It’s customary to go and see a pantomime with the family over the festive period and The City’s very own Bridewell Theatre has been wowing audiences with its take on Jack and the Beanstalk. But if you’ve found yourself going to see performances with various combinations of your relatives and every group your child is part of, you may well be sick of pantomimes by this time in Christmas.
Save yourself from more shouts of “He’s behind you” and “Oh no it isn’t” by booking up to go and see a different kind of theatrical production.
King Lear – Barbican
King Lear is currently playing at the Barbican, with Antony Sher taking on the title role and audiences promised a performance that is miles away from the pantomime genre. With the New Year coming up, it’s a great opportunity to follow the story of a man forced to face his mistakes as he relinquishes power to his children. It is a return to the Barbican for Sher, who played the fool in King Lear on the same stage some 34 years ago, when he was first starting out with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
King Lear is on until December 23rd
A Christmas Carol – Lost Theatre
Head across to this intimate Off West End Fringe theatre in Stockwell for a family classic that is a musical, but definitely not a pantomime. A Christmas Carol is a festive tale that has entertained audiences through the generations and continues to do so today. The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future take Scrooge on an enchanting journey and you can go along too. Book a family ticket to make savings.
Regular performances up to December 31st
The Kite Runner – Wyndham’s Theatre
Avid readers will be aware of the runaway success of Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 novel The Kite Reader. Having read the book, you can now see the play, as it comes to Wyndham’s Theatre in the West End. Be transported to Kabul through a wonderful tale of friendship and family against the backdrop of a tumultuous time in Afghanistan’s history. It’s a fascinating story and one that is expected to translate well from the page to the stage.
Previews begin on December 21st, with the official start of the run on January 10th
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical – Aldwych Theatre
Some music is timeless and that is certainly the case for the hits of Carole King. So what could be better than a musical based around her classic songs? The action follows her from ambitious schoolgirl through her relationship with Gerry Goffin, who she married and wrote songs alongside, as well as rivalry with the song-writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, right to super stardom. It’s a great show and a real after-Christmas treat.
Scheduled to play until July 22nd 2017
Buried Child – Trafalgar Studio One
The play that launched Sam Shepherd into the spotlight and won him the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Drama is currently on in the West End. It comes with even more accolades, as it stars Ed Harris, who has won multiple awards internationally. Not the cheeriest of plays, Buried Child is an anti-American Dream piece, but shows disappointment and disillusionment in all its gritty reality. It’s certainly one to catch.
Running until February 18th