25 of the best pantomimes and Christmas shows in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 12:41 25 November 2019
Part of the magic of the season, a Christmas show is a special occasion no matter how old you are. Here are 25 of the best in Herts and surrounds this year
Watford, November 29-December 31
This take on a classic fairytale features a princess who dreams of travelling, a king from Watford and a guitar playing prince. Join Good Fairy Fender and Dame Nanny Fanny as they spread family magic and laughter in this time-travelling adventure at Watford Palace Theatre.
Stevenage, November 29-January 26
This beastly panto has it all -baddies to boo, corny gags and a heroine in hot water, but of course there's a prince to save the day. Gordon Craig Theatre panto favourites Paul Laidlaw (Dame Derriere) and Aiden O'Neill (Potty Pierre) return to cause chaos. This production team won best panto under 750 seats at the Great British Panto Awards 2018.
St Albans, December 6-January 5
Lots of audience participation is promised for this fun-packed family pantomime at Alban Arena. The cast includes a wonderfully wicked Rita Simons (EastEnders), Andy Day (CBeebies) and local legend Bob Golding. Watch out for the fire breathing dragon.
Harpenden, December 7-30
This heart-warming love story of Belle, the headstrong village girl who enters a magic castle enchants people of all ages. The Harpenden Public Halls production promises spectacular scenery and special effects. The cast includes TOWIE's Ricky Rayment plus appearances by 'panto pooches'.
Radlett, December 7-January 3
Follow Cinders on her rags to riches story. Yes, we know she will go to the ball but her journey at Radlett Centre will be filled with show stopping songs, dancing and hilarity. Marc Kelly returns as an ugly sister. Lots of audience participation at this one.
Bishop's Stortford, December 7-January 5
This Rhodes Arts Complex panto puts a modern twist on the classic fairy tale. Packed with local talent, gags, live music, great choreography and a feisty heroine, it's staged by Ian McFarlane who has directed some of the UK's biggest pantos.
Welwyn, December 12-31
This Hawthorne Theatre show is full of festive silliness. Throw in the fairest of them all, a jealous stepmother (cue the boos), a handsome prince (cue the cheers) and seven lovable dwarfs and you have a panto that's fast, furious and fun.
Rickmansworth, December 12-January 5
Set sail for Neverland with this swashbuckling panto at Watersmeet Theatre with live music, fabulous costumes and plenty of laughs. EastEnders favourite Todd Carty is the villainous Captain Hook.
Hoddesdon, December 13-31
Take a magical carpet ride with The Spotlight theatre's 'starriest panto yet.' Sam Callahan (X Factor) is Aladdin, Robert White (Britain's Got Talent) is Wishee Washee and Ian Parkin (4 Poofs and a Piano) plays Widow Twankey, plus there's the booming voice of Brian Blessed as the genie.
Potters Bar, December 14-January 5
Wyllyotts Theatre promises amazing special effects, music and laughs as Chester the Jester searches for someone to laugh at his jokes and Dame Nellie Night Nurse tries to find a man in the front two rows. Luckily Prince Valiant is on hand to pay some attention to Sleeping Beauty.
Pendley, December 27-January 5
Take a trip to Neverland with great local talent rather than celebs at The Court Theatre. Boo and hiss at Captain Hook and his dastardly band of pirates and cheer on Peter, Tink and the Lost Boys as they dodge the baddies. Be prepared for fairy magic.
St Albans, November 23
It's really not Christmas without a trip to see The Nutcracker. Back by popular demand at Alban Arena, the Vienna Festival Ballet will dance to Tchaikovsky's unforgettable score. Follow Clara as her doll takes her on a magical adventure to the Land of Snow and Kingdom of Sweets. A treat for all the family.
Hemel Hempstead, November 23
This Old Town Hall show is by Tall Stories, the company that brought The Gruffalo to the stage. Billy, a young goat, has everything he has ever wished for but he still eagerly awaits the snow dragon's visit on New Year's Eve, bringing even more goodies. But has he been naughty or nice? Songs, dances and laughs for little ones upwards.
Hertford, November 30-January 1
Inspired by the hit movie Frozen, this new family Christmas show promises heart-lifting songs, foot stomping dances and a sledge load of fun at Hertford Theatre. Join Gerda on her icy adventures in search of her missing friend Kai.
Watford, December 3-24
It's Christmas Eve and children are busy putting out their stockings for Father Christmas. But some haven't - they don't believe. Help the cheeky elves Charlie and Kara as they help Santa prove he's real, with songs, nursery rhymes and magical stories. Including bubbles and a snowfall over the audience. Children receive presents as an added treat at this Watford Colosseum show.
Hemel Hempstead, December 7
Based on the picture book by Sam Hay, this imaginative adaption uses rhymes, music and songs to bring the story to the The Old Town Hall stage. Follow a boy who finds a star and, you guessed it, puts it in a jar. When star misses home, he searches for a way to send it safely back. A magical tale celebrating kindness.
Letchworth, December 10-15
Take a trip to the riverbank at Broadway Theatre with this energetic adaption of a family classic. There's plenty of high jinks and songs as Mole, Ratty and Badger attempt to keep Toad out of trouble.
Welwyn GC, December 13-21
This story of three children taken from a prosperous Edwardian life to a humble one in northern England is still a delight a century after it was written. Follow Bobby, Phyllis and Peter at the Barn Theatre as they find fascination in the nearby railway, learn the value of community and help save lives along the way. But just who is the stranger on the 9.15 train?
Hertford, December 14-15, 17-19 & 21-24
Follow Santa and Jingleberry the Elf as they prepare the presents for Christmas in this colourful interactive show for two-six year olds at Hertford Theatre. Sing-a-long with Rudolph the rapping reindeer and Frosty the Singing Snowman. There's also the chance to meet the man in red after the show.
St Albans, December 14-29
For an alternative Christmas show Company of Ten brings Roald Dahl's explosive tale to Abbey Theatre. George's appalling grandma (and lots of animals) start to feel funny after he concocts a brew like no other...
St Albans, December 21
It's Christmas morning and Darcey wakes to a stocking full of presents and a reindeer on the roof. Without Santa how will it ever get home? Join an epic adventure to Lapland at The Sandpit Theatre.
BEST OVER BORDER
Enfield, November 28-January 4
Take a trip to Puddle Upon the Marsh and meet the Goose family as they embark on an adventure at Millfield Theatre. Along the way there's true love, an evil baddie and of course fairy magic.
Milton Keynes, December 7-January 12
Jump aboard the magic carpet for a panto packed with fun at Milton Keynes Theatre. With West End star Lee Mead as Aladdin and comic Joe Pasquale as Wishee Washee, it's got pedigree.
Barnet, December 14-30
All the ingredients for a magical panto from a homegrown professional cast at The Bull Theatre. There's a villain, an exotic setting, a hero and of course an hilarious dame.
Cockfosters, December 27-January 11
This new version of the fairytale is set in the 1960s. A diverse cast of all ages, an original score and an inspiring message make this Chickenshed theatre panto like few others.