommended for ages 8 and above, this is definitely one not to miss.


The Prodigy

The electronic music pioneers perform live.

O2 Academy Brixton, 211 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SL

Tube: Brixton Station


Dates: 21st - 23rd December 2017


The Prodigy, electronic music pioneers from Essex, with a career that spans nearly 30 years, six albums and who gave us dancefloor anthem Firestarter, come to London in December ahead of a new record slated for release in 2018. Part of an eight-date UK tour, they'll play three dates at the O2 Brixton Academy on 21st, 22nd and 23rd December 2017.


Bill Bailey: Larks In Transit

Travellers' tales by the comedian who also fashions a symphony from a ringtone.

Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green, London, W12 8TT

Tube: Goldhawk Road Station , Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line), Shepherd's Bush Station (Central)


Dates: 23rd - 30th December 2017


A compendium of travellers' tales and the general shenanigans of twenty years as a travelling comedian presented by Bill Bailey. The long haired comedian tackles politics, philosophy and the pursuit of happiness with his trademark intelligence, surreal tangents and keyboard tinkling. Plus, he fashions a symphony from a ringtone, tells the real story of Old McDonald and re-imagines the Stars and Stripes. If you saw his most recent live show, Limboland, you'll be delighted to hear there's more where that came from.


Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race

A hardy bunch of swimmers take part in the traditional Christmas Day swim.

Serpentine Boating Lake, The Boat House, Serpentine Road, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge Station


Dates: 25th December 2017


This lot are a hardy bunch but tradition is tradition and members of the Serpentine Swimming Club have been plunging themselves into the Serpentine lake's icy waters every Christmas Day since 1864. At temperatures of below four degrees Celsius in winter, the swimmers will want to get a wiggle on so it's lucky that they are all in hot pursuit of the prestigious Peter Pan Cup. The name of the 100-yard race dates back to 1904 when J.M Barrie, the creator of the boy who refused to grow up, presented the first cup. While most of us are still tucked up in bed or delving into our stocking the competitors line up (and pretend not to shiver) for their 9am start, a jolly crowd gathers to witness the spectacle. It's a great way to get some fresh air on Christmas morning and you'll feel like you've earned your post-lunch snooze. Behind you, Hyde Park offers a wonderful wintry landscape and, if you want to continue the Peter Pan theme, why not nip across to see the famous statue in Kensington Gardens. It was so cold and snowy in 2010 that the race had to be cancelled - although some intrepid souls still broke holes in the ice in order to have a quick dip.


Birmingham Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker

The company performs Sir Peter Wright's much-loved production of this beautiful classical ballet.

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 28th - 31st December 2017


The company performs Sir Peter Wright's much-loved production of this beautiful classical ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky's magnificent score. As midnight chimes a magical Christmas tree starts to grow through the ceiling, marking the start of Clara's journey to the Sugar Plum Fairy's retreat in the Kingdom of Sweets and the Land of Snow. Tchaikovsky famous music - which includes the 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy' and other familiar favourites - is one of the most instantly memorable in all ballet. Choreographed by Peter Wright, with costumes by John MacFarlane, an outing to the Royal Albert Hall to see one of the best-loved ballets in the world could prove to be the perfect Christmas present for your own little Clara's stocking.


Peter Pan, An Arena Spectacular

Martin Kemp, Bradley Walsh and Matt Knight star in this spectacular.

SSE Arena, Wembley, Arena Square, Engineers Way, London, HA9 0DH

Tube: Wembley Park Station


Dates: 29th - 30th December 2017


Martin Kemp stars as Captain Hook, Bradley Walsh as Mr Smee and Matt Knight as Peter Pan in a spectacular arena staging of J.M Barrie's story of the boy who didn't want to grow up. The much loved characters in Peter Pan are brought to life by a cast of over 100 performers, including a team of BMX riders, stuntmen, trapeze artists and a seven metre long animatronic crocodile. The movie-style Neverland set is projected onto a giant 60 feet-wide LED screen and the Jolly Roger galleon sails around Wembley Arena in front of a 10,000-gallon water wall. What more could you want?


Girl From the North Country

West End transfer for Bob Dylan's and Conor McPherson's drama set in the midst of the Great Depression.

Noel Coward Theatre, St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4AU

Tube: Leicester Square Station , Covent Garden Station, Charing Cross Station, Piccadilly Circus Station


Dates: 29th December - 24th March 2018


The very tail end of 2017 sees a West End transfer for Bob Dylan's and Conor McPherson's Girl From the North Country, following a sell-out run at The Old Vic. Named after Dylan's 1963 song Girl From the North Country, the play intertwines Dylan's classic songs with a story set in Duluth, Minnesota in the midst of the Great Depression. It follows a family adrift whose future is on a knife edge. Lost and lonely people drift through rooms of their guesthouse but one man thinks he's found a way out. On its first outing the play divided the critics with the Evening Standard calling it an "exquisitely heartbreaking piece of theatre" and the Telegraph saying it was a "valiant but derivative attempt to mine Dylan's back catalogue".


A Vintage New Year's Eve Party

The hall's five floors are transformed for the occasion.

Southbank Centre: Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: Monday 31st December 2018


Following five sell-out years, A Vintage New Year's Eve Party is back. The huge party sees the Royal Festival Hall transformed into five floors of set-dressed entertainment including seven pop-up vintage nightclubs, stylish dining, a hair and beauty salon, photo studios and a private terrace overlooking London's world-famous New Year's Eve fireworks. Entertainment will come from The Torch Club, celebrating the '20's, '30's and '40's big band sound, Alex Meedham and his 18 piece orchestra and Mark & Hoc, on hand to guide guests through the steps of some period party dances. The Tiki Bar serves colourful cocktails and samba and after midnight the Clore Ballroom transforms into an intimate cabaret club. With disco dancing, musical bingo and karaoke thrown in for good measure, it's a hell of a way to see in 2018.


London New Year's Eve Fireworks 2017

The spectacular display lights up London's sky.

London Eye , Jubilee Gardens, South Bank, South Bank, London, SE1 7PB

Tube: Embankment Underground Station , Westminster Station, Waterloo Station


Dates: Monday 31st December 2018


The annual New Year's Eve Fireworks display is an impressive sight. They cram enough firepower for an hour-long display into 12 explosive minutes, lighting up the sky for miles around. Watched by 100,000 people, the build-up includes DJs spinning some great tracks from around 9pm. But the big event begins after Big Ben chimes midnight (it will still bong for New Year's despite being silenced for a major renovation) when the dazzling 12-minute show of world-class pyrotechnics is set off to a special soundtrack of the year's top tunes. DJs keep playing until the crowds head home. If you can't get tickets, it's worth noting that hotels within the ticketed area have entry passes for their guests.





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