Our quick guide to Christmas pantos, shows and events

You won't be stuck for something to do this festive season, with plenty of family and grown-up entertainment on offer. Here's a quick guide to some of the Christmas shows and events taking place around the north

Actor David Bedella as Fleshcreep with Grand Opera House panto dame May McFettridge in this year's GOH production, Jack and the Beanstalk
Gail Bell

Jack and the Beanstalk

Grand Opera House, Belfast

A stellar cast and spectacular set are promised for this year's GOH panto, with the mother of all panto dames, May McFettridge, returning for what will be her 29th consecutive pantomime. Joining her on stage will be Olivier award-winner David Bedella, as the ultimate baddie Fleshcreep. Bedella played Captain Hook in last year's record-breaking production of Peter Pan, seen by over 75,200 people during its six-week run at the theatre.

Produced by Qdos Entertainment, Jack and the Beanstalk will be directed by Andrew Wright, a double Olivier Award nominee and double WhatsonStage Award winner.

:: December 1-January 13;


Beauty and The Beast

Belfast Waterfront

Sharon Duffy (Belle) and Gary Crossan (The Beast), stars of this year's panto from GBL Productions at the Waterfront

Annual favourite, Beauty and The Beast, comes to Belfast Waterfront Hall this festive season, presented by GBL Productions. Directed by Lisa May and produced by Martin Lynch and Liam McMullan, the classic tale of Belle and larger-than-life characters, promises fun, excitement and audience participation. Cast includes Sharon Duffy, Gary Crossan, Gordon Crawford, Gavin Peden, Rosie Barry and Rosie McClelland.

:: Continues until January 6;


Peter Pan

Millennium Forum, Derry

Packed with fantasy, bucketfuls of fun and a few stunts to boot, there's plenty to cheer at in the Millennium Forum's production of Peter Pan. ISL and BSL signed performances are scheduled for December 6 with a dementia friendly performance on December 6.

:: November 30-December 30;


Tumble Circus

Writer's Square, Belfast

Performers reach for the skies in the Christmas Tumble Circus Big Top at Writer's Square

Following their run of sold-out shows at this year's Eastside Arts Festival, the wacky folks at Tumble Circus are back again with their Winter Circus Show. The show includes highly skilled acrobats, aerialists and jugglers, all under the roof of the Tumble Circus Big Top. An all-human event, the circus features international artists and comedy characters suitable for all ages.

:: December 14-January 1;


The Elves and the Shoemaker

The MAC, Belfast

Based on the much-loved story by the Brothers Grimm, The MAC is collaborating again with award-winning children's theatre company Cahoots NI, to bring this classic fairytale to life. Co-written by Simon Magill and Stephen Beggs, under the direction of Paul Bosco McEneaney, there are lots of laughs, as well as festive score from Garth McCongaghie. Sean Kearns stars as the shoemaker; supporting performances from Clare Barrett and Jolene O'Hara.

:: Continues until January 6;



Market Place Theatre, Armagh

Aladdin is flying high in Armagh this December when the much-loved tale of good and evil comes to life. An unforgettable festive experience is promised, as poor Aladdin sets out to win his princess and thwart the plans of evil Abanazer. Dazzling costumes, stunning sets, thrilling songs and a magical flying carpet are promised.

:: December 1-23;

Bet (Clare Bennett) and Stan (Sean Kearns) are confused by Dewdrop's (Jolene O'Hara) presence in The MAC's production of the Elves and Shoemaker

Peter Pan

Courtyard Theatre, Newtownabbey

Hullabaloo Productions transform this intimate, local theatre into a magical Neverland for Peter and Wendy who are off on their adventure with Tinker Bell, The Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and Captain Hook. Featuring puppetry, dazzling sets and lavish costumes, panto fans of all ages can enjoy the excitement of this timeless adventure.

:: November 24-December 22;


Jack and the Beanstalk

Old Courthouse, Antrim

The Old Courthouse setting brings children up close to the action as Jack and the Beanstalk is brought to life with singing, dancing and puppetry. Featuring a talented local cast, expect some clapping and audience participation. Relaxed performances are scheduled for December 8 and 15 and group discounts are available.

:: December 5-15;


Alice in Wonderland

Burnavon Arts Centre, Cookstown

Stewartstown Amateur Dramatic Society presents Alice in Wonderland on dates throughout January. Extra special surprises are in store to mark the drama group's 20th anniversary.

:: January 11, 12, 18 and 19;


Belfast Winter Wonderland

Hope Street, Belfast

If you're fed up with panto dames and baddies, get your skates on and head to the ice rink to cool down with the first ever Belfast Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park multi-story car park, Hope Street. MD Events presents a "magical, festive Winter Wonderland", with a Big Wheel, rides, as well as an open- air, covered ice rink and travelling circus, boasting aerialists, acrobats and jugglers.

:: November 23-January 6;


Alice: The Musical

Lyric Theatre, Belfast

Getting ready for Alice: The Musical at the Lyric theatre are, from left, Christina Nelson (White Rabbit), Ruby Campbell (Alice) and Allison Harding (Queen of Hearts)

Tumble down a rabbit hole and be enchanted all over again by Lewis Carroll's famous characters in Alice in Wonderland – this time with a musical twist in Paul Boyd's magical adaptation. Ruby Campbell plays Alice who aims to escape the clutches of the Queen of Hearts (Allison Hardin) while in pursuit of the elusive White Rabbit (Christina Nelson).

:: November 29-January 5;


Little Red Riding Hood

Island Arts Centre, Lisburn

Lisnagarvey Operatic and Dramatic Society is back at the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, with a panto, brimming with comedy, slapstick, great songs and dances. Relive the traditional story of Little Red Riding Hood with all the family – for large groups of 10, the 11th ticket is free.

:: December 1-8;

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