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November 19th, 2019
From enchanting adaptations of Charles Dickens' timeless ghost story to musical fairy tale adventures and on-the-spot yuletide improvisations, plan your festive theatre in Bath, Bristol and beyond.
Enchanting choreography and Tchaikovsky’s mesmerising score make this famous classical ballet about Clara and her enchanted doll, a wonderful Christmas treat. Watch as Clara and the Nutcracker combat the Mouse King, and join the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier on a journey through the Land of Snow to a kingdom made entirely of sweets.
A Christmas Carol, Bristol Old Vic (28 November - 12 January)
After its record-breaking run last year, Tom Morris’ Bristol-inspired, enchanting adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, is back with Lee Lyford at the helm and music by Gwyneth Herbert. Join Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and Scrooge in this riot of music and theatrical imagination, and see what it might take for a hard-hearted miser to discover the true spirit of Christmas.
Drac & Jill - Christmas at The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol (21 November - 19 January)
A fast, smart, dark comedy with original music and high stakes action from the company that created Oedipuss In Boots, Reservoir Mogs and Goldilock, Stock & Three Smoking Bears. When a young virgin is found dead, two worlds come tumbling down and it falls to an unlikely hero to uncover the truth and save the next victim!
Of Christmas Past at Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol (27-29 November)
The only thing more devastating than finding out Santa Claus doesn't exist… is finding out that he does. Watch Douglas Walker treading a fine line between fable, fiction and comedy as he unwraps the shocking true origins of Santa Claus in this one-man funny, festive story for grown-ups, taking in 100 years of history and almost as many characters.
Snow White at Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol (28 November to 19 January 2020)
An original take on the much-loved fairy tale Snow White, created with the fabulous New International Encounter. Full of music, magic, charm and wit, this laughter-filled festive adventure in a forest is about growing up, growing old, growing your own food, why you shouldn’t trust a very shiny red apple and how we can all make the world a better place.
Charles Dickens’ classic ghost story of the miserly Scrooge’s journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas will be brought to life by the critically-acclaimed Chapterhouse Theatre Group in the spectacular setting of the Nave of Wells Cathedral. Expect period costume, song, dance, and a fantastic musical score.
The feisty improvisers from Team Bish and Team Bosh are seeing out 2019 with a final, merry head-to-head chasing glory, honour and (most importantly) the audience’s love! Join them for this extra-special yuletide extravaganza, featuring special guests! Think Whose Line Is It Anyway meets Shooting Stars meets the competitive spirit of a premier league match! Scenes, songs and silliness are promised in two hours of high-octane entertainment. Who will come out on top? Only you can decide.
The Snow Queen at Redgrave Theatre, Bristol (29 Nov - 13 December)
The graduating students of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School present Theresa Heskins' thrilling adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson classic tale, 'The Snow Queen'. Follow young Gerda on her quest to save her best friend Kai from the clutches of the wicked Snow Queen. Can Gerda save Kai from eternal winter and help him 'find the words' in order to turn back time?
Kirk Vs Ming at Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol (5-30 December)
Thought you knew what to expect from your Christmas theatre? Think again…Bad Vs Evil (a new theatre company formed by Andrew Kingston and Harry Humberstone, whose hits include Muppits Die Hard) present an exciting, subversive sci-fi/drag/comedy play with laser beams, ill-fitting costumes and false eyelashes.
How the BIT stole Christmas, Bristol Improv Theatre (6-28 December, 8pm)
A cast of stupendous beasts, lovable monsters and downright weirdos gather to deck the halls, ring out the bells and croon age-old festive carols. What could go wrong? Join the BIT this December for improvised yuletide mayhem, hijinks and improvised adventures told with puppets, followed by Christmassy singing in the bar afterwards, with This Is Your Musical’s Ian Towers.
Rapunzel, Egg Theatre, Bath (6 December -12 January)
An orphaned baby is rescued by an eccentric herbalist who raises Rapunzel as her own, before confining her to a tower to protect her from the prying eyes of the world. Rapunzel will need to call on all her strength, wit, patience, and determination to break free from the clutches of her oppressive mother and find her one true love. Packed full of chucklesome comedy, songs, a magic pig and plenty of princes, this music version of the classic fairy tale is one hair-raising family theatre experience.
Dick Whittington at Bristol Hippodrome (7 December-5 January 2020)
Soap-sensation and musical theatre star Shane Richie stars in this pauper to prince story. Can Dick Whittington outwit the evil King, win Alice’s hand in marriage and free the city while seeking fame, fortune and happiness on the rat-infested streets of London? Bristol’s biggest panto will be brought to life with lashings of comedy, spectacle, live music and audience participation.
Steamed: A Dickensian Improvised Christmas Tale at Brunel's SS Great Britain (8-9 & 21-22 December), Theatre Shop Clevedon (13 December)
After last year's success, Closer Each Day Company are back at Brunel’s SS Great Britain for a festive, Dickensian and totally improvised tale, created on the spot from YOUR suggestions! As well as laugh-out-loud comedy, amazing drama, steam ships, steam trains, figgy puddings and the odd catchy music hall number, there’s also a chance to look around the magnificent ship beforehand.
Anansi and the Grand Prize at Bristol Old Vic (9 - 21 December)
Anansi’s finished, unless he can pull off one last trick: win the Island’s Poco dance and music festival grand prize of $25,000, and beat an international reggae/soul superstar who also has eyes on the prize (and his wife). Trouble is, Anansi's got no costume, no skills and no chance. In association with St Paul’s Carnival, this vibrant retelling of the classic folktale about an eponymous trickster hero, combines the colour, humour and dynamic dance of Africa and the Caribbean.
Milk Poetry join forces with the iconic Blahblahblah for an epic Christmas celebration and eclectic spoken word bonanza! Grab yourself a mug of mulled wine and a mince pie from the Old Market Assembly bar and let this line up of musical poets and poetic musicians do their thing.
A Christmas Carol at Alma Tavern and Theatre, Bristol (10-14 December)
ProAct’s unique one-man staging of every notable character from the Charles Dickens haunting masterpiece is adapted from the original text and inspired by Dickens’ public readings.
Beauty and the Beast at Theatre Royal Bath (12 December - 12 January)
Larger than life characters, Corrie’s Wendi Peters, Bath comedian Jon Monie and Eastenders’ Nick Wilton, star in this traditional family pantomime, featuring side-splitting comedy, sumptuous costumes, fabulous scenery and a thrilling transformation scene.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice at The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol (19-31 December)
What if you found out that your grouchy neighbour was actually a wizard whose house is powered entirely by magic?! Join two of Bristol’s leading family theatre makers, Soap Soup Theatre and Open Attic Company for a magical new show featuring intricate puppetry and sumptuous design, inspired by Goethe’s poem. For ages 3-8 and their families.
Living Spit's Swan Lake, Clevedon Theatre Shop (21 December)
Theatre Orchard and Living Spit have teamed up to make the smallest ballet ever performed (well, probably). Howard Coggins and Stu McLoughlin will be joined on stage by two profession-al ballet dancers for the funniest, danciest, water-fowlest microballet the world has ever seen!
The Story of Christmas at the Rondo, Bath (22 December)
A festive family-friendly show packed full of songs, jokes and frivolity, takes a fun-loving ride through history to look at the bizarre and wonderful origins of some of our barmy Christmas traditions and the wacky characters who invented them.