At Christmas it’s the perfect time to head to the theatre to enjoy some properly rousing entertainment. We’ve put together a list of some of the best shows, performances and pantos to catch this Christmas.

Time for a Pantomime

The De Montfort Hall panto is always the big one and this year it’s packed with fun and big stars, with BCC Radio 2’s Scott Mills (who's also switching on the Leicester Christmas lights) and X Factor sensation Sam Bailey starring in Jack and the Beanstalk. There’s also a family connection as traditionally the Hall’s Panto Dame was played by BBC Radio Leicester’s Martin Ballard, but this year his son Jack will be stepping into his Dad’s frilly knickers! It runs from 15 December to 7 January. Get your tickets here!

At Loughborough Town Hall it’s time to clap your hands and wish the fairies back to life as you head to Neverland for an adventure with Peter Pan. Peter, the gang and a very odd looking woman who refuses to grow up, are in for a high flying action-packed adventure featuring looney lost boys, musical mermaids and some very potty pirates! Running from 25 November to 7 January. Tickets available here

Coming to the Little Theatre this Christmas is Puss in Boots! When the fairy, Catnip, bestows our feline friend with a pair of magical boots, Puss becomes a very clever, walking, talking cat. Not even the meddling of the evil cat, Fur-Ball, can stop our hero in his kitty tracks. From 14 December to 7 January. Tickets are on sale now!

Big shows at Christmas

Curve has become known for its blockbuster shows at Christmas and this year is no exception as the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic Evita blasts onto the stage with this Made at Curve production directed by Nikolai Foster. It’s on from 27 November through to 13 January. Tickets are going fast!

There’s something for the kids too at Curve as The Owl Who Came For Christmas. Inspired by a true story of the real Rosie the Owl who lost her way, John Hay‘s heart-warming tale is perfect for Christmas as a loving family help save Rosie and return her home. From 2 December to 6 January. Get your seats here

Based on the hit film which has already become a Christmas classic, Nativity the musical comes to the Little Theatre from 21-25 November. Featuring all of the favourite sing-a-long hits from the films including Sparkle and Shine, Nazareth, One Night One Moment, She's the Brightest Star, and a whole host of new songs, it’s the perfect way to get into the festive spirit. Book now!

Santas Christmas Wish is coming to the Y Theatre on 9 and 10 December. One for the younger audience, join a fun, festive, musical adventure to give Santa the very best Christmas, then meet him at his home in the North Pole! There every child will receive a special present from Father Christmas, after the most Christmassy Christmas show ever! Get your tickets now!

Music and dance at Christmas

While we might all be glued to Strictly, two of its stars, Aljaz and Janette bring their show Dancing in a Winter Wonderland to De Montfort Hall on 25 November. One day earlier on the 24th, head back to the 1950s with the That’ll be the day Christmas show. It’s a seasonal, nostalgic sleigh ride through the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll and pop.

Hosted by popular local singer, entertainer and trumpeter Gareth John and his 10 piece house band, The Story of Swing Christmas Special is back at the Y Theatre on 1 December. Expect to hear the magnificent works of timeless crooners Bobby Darin, Sinatra, Dean Martin and many more.

From the producers of Seven Drunken Nights -The Story of The Dubliners and featuring an international cast of singers, musicians and dancers Fairytale of New York brings you all of your favourite Christmas songs alongside some of the greatest Irish singalong tunes of all time on the 29 November.

Get ready for an unforgettable evening of talent and creativity at the Curve Junior Choir Winter Voices presentation evening on 27 November! Featuring young stars performing their own original songs, guest performances from local school groups, and the mesmerising Leicester Animated Gospel Choir Puppets.

Christmas Carols and concerts

Choirs from Catholic Schools from the city and county come together to perform traditional and contemporary carols at De Montfort Hall on 1 December. The Catholic Schools Carol Concert raises vital funds for Menphys, the charity supporting children with disabilities from across the county.

Enjoy Christmas Music by Candlelight at Curve on 2 December. the singers of world-class vocal ensemble Ex Cathedra will envelop you with a spellbinding sequence of seasonal favourites, little-known gems, and inspirational new music.

Leicester Cathedral reopens to the public on 26 November and has a full programme of services, concerts, carol recitals and meditations throughout the festive season. You can see all of these on the Cathedral website.

Experience an evening of magical musical performances at the Y Theatre on 7 December with the Wonders of Winter Concert performance by the students and teachers of Leicester Music Lessons Ltd - The Academy.

What the Dickens!

It’s the quintessential Christmas Classic and there’s quite a few different types of renditions of the story of Scrooge around the region. First is the traditional reading, with a chance to experience the story as Dickens first presented it, with a reading by John O’Connor as Charles Dickens presents A Christmas Carol at Loughborough Town Hall on 19 December.

At the Guildhall on 10 December, experience A Christmas Carol in Concert, a unique adaptation which uses traditional folk tunes and Christmas melodies to retell Dickens' classic heartwarming tale exclusively through song.

On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December, A Puppet Christmas Carol comes to Belgrave Hall and Gardens. The Aurora's are a group of fun puppet characters trying to find their place in the world. When their teacher seems to be a little bit down in the dumps as the holiday season approaches, they decide to help him find his Christmas spirit again.

And finally, this is as close as you’re going to get to the authentic experience as Charles Dickens’ Great Great Grandson Gerald Dickens reads A Christmas Carol in full period costume in the medieval Leicester Guildhall. There are two performances on the 23 December, at 1pm and at 7pm.




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