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Going to the Panto? Oh yes you are

It’s Panto time. Oh yes it is. (Come on, get in the mood!). And where is your ultimate guide to the best pantos this Christmas? It’s behind you! Actually, no it isn’t. It’s in the list below.

This year in Panto-land, there’s the usual array of soap stars, TV C-listers and the occasional real celeb. So here’s my definitive guide to the season’s best pantos in Surrey and beyond. Choose your poison, and make sure you go!

Aladdin – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford – Fri 9 Dec to Sun 8 Jan

aladdin_whole-cast2

Go back to that magical world of genies and flying carpets in this action-packed panto. Janie Dee is the Genie, and she’s joined by Kit Hesketh-Harvey as the ultimate Panto villain Abanazar and Emma Thornett as Aladdin. Eagle Radio’s Peter Gordon dons the fabulous frocks as the Panto dame, Widow Twankey, and film star Ray Griffiths takes on the role of PC Pongo. It promises to be a goodie. Tickets: £20-£28.50.

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford, GU1 3UX. Tel: 01483 44 00 00. yvonne-arnaud.co.uk

*******

 

Santa Claus and the Christmas Adventure – G Live, Guildford – Thurs 8 Dec until Sat 24 Dec

santa-claus-and-the-christmas-adventure-photo-credit-craig-sugden-3

Not panto, but a magical Christmas experience for the family with songs, stories and event the chance to meet and greet the jolly fellow himself. It’s aimed at kids aged 2-6, and follows Santa’s adventures at his headquarters in the North Pole. Muddy Surrey is already booked in to see this one. We’ll let you know how it goes. Tickets: £13.50-£16.50.

G Live, London Road, Guildford, GU1 2AA. Tel: 01483 369350. glive.co.uk

*******

Dick Whittington – Dorking Halls – Sat 17 Dec to Wed 28 Dec

dickwhittington-dorking-chrisedgerley

Chris Edgerley from CITV and Hi-5 stars as Dick Whittington in this funny rags-to-riches story of Dick and his cat. EastEnders’ Melissa Suffield also stars. Expect laugh-out-loud comedy routines, stunning dances, show-stopping songs and heaps of audience participation. Tickets: £14.50

Dorking Halls, Reigate Road, Dorking, RH4 1SJ. Tel: 01306 881717. dorkinghalls.co.uk

*******

The Wind and the Willows – The Rose Theatre, Kingston – Tues 6 Dec to Tues 3 Jan

windandthewillows-rosetheatre

Another alternative to the ‘he’s behind you’ brigade, and it shows a lot of promise as one not to be missed. The Surrey Mudlets are booked in to see this one, so stay tuned for the verdict. It’s the well-known story of Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad. Tickets: £10-£30.

Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston, KT1 1HL. Tel: 020 8174 0090.  rosetheatrekingston.org

*******

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – New Victoria Theatre, Woking – Sat 10 Dec to Sun 8 Jan

Snow White | New Victoria Theatre Woking 2016 | Photo: http://www.ianolsson.com

Warwick Davis stars as head dwarf in this fairy tale panto. He’s joined by comedy favourite Andy Ford as the henchman. All the traditional panto elements will be there: glittering costumes, songs, dance and of course the slapstick comedy. But who’s the fairest in the land, and will good win out over evil? Well, I don’t know, so you may have to see it. Tickets: £14-£42.50

New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ, Tel: 0844 871 7645. atgtickets.com

*******

Cinderella – Camberley Theatre – Tues 6 Dec to Sat 31 Dec

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It’s all about the Wugly Sisters, Dot and Babs in Camberley’s version of Cinderella this year. The Wugly Sisters are created and performed by Steve King and Olly Taylor who bring telly, theatre, puppetry and magic to their show. Beccy Lane is Cinderella and Tom Bowen is Prince Charming. But will Cinders make it to the ball? Will she find her Prince Charming? Probably, but then this is panto, so anything could happen. Tickets: £14-£20.

Camberley Theatre, Knoll Road, Camberley, GU15 3SY. Tel: 01276 707600. camberleytheatre.biz

*******

Cinderella – The Harlequin Theatre, Redhill – Fri 9 Dec to Sat 31 Dec

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This is possibly the panto that’ll appeal most to mums of a certain age as much as it will their little girls, given that the handsome Chesney Hawkes is Prince Charming. Redhill favourites Abigail Welford, Neil Wheatley and Simon Bashford are back as Cinders, Buttons and the Fairy Godmother. We all love this rags-to-riches tale. Could this be the ‘One And Only’ panto you need to see this year? Tickets: £16.50-£21.50.

The Harlequin Theatre, Warwick Quadrant, Redhill, RH1 1NN. Tel: 01737 276 500. harlequintheatre.co.uk

*******

Beauty and the Beast – Leatherhead Theatre – Tues 20 Dec to Fri 30 Dec

beautyandthebeast-leatherhead

Set in the French village of Marsh de Mello, you can expect all of the silliness of the traditional panto which includes a recorded voice performance from CBeebies star Rebecca Keatley as the Marvellous Magical Mirror. Tickets: £12.50.

The Leatherhead Theatre, 7 Church St, Leatherhead KT22 8DN. Tel: 01372 365141. theleatherheadtheatre.org 

*******

Peter Pan – The Hawth, Crawley – Fri 9 Dec to Mon 2 Jan

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This one’s already proving popular, with some shows already sold out. So if you want to see it, don’t take your time booking. This one has a fair offering of soap stars, including EastEnder’s Emma Barton as Tinkerbell and Shaun Williamson as Captain Hook. CBeebies pirates Richard David-Caine and Joseph Elliott stay true to form as the pirates, while panto favourites Hilary O’Neil and Michael J Batchelor return. Tickets: £15.25-£28.75.

The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 6YZ. Tel: 01293 553 636. parkwoodtheatres.co.uk

*******

Aladdin – Epsom Playhouse – Fri 16 Dec until Sun 8 Jan

The Epsom Playhouse - Panto 2016 Aladdin

The magical and mystical Aladdin comes to Epsom Playhouse this Christmas – that favourite panto tale of a boy who finds a magic lamp. Tickets: £13-£18.

Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Avenue, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5AL. Tel: 01372 724555. epsomplayhouse.co.uk

*******

Santa Claus and the Christmas Adventure – Epsom Playhouse – Fri 9 Dec to Sat 24 Dec

santaandthechristmasadventure-epsom

Another alternative to the traditional panto. This interactive show has been wowing audiences and is back in Epsom for its fourth year. Kids get to meet Santa. Tickets: £10.50-£12.50.

Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Avenue, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5AL. Tel: 01372 724555. epsomplayhouse.co.uk

*******

Sleeping Beauty – Richmond Theatre – Fri 2 Dec to Sun 8 Jan

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Maureen Lipman returns to Richmond’s panto, this year as the Wicked Fairy. She joined by CBeebies fave Chris Jarvis as Chester the Jester, returning for the third year due to popular demand. Expect big song and dance numbers, magic and, of course, bags of audience participation. Tickets: £17-£44.

Richmond Theatre, Little Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ. Tel: 0844 871 7651. atgtickets.com

*******

Dick Whittington – New Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon – Fri 9 Dec to Sun 15 Jan

dickwhittington-wimbledon

Seasoned dame, Matthew Kelly will wig up again for this panto that’s billed as the loudest, brashest and glitziest panto out there. Former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips makes her panto debut, and Tim Vine is also in the cast. It’s a fitting approach for the story of a boy and his cat who hope the streets of London are paved with gold. If previous years are anything to go by, it should offer lashings of high budget spectacle, sparkly scenery, and ear-splittingly loud pop song routines. Tickets: £23-£43.

New Wimbledon Theatre, 93 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1QG. Tel: atgtickets.com

*******

Cinderella – London Palladium, Soho – Sat 10 Dec to Sun 15 Jan

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If it’s a star-studded cast you’re after, head to London for Cinderella. Paul O’Grady is the Wicked Stepmother, Amanda Holden is the Fairy Godmother, Julian Clary is Dandini, Lee Mead is Prince Charming, Nigel Havers is Lord Chamberlain and Count Arthur Strong is Baron Hardup. It’s the first panto in almost 30 years to grace the stage at the Palladium, and they’re giving all they’ve got.

London Palladium, 8 Argyll St, Soho, London W1F 7TE. Tel:  cinderellapalladium.com

*******

AND FOR GROWN-UPS ONLY…

Guildford Fringe’s Robin’s Wood – The Starr Inn, Guildford – Thurs 1 Dec to Sat 31 Dec

robins-wood-guildford-fringe

Robin’s Wood is your stereotypical pantomime…. except for the fact that no children are allowed in, its full of rudeness and its in a pub! So, on reflection its nothing like your stereotypical pantomime! Expect a bit of naughtiness, and lots of laughter.

The Back Room of The Star Inn, Quarry Street, Guildford, GU1 3TY. guildfordfringe.com

 

 

 

 

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