The Muddy Panto Guide 2018
Ready or not, here come the pantos! Dig out your stripy tights, winkle pickers, false eyelashes and corsetry, and book in for one of our festive Panto/Xmas production picks in Herts and beyond.
The Astonishing Adventures of Pinocchio, Hertford Theatre, Sun 1 Dec – Tues 1 Jan
No wooden performances here! Hertford Theatre’s fantastic in-house theatre team produce the panto every year. Up this year is The Astonishing Adventures of Pinocchio. What’s so astonishing you ask? You’ll have to watch to find out.
Beauty and the Beast, Rhodes Art Complex, Sat 8 Dec – Sat 5 Jan
The ballet version was on in October, but seems Rhodes Art Complex can’t get enough of Belle and her extremely hairy fella so are putting on Beauty and the Beast again for this years panto. Expect your usual songs, dance, cheers and boos.
Aladdin, Court Theatre, Fri 28 Dec – Sun 6 Jan
If you fancy pantos free of your classic Emmerdale or Corrie alumni, Tring’s Court Theatre will be granting your wish, using only local talent in their panto. This year they are hopping on the magic carpet and putting onAladdin.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Watersmeet, Fri 7 Dec – Mon 31 Dec
Jordan Productions runs pantos all over the Muddy counties and is returning to Watersmeet for the second year running, this time with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Also returning is Herts favourite funnyman Dave Bibby, alongside the rather dashing Eastenders and previous Dancing on Ice winner Sam Attwatter as, you guessed it, the prince.
Cinderella, Alban Arena, Thurs 6 Dec – Sun 6 Jan
There’s a bit of a party, or should I say S Club party, of celeb types at this one including Rachel Stevens, CBeebies favourite Mr Bloom a.k.a. Ben Faulks, and local star Bob Golding who has appeared in the theatre’s pantos since 2011. Like last year’s panto, Cinderella is being written by Paul Hendry and produced by Evolution.
Peter Pan, Gordon Craig Theatre, Sun 25 Nov – Tues 22 Jan
Swashbucking pirates ahoy in the form of Britain’s Got Talent’s dance troupe Twist & Pulse, Emmerdale’s Tom Lister as Captain Hook and Stevenage’s panto dame veteran Paul Laidlow as the hapless Mrs Smee. Gordon Craig Theatre’s regular comic Aidan O’Neill will be playing Paul’s hubby, Mr Smee.
Jack and the Beanstalk, Watford Palace Theatre, Wed 5 Dec – Sat 5 Jan
There’s been a panto at Watford Palace Theatre since 1908 so I’m sure they must be getting pretty good at it now. For this year’s in-house panto there’ll be live musicians on stage, slapstick comedy, sing-along songs and dance for Jack and the Beanstalk. Your traditional two-man panto cow will also make an appearance.
Jack and the Beanstalk, Rudolf Steiner School Theatre, Kings Langley, Tues 18 – Sat 22 Dec
Another version of this classic Panto, starring Lauren Platt (X Factor), Peter Dean (EastEnders, Real Marigold Hotel) and Rhianna Merralls (CBBC’s Millie Inbetween). Looks great fun, with a live band too.
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, Queen Mother Theatre, Fri 7 – Sun 9, Fri 14 – Sun 16
The Bancroft Players amateur dramatics society have been taking to Queen Mother Theatre’s stage since 1983 and they’re back again with their performance of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
A Christmas Carol, Abbey Theatre, Sat 15 – Sat 29 Dec
Can’t stand the panto? St Albans’ longest running theatre company, Company of Ten, will be bringing the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future to the Abbey Theatre with family friendly adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
Peter Pan, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Fri 7- Mon 31 Dec
Take the second star to the right and you’ll find Holby City and Corrie star John Mitchie in a wig and tights as he becomes Captain Hook at Aylesbury Waterside. Britain’s Got Talent’s drag act La Voix – the big hit of the last few years at AWT – will be supplying the dame entertainment along with Nickelodeon’s Holly Atterton as Tinker Bell and the always awesome Andy Collins.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Wycombe Swan, Fri 7 – Sun 30 Dec
Brendan Cole as the comely Prince? Yes indeedy, Strictly’s nemesis to Craig Revel Horwood makes his panto debut alongside Britain’s Got Talent’s comedian Mandy Muden as the evil Queen and panto dame veteran Jason Sutton. It’s a 10 from us for comedy casting, darling!
Tabby McTat, The Stables Milton Keynes, Mon 17- Sun 30 Dec
Will Tabby McTat the cat ever be reunited with his best friend Fred? Adapted from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book (my children love them!) this touching tale of loyalty and friendship looks supersweeeeeeet for littlies.
A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic, Sat 24 Nov – Sat 19 Jan
This production of festive classic A Christmas Carol staged by The Old Vic’s artistic director Matthew Warchus had such great reviews last year that it’s returning for round two. This one’s got big names for theatre buffs as the show has been adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne, co-writer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. 8+.
Snow White, London Palladium, Sat 8 Dec – Sun 13 Jan
Punchy and very funny cast, with Dawn French taking the starring role, accompanied with a fleckle heel by Strictly’s Vincent and Flavia, Broadway’s Charles Stemp and Over The Rainbow’s Danielle Hope. A dead cert.
Rumpelstiltskin, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 13 Dec- 6 Jan
All the way from Australia for it’s UK premier, this performance of Rumplestiltskin is promising something different from your traditional stage show. On offer are funky costumes, super modern staging and a contemporary twist to the old fairy tale. Aussie cabaret king Paul Capsis is playing the big R.
Aladdin, Hackney Empire, Sat 24 Nov – Sun 6 Jan
The unashamed home of panto, Hackney Empire’s in-house team celebrates its 20th birthday. Olivier Award-winner and panto dame extraordinaire Clive Rowe returns to Hackney Empire’s stage after a three year hiatus, alongside West End star Tameka Empson.
Horrible Christmas, Alexandra Palace, Thurs 13 – Sun 30 Dec
A jolly man in red tries to ruin Christmas. Not Mr Muddy as it happens (though he does his best every year), expect typical Horrible Histories style with terrible Tudors and Vile Victorians giving a history of Crimbo.