7 unmissable Christmas theatre shows – that AREN’T panto

There’s plenty to see on stage this festive season if panto isn’t your cup of tea – check out six options around the UK below.

Various: Nativity! The Musical

Familiar with the hugely popular film of the same name? Then Nativity! could be just the ticket. Even Louis Walsh will be on-stage when the show finally comes to London next month – after having called off in Birmingham, Southend, Sheffield, Manchester and Plymouth. It’s also off to Leeds from December 20 into the New Year.

Various theatres, until January 6. Prices vary – limited availability at some locations. Click here.

London: Christmas Farce

This comedy received rave reviews when it debuted in 2015, and this year returns for a three-week stretch, a minute’s walk from Waterloo station. It’s Noises Off meets The Play That Goes Wrong as the play follows a group of hapless actors backstage at a regional theatre, while they attempt to stage a doomed production of the Nativity. A relentlessly funny treat with a strong ensemble cast – and affordable too, with all tickets ranging from just £10-£15.

Waterloo East Theatre, November 28 – December 17 (not Mondays). Tickets £10-£15. Click here.

Leeds: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

This timeless story will be realised on the stage in what promises to be a magical adventure. From the director behind Peter Pan at the National Theatre and the sell-out tour of Jane Eyre, quality is assured as Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter escape wartime Britain in favour of their wardrobe with a twist.

West Yorkshire Playhouse, November 29 – January 27 (not Sundays). Tickets £14-£50. Click here.

Leicester: Scrooge The Musical

The Curve continues its long tradition of launching stellar productions as Artistic Director Nikolai Foster directs a new spin on Charles Dickens’ classic. The feel-good story is unlikely to leave anyone uttering “bah humbug”, with Jasper Britton taking the iconic lead role. EastEnders’ Danny-Boy Hatchard also stars as Tom Jenkins.

Curve, November 18 – January 7. Tickets £10-£40. Click here.

London: A Christmas Carol

Jack Thorne – he whose writing credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and TV treats such as the recent National Treasure – pens another spin on the Dickens favourite. Rhys Ifans gets top cast billing as Ebenezer Scrooge, with the production playing long into the New Year. Matthew Warchus directs.

Old Vic Theatre, November 18 – January 20 (not Sundays). Tickets £34.50-£74.75. Click here.

Sheffield: The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy and her friends take centre-stage in a new production of this all-time great story. Catrin Aaron leads the cast, who will belt out classics such as Over The Rainbow and We’re Off To See The Wizard. Fun for all the family.

Sheffield Crucible, December 8 – January 13 (not Sundays or Mondays). Tickets £15-£43. Click here.

Birmingham: The Hundred and One Dalmatians

Debbie Isitt adapts Dodie Smith’s story for the stage, following pooches Pongo and Missis as their idyllic life with humans Mr and Mrs Dearly and their many puppies is interrupted by super-villain Cruella de Vil, who has her eyes set on a lovely new fur coat. Suitable for ages five and over, this enchanting show is sure to keep the whole family entertained.

Birmingham Rep, November 30 – January 18 (not Sundays). Tickets £10-£37.50. Click here.