It’s Panto Time!
Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the theatre you go! Here are 15 of the perkiest pantos and festive shows in Devon. Get ready to heckle!
Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the fairest panto of them all? No need to ask your reflection, silly. Your indispensable, innuendo-laden Muddy Xmas show guide is here!
Treasure Island, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, Thurs 12 – Sun 5 Jan
Ho, ho, ho and, er, a bottle of rum. X marks the spot this Christmas, with the four lads from Le Navet Bete delivering a swash-buckling comedy aimed at littlies from 6 and up.
Santas Elves and the Shoemakers, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Weds 11 – Sat 14 Dec
One for the teenies (2-plus), this festive twist on the traditional tale features two of Santa’s little helpers as the mysterious shoe-makers. It’s written by CBBC TV writer and children’s author, Ian Billings – and there are gifts for all of the littlies – so should be a cracker.
A Grimm Christmas, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, Thurs 12 – Mon 23 Dec
A spin on the Grimm fairy tales of yesteryear, before Hollywood got its evil mitts on them. For anyone who prefers uncensored and menacing tales over gooey Christmassy sugariness. Not for littlies obvs, 16-plus.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Queens Theatre, Barnstaple, Fri 13 Dec – Sun 5 Jan
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the Panto we go, and this one stars Jay Aston from Bucks Fizz of 80’s Eurovision fame – remember the skirt routine? – as the Wicked Queen. It’s brought to you by the theatre’s new operators, Selladoor Worldwide, the talent behind numerous award-winning West End shows.
The Velveteen Rabbit, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Exeter, Weds 11 – Sat 28 December
Quirk Theatre’s rendition of Alice and the unwanted Chrimbo gift she comes to love with deeper themes exploring what it means to love and be loved *and what to do with all those unwanted socks/hankies/cookbooks.* (Also on at the Plough Arts Theatre in Great Torrington from 4-7 December.)
Beauty and the Beast, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Thurs 12 Jan
Can Belle see beyond the Beast’s façade to find true love with the cursed Prince Louis within? Wonder Productions bring their brand-new production to Paignton as part of a six week national tour.
Cinderella, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Fri 20 Dec – Sat 18 Jan
No staying at home sweeping the hearth, you shall go the panto to see Brian Conley (no, it’s not Bradley Walsh) in what the theatre says will be laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning songs and jaw-dropping effects. You can’t go wrong with Theatre Royal, so it’s bound to be bibbidy-bobbidy-boo.
Beauty and the Beast, Northcott Theatre, Exeter University, Sat 30 Nov – Sun 5 Jan
This looks fab. Check out the marvellous trailer (laden with Exeter city landmarks) then go, go, go. Or rather book, book, book!
Sleeping Beauty, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Sat 21 – Sun 5 Jan
This lovely little theatre frequently wins NODA’s best pantomime award, so expect great cozzies, a five piece band (professional of course), a rib-tickler of a script, award-nominated choreography and who knows, perhaps a little water.
Aladdin, Barnfield Theatre, Barnfield Road, Exeter, Thurs 19 Dec – Sat 4 Jan
Wishee-Washee, Widow Twanky and of course, a magic carpet, brought to you by Barnfield’s in-house theatre company, Exeter Little Theatre Company. I’ve seen a couple of shows here, by local and children’s theatre groups and it’s a lovely city-centre space with local beers and spirits in the bar, and a guaranteed festive feel.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Princess Theatre, Torquay, Fri 13 – Sat 4 Jan
Tousled Devon songster, Luke Friend, from The X Factor stars in the vertically-challenged classic, along with Hollyoaks‘ Marcus Patrick, so you can be sure the toons will be in tune.
The Curious Tale of Jack Frost, The Soapbox Theatre, Devonport Park, Plymouth, Sat 7 – Tues 24 Dec
Children’s theatre Soapbox bring you two shows: a gentler version for under 5’s and a family version with plenty of boo-ing and hissing to discover Jack and the mysterious fern-like patterns he leaves behind.
The Elves and the Shoemaker, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Tues 3 Dec – Sat 18 Jan
Shoes made of bread, shoes that can make you dance… feather shoes that tickle your feet until you can’t stop laughing? Stuff and Nonsense’s one-hour rendition of the penniless shoemaker’s tale is perfect for age 3-plus, filled with puppets, music, comedy and more shoes than Imelda Marcos.
Jack and the Beanstalk, The Esplanade, Exmouth Pavilion, Tues 24 Dec – Weds 1 Jan
This is Trio Entertainment’s sixth Crimbo at Exmouth Pavilion, bringing back old panto regulars, including the popular Stuart Earp, along with Dancing On Ice star Steven Arnold, best known for his role as Ashley Peacock in Corrie.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Exeter Corn Exchange, Sat 7 Dec – Weds 1 Jan
Look! It’s only Ella Gilling – aka Ella – from CBBC’s The Next Step, released from her gruelling rehearsals for the regionals to play the eponymous princess. Plus, there is a free Christmas grotto if you go to a matinee, right up until Xmas eve.