There's nothing like a pantomime - the iconic British tradition, with its music, dancing and songs (and jokes that only the grown-ups get). With the 2020 season being a bit of a washout thanks to Covid-19, 2021 is looking much more successful for our theatres. With many old favourites returning to the stage, and some big panto names returning, there’s a great collection of pantos to go and see all across the south west.
Pantos in London
Richmond Theatre: Cinderella
- When: 3 December to 2 January
- Our nearest station: Richmond – Richmond Theatre is less than 5 minutes' walk from Richmond station - just cross the road, walk through Old Station Passage, and turn left onto Little Green.
Join Richmond Theatre for a strictly magical fairy-tale adventure as Anton Du Beke joins the company for the most magical ball in all the kingdom. Packed with all the of the traditional panto ingredients, you’ll find laughs galore, beautiful costumes – and plenty of boos and hisses for the baddies!
New Wimbledon Theatre: Dick Whittington
- When: 4 December to 2 January
- Our nearest station: Wimbledon – the New Wimbledon Theatre is just a ten-minute walk from the station along The Broadway.
Shane Richie joins comedian Peter Piper and actor Hiba Elchikhe on his quest for fame, fortune and happiness journeying to become the Lord Mayor of London. Guided by the magical Fairy Bow Bells, his adventure takes him from London town across the high seas to Morocco on a mission to outwit the evil rodent King Rat and his team of revolting rodents. Will he succeed and win the beautiful Alice’s hand in marriage? Book your tickets and find out!
Battersea Arts Centre: Sleeping Beauty and the Beast
- When: 26 November to 30 December
- Nearest station: Clapham Junction – exiting onto St John’s Hill, turn left and head toward Lavender Hill. It’s less than ten minutes’ walk to the Arts Centre.
Perfect for children, comedic company Sleeping Trees bring you a panto-whodunnit as part of the Battersea Arts Centre’s OverCome Season. Don your best detective hat, grab your magnifying glass and head to Goodie-versity – the institute for reformed baddies. Headmasters Beast and Belle are just one day from the baddie class of 2021’s graduation when disaster strikes – but can you help them solve the mystery?
Rose Theatre Kingston: Beauty & The Beast
- When: 3 December to 3 January
- Nearest station: Kingston – just 10 minutes' walk through the town centre
Brought together by the creative minds behind some of the Rose Theatre’s best-rated productions, this Rose Original creation takes you to the attic of Jasmine, Fleur and Briar on a cold Christmas night, and the story of Bella, who discovers that her father is the victim of a terrible curse. Determined to face the Beast who condemned him, she sets out on a journey across the mountains to learn the truth.
Pantos in the south west
Exeter Corn Exchange: Beauty & The Beast
- When: 11 December - 2 January
- How to get there: Just 10 minutes walk from Exeter Central station - head towards Exeter Cathedral, and make your way onto Market Street for the box office and venue entrance.
Much-loved panto regulars Matt Finegan and Daniel Page return as Gascon and Madame Bonbon in the Corn Exchange’s splendid telling of an all-time panto favourite. With all the classic ingredients to a festive family panto, you’ll find romance and custard pies, magic and slapstick all in equal measure.
Kings Theatre Portsmouth: Jack & The Beanstalk
- When: 27 November to 2 January
- Nearest station: Portsmouth & Southsea - Kings Theatre is 25 minutes' walk from the station, or just 10 minutes on the Route 2 bus, which runs every 10 minutes from the Civic Offices.
Love Island’s Amy Hart is joined by Jack Edwards and X Factor’s Sean Smith in a panto that’s set to rocket you up into the clouds. Pompey panto favourites return with new faces to bring you an epic battle between Dame Trott, her son Jack, and the menacing giant. Will Jack get back the family cow he swapped for magic beans? Find out with this spectacular production that Kings has become famous for!
New Victoria Theatre, Woking: Snow White
- When: 4 December to 2 January
- Nearest station: Woking – it’s just five minutes' walk through the Peacocks Centre.
Gok Wan leads this year’s fabulous retelling of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, bring a glittering festive treat for all ages. Featuring live music and beautiful costumes (as well as Gok’s ever-relevant fashion advice), this stunning production has been created especially for the New Victoria Theatre by the world’s biggest panto producer, Crossroads Pantomimes.
So, if you fancy a trip to enjoy this most British of traditions, then book your tickets today. Don’t forget – you can save a third or more with a Railcard, and for the best fares you can book in advance.