What can you do when it’s chilly and dark outside in the winter months? Head inside to the theatre. And with the festive season now here, there are many London Christmas shows to see.
With so much on offer across the capital – from interactive shows for toddlers to productions with a very grown-up feel – we’ve split the capital into five areas for our London Christmas shows guide.
Take a look. There really is something to suit any theatrical Christmas stocking. Or take a look at our London Pantomimes 2017 page.
London Christmas shows 2017: West End
Christmas In Leicester Square (Leicester Square) – Until 7 January
More a festival than a show, Christmas In Leicester Square mixes a festive market and Santa’s Grotto with cabaret and comedy performances.
The Gruffalo’s Child (Lyric Theatre) – 22 November to 7 January
Follow an inquisitive young Gruffalo as she wanders off on an adventure in this hit children’s show. BOOK NOW
Mischief Movie Night (Arts Theatre) – 13 December to 27 January
The team behind The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery are back. This time they’re making up the show on the spot, using only your suggestions. Expect fun, frivolity and lots of silliness.
Nutcracker (London Coliseum) – 13 December to 6 January
English National Ballet’s production of the festive dance show brings the fairytale action to Edwardian London. BOOK NOW
The Nutcracker (Royal Opera House) – 5 December to 10 January
The Royal Ballet’s seasonal dance production is an enchanting show for all the family. BOOK NOW
Pinocchio (National Theatre) – 1 December to 7 April
This new telling of the classic story, recommended for children over eight years old, features the songs from the Disney film.
Christmas With The Rat Pack: Live From Las Vegas (Theatre Royal Haymarket) – 13 December to 6 January
Join Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin for an evening of crooning, Christmas songs and merriment. BOOK NOW
Slava’s Snowshow (Southbank Centre) – 18 December to 4 January
See the hit clowning Christmas show as it returns to London for its fifth year of festive fun. BOOK NOW
The Snowman (The Peacock Theatre) – 23 November to 31 December
The touching story of a boy whose snowman takes him on a magical adventure plays its 20th Christmas season in London. BOOK NOW
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (Ambassadors Theatre) – 13 December to 7 January
See Eric Carle’s famous picture books brought to life on stage in this hit children’s show. BOOK NOW
Wilde Creatures (Vaudeville Theatre) – 15 to 31 December
This new family musical lifts Oscar Wilde’s fairy stories off the page and onto the stage. BOOK NOW
London Christmas shows 2017: North London
Daisy Pulls It Off (Park Theatre) – 5 December to 13 January
A spiffing family show (8+) about a school-saving student. BOOK NOW
The Flint Street Nativity (Upstairs At The Gatehouse) – 23 to 26 November
See what happens when a nativity goes wrong in this Christmas comedy.
The Little Match Girl (Sadler’s Wells) – 13 to 24 December
Dance, music and a little pantomime combine in Arthur Pita’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale.
The Lost Boy Peter Pan (Pleasance Theatre) – 29 November to 7 January
JM Barrie’s famous story combines with the music of The Beatles in this new stage show.
Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella (Sadler’s Wells) – 9 December to 27 January
The story of Cinderella is moved to Blitz-era London in Matthew Bourne’s acclaimed dance show. BOOK NOW
The Night Before Christmas (artsdepot) – 25 to 26 November
In this children’s theatre show, we follow Eddie the mouse as he tries to discover why only humans get presents.
Rapunzel (Chickenshed Theatre) – 22 November to 6 January
In Chickenshed’s production, Rapunzel realizes she has more to offer than just very long hair.
Thirty Christmases (The New Diorama Theatre) – 4 to 23 December
A Christmas show for grown-ups, Thirty Christmases is the story of Jonny and Rachel who haven’t seen their dad since Christmas Eve 17 years ago.
Underneath A Magical Moon (Jacksons Lane) – 2 to 24 December
The story of Peter Pan is retold from Wendy’s point of view in this children’s theatre show.
White Fang (Park Theatre) – 13 December to 13 January
Suitable for audiences aged 12 and older, this is the story of a friendship between a young girl, whose tribe is killed, and the abandoned wolf she meets. BOOK NOW
London Christmas shows 2017: East London
The Box Of Delights (Wilton’s Music Hall) – 1 December to 6 January
Matthew Kelly and Josefina Gabrielle star in this magical family tale of a boy who must protect a very special box to save Christmas. BOOK NOW
A Christmas Carol (Middle Temple Hall) – 22 to 30 December
Antic Disposition’s much-loved version of Dickens’s Christmas story is performed in a fantastically atmospheric location.
Santa Claus And The Night Before Christmas (Broadway Theatre) – 29 November to 17 December
Follow two of Santa’s elves as they try to convince some disbelievers before time runs out on Christmas Eve.
Snow Mouse (The Barbican) – 13 to 23 December
Suitable for the youngest theatregoers, who follow a child and his tiny friend as they explore a wintry landscape.
The Tin Drum (Shoreditch Town Hall) – 5 to 23 December
Kneehigh’s dark fantasy is about a child determined to tell the world what he thinks. Recommended for 14+.
Twas The Night Before Christmas (Rainham Hall) – 6 to 23 December#
Staged by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch at a National Trust property, this is festive storytelling for 3- to 7-year-olds.
London Christmas shows 2017: South London
Alice In Winterland (Rose Theatre Kingston) – 7 December to 7 January
Join Alice as she heads down the rabbit hole and into a slightly more snowy Wonderland.
Barnum (Menier Chocolate Factory) – 25 November to 3 March
A circus-filled musical about the world’s greatest showman. Starring Marcus Brigstocke.
Boing! (The Unicorn Theatre) – 22 November to 31 December
Suitable for 2- to 6-year-olds, Boing! is a tale of bouncy overexcitement.
Breaking The Ice (Ovalhouse) – 13 to 23 December
The tale of a friendship between a husky and a polar bear, perfect for 2- to 6-year-olds.
A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic) – 20 November to 20 January
Rhys Ifans plays Ebenezer Scrooge in this new version of Dickens’s story created by Harry Potter And The Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne. BOOK NOW
Christmas Farce (Waterloo East Theatre) – 28 November to 17 December
Nothing goes right as a regional theatre company attempts to stage a nativity play. Suitable for 14+.
Dear Brutus (Southwark Playhouse) – 29 November to 30 December
JM Barrie’s lesser-known play about a group of strangers invited into an enchanted forest.
Santa’s Mixed-up Martian (New Wimbledon Studio) – 12 to 24 December
Everything is going as usual for Father Christmas, until a visitor from outer space drops in.
Snow White & Rose Red (Battersea Arts Centre) – 29 November to 30 December
Two mischievous sisters embark on an adventure after a bear gives a knock at their door.
Sleeping Trees & The Chocolate Factory (Battersea Arts Centre) – 19 to 23 December
A grown-up comedic take on Roald Dahl’s cocoa-tastic tale.
Sponge (Battersea Arts Centre) – 28 November to 30 December
A bouncy adventure set to a ’70s soundtrack for theatregoers aged 4 months to 4 years old.
The Snow Queen (Polka Theatre) – 17 November to 4 February
A new telling of the wintry story about friendship, ideal for 5- to 11-year-olds.
Ugly Duckling (The Albany) – 4 to 31 December
Enjoy this children’s show (3+) about a funny-looking young duck who longs to be beautiful.
The Velveteen Rabbit (Unicorn Theatre) – 17 November to 31 December
Unicorn Theatre’s acclaimed production about a toy bunny returns for Christmas.
London Christmas shows 2017: West London
A Christmas Carol (Windsor Castle) – 16 December to 4 January
See Dickens’s seasonal classic performed in the State Apartments at Windsor Castle.
Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas (Lyric Hammersmith) – 22 November to 24 December
A great Christmas show for the under 6s. Follow the somewhat grumpy Santa as he dreams of a holiday.
The Nutcracker (Royal Albert Hall) – 28 to 31 December
A stunning staging of the traditional festive ballet.
Once Upon A Snowflake (Chelsea Theatre) – 30 November to 22 December
Watch as winter sprites enchant the youngest theatregoers in Paper Balloon’s show.