Our choice of the pantomimes this year - in no particular order.
Such a huge choice, so many different kinds of show..
Comedy based, music based, small cast, large cast. With special effect or without. This year we have ventured as far as Dumfries in Scotland, ideal if you live within 50 miles. We will also be going to one of the largest in the country - The Hippodrome - Birmingham. Milton Keynes pantomime has traditionally featured great music, whilst Northampton - Royal and Derngate has gone for emphasis on comedy. Always worth visiting both.
Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury - Cinderella
You know this is going to be a wonderful show from the very start. No expense has been spared.
The Waterside Theatre is a beautiful place and the seats are extremely comfortable for those who worry about spending a long time sitting down.
The Royal and Derngate, Northampton - Peter Pan.
Best crocodile appearance in a pantomime ever. Forget the West End, the special effects are excellent in this production starring Joe Pasquale. Everyone on stage seemed to be having a great time and the emphasis was on comedy. If you want to see people flying around the stage - there are plenty of aerial thrills in this.
Merlin for all the family - aged 7 upwards. (not a pantomime but too good to leave out)
Recommended - the story is simple and centres on a young Arthur, Merlin and Gwen. Not the story we are used to but equally absorbing. Although not recommended for under 7, my 5 year old was immersed in it. The magic was handled in a very clever but effective way and the cast were all superb. Some music, but it felt very much like an older dramatic play with the right amount of humour.
Aladdin is on in Coventry at the Belgrade. (More to come)
Milton Keynes Theatre - Peter Pan. (20 miles from London - more to come)
Let's face it, we go back to where we know we will see a good show but we have widened our field this year. I never use to be a fan of pantomimes but now I can't seem to get enough of them. Despite being the same in so many ways, they are all different, just like a fingerprint. This year I am joined not only by a critical five year old but also by a grand-mother over 80.
Peter Pan - Dumfries - Easterbrook hall. - Excellent small cast pantomime. Seating is limited though so so be quick and grab some seats.
They may not have the big budget, but they do have a good cast. The script is much fuller than a pantomime normally has and there are some ingenious ideas in this show. Traditionally the part of Peter Pan was played by a lady, unusual these days. It was good to go back to an old fashioned pantomime with more than a few twists.
Seats for limited dates up to 30 December. Call 01387 70 2020
Next update: 21st Dec