It’s panto time!
It's what you've all been waiting for. Oh no it isn't! Oh yes it is! Oh no.... OK, enough! Here are 12 of the perkiest pantos in Bucks, Oxon and beyond. You ready, Widow Twanky?
Ready or not, here come the pantos! Dig out your stripy tights, winkle pickers, false eyelashes and wiggery, and book in for one of these panto productions in Bucks, Oxon and beyond.
Dick Whittington, Wycombe Swan, 13 Dec – 5 Jan
Heart-throb Love Island contestant (and younger brother of Strictly’s AJ Pritchard) Curtis Pritchard makes his panto debut in Wycombe Swan’s Dick Whittington. Will there be an influx of millennials at the panto this year? Will Curtis be able to fill Brendan Cole’s (tap) shoes after the New Zealander’s performance in Snow White last year? Will Curtis be breaking hearts all across High Wycombe? We’ll have to wait and see. wycombeswan.co.uk
Beauty and the Beast, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, 6 Dec – 5 Jan
Who’s the biggest pull – Eastenders’ regular Danny Walters who stars as the Prince or Britain’s Got Talent’s divalicious La Voix and local celeb Andy Collins who have made your correspondent snort with laughter for the last few years? It’s too tough to call – maybe we’ll have to ask the talking furniture to decide. atgtickets.com
Aladdin, Milton Keynes Theatre, 7 Dec – 12 Jan
Lee Mead! Did you hear me randy women of Bucks & Oxon, flipping LEE MEAD! And, er, squeaky comedian Joe Pasquale, but there, you can’t have it all. Want to see them messing about on a magic carpet? Your wish is my command! They’re both performing in MK Theatre’s Aladdin panto this year alongside a live orchestra.
Puss in Boots, Theatre Chipping Norton, 13 Nov – 12 Jan
The Theatre in Chippy always punches above its weight and this year’s Puss in Boots, set in 1950s London, offers a cool twist on the usual routine. For those not encumbered by little people, there are adult-only evenings on offer – the mind fair boggles, doesn’t it Puss? chippingnortontheatre.com
Beauty and the Beast, Oxford Playhouse, 29 Nov – 12 Jan
Can’t stand Z-list pantos? The Oxford Playhouse continues its policy of not bothering with the soap star brigade, with its in-house panto. If you enjoyed last year’s Dick Whittington and his Cat then it’s a dead cert as it’s the same team behind the production. oxfordplayhouse.com
Sleeping Beauty, The Venue Milton Keynes, 22 Dec – 5 Jan
Dreams n Wishes, longtime producers of traditional pantos and regular collaborators with Milton Keynes Amateur Operatic Society, return to The Venue with Sleeping Beauty. Expect songs, dance and a large helping of silliness. thevenuemk.com
Cinderella, The Elgiva, Tue 10 Dec – Sun 5 Jan
A great local venue for Cinderella, promising a ‘traditional family pantomime’ by panto specialists New Pantomime Productions (they’ve been putting on shows for 35 years, so must be pretty good at it by now). A few local celeb-types in the cast including Aylesbury-based Mix96’s Ben Moseby and Last of the Summer Wine‘s Tom Owen. elgiva.com
Sleeping Beauty, Kenton Theatre, 13 – 28 Dec
This year the Henley-based theatre will be pricking fingers and hacking through briars in Sleeping Beauty. Always a sell out and I love this local funky space, gratifyingly close to the river for a walk after the matinee. kentontheatre.co.uk
Goldilocks and the Three Bears, London Palladium, Sat 7 Dec – Sun 12 Jan
This is like fantasy panto casting. I mean, seriously, does it get better than this? Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary, Nigel Havers, Gary Wilmot and – well who cares about the rest, I’m sold. lwtheatres.co.uk
Cinderella, The Hexagon, Sat 7 Dec – Sun 5 Jan
Just over the Berks border in Reading, CBeebies’ Justin Fletcher, aka Mr Tumble, returns to The Hexagon stage (he received raving reviews for Aladdin last year btw) to star in Cinderella. readingarts.com
Dick Whittington and his Cat, Hackney Empire, Sat 23 Nov – Sun 5 Jan
The unashamed home of Panto has chosen Dick Whittington and his Cat for this year’s festive offering. Olivier award-winner and panto dame extraordinaire Clive Rowe stars in his 13th panto for the theatre alongside Hamilton’s Tarinn Callender in the leading role. hackneyempire.co.uk
Pinocchio on Ice, Alexandra Palace, Fri 13 – Mon 16 Dec
A panto but with a few triple salchows thrown in for good measure. This show features pro skaters, a mix of modern and traditional music, a performance from a West End star and lashings of festive spirit all performed on Ally Pally’s ice rink. alexandrapalace.com