MONDAY 23 DECEMBER 2019 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
Welcome to the final TW Weekly of the year featuring our customary Three To See recommendations for the festive fortnight in London.

You may recall that last year - when putting together our Three To See tips for the festive period - it occurred to us that there were loads of shows that we tipped in the latter part of the year that were still running throughout December, and some into January, which we shouldn't forget about.

Many of those previously tipped productions definitely fall into the category of "Christmas show", while others might appeal to those of you not that interested in Christmas, but still looking for stuff to do over the holiday.

We weren't able to add them to the official festive tips, of course, because they had already been tipped, and you only get tipped once, that's the rule! However, with many people looking for extra things to do over the Christmas period, we decided to do a quick round up of those previously tipped shows that still feel relevant as the festive period gets fully underway.

And guess what? We thought we would do that again this year!

We'll start with shows that are very much aimed at children, because there are loads of them. There's 'Can't Wait For Christmas' at the Orange Tree Theatre, 'Captain Flinn And The Pirate Dinosaurs: The Magic Cutlass' at Christmas in Leicester Square, 'The Wolf, The Duck And The Mouse' at the Unicorn Theatre, Oscar Wilde's 'The Canterville Ghost' also at the Unicorn Theatre, 'Snow White' at Chickenshed, 'The Snow Queen' at the Park Theatre, and 'Black Beauty' at Southbank Centre. If a family friendly circus is more your scene, there's 'Circus 1903' also at Southbank Centre.

Those looking for the pantomime experience might want to try 'Potted Panto' at Southwark Playhouse, 'Hansel And Gretel' at Chiswick Playhouse, 'The Fairytale Revolution' at Theatre503, 'Goldilocks And The Three Musketeers' at Battersea Arts Centre, or 'The Nativity Panto' at King's Head Theatre.

However, if you're child free and fancy a more adult pantomime, there's 'Pinocchio - No Strings Attached' at Above The Stag Theatre and 'Cinderella' at The Vaults.

If you're like me and love a good Scrooge, there's more than one Dickens-fest ongoing. There's 'A Christmas Carol' at Middle Temple Hall (pictured), 'A Christmas Carol - A Fairy Tale' at Wilton's Music Hall, and 'A Pissedmas Carol' at Leicester Square Theatre. There's also a different Dickens adaptation, 'The Signalman' at the Old Red Lion Theatre.

If you'd like to see a theatre piece that isn't specifically a Christmas show but has festive elements, try 'Blood Orange' at the Old Red Lion Theatre or 'Snowflake' at Kiln Theatre. If you're sick of Christmas and just want to see some good theatre, there's 'I Wanna Be Yours' and 'The Arrival', both starting back after a break on 2 Jan at Bush Theatre, 'The Invisible Man' at Jack Studio, and 'The Greatest Play In The History Of The World' at Trafalgar Studios.

Finally, if you're after something to make you laugh, there's 'An Act Of God' at The Vaults, 'Voldemort & The Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody' at King's Head Theatre, 'Candida' at the Orange Tree Theatre, and 'Goodbear: Dougal' at Soho Theatre.

And with those shows re-tipped, we now present our Three To See recommendations for Christmas and New Year in London.

Merry Christmas! See you in 2020.



THREE SHOWS FOR CHILDREN>>

Humbug! The Hedgehog Who Couldn't Sleep | Albany Theatre | until 29 Dec (pictured)
It looks like many of this week's tips are going to end up being helpful to parents who haven't taken their lovely children to a nice Christmas-treat show yet, and are keen to get in at least one before the big day occurs. And here's what you can expect from this first one: "As Humbug tries to hibernate in her cosy nest, suddenly her home comes under threat! Forced to leave her bed, she goes on a quest to find a new place to call home. Along the way she meets a host of weird and wonderful characters - but will she find the perfect place for a slumber party, where she can snuggle up till spring?" More here.

The Pixie And The Pudding | Little Angel Theatre | until 2 Feb
"It's Christmas Eve on the farm, and the chickens, pigs and cows are fast asleep. Inside the farmhouse, the fire is roaring and a delicious, steaming pudding is left out on the windowsill... When Charlie and her dad move to the farm from the city, everything seems to go wrong. Dolly the cow's in a grump, there's not an egg to be found, and even the cockerel has stopped crowing! If only they'd paid attention to the mysterious note left on their windowsill about a curious pixie and the pudding she likes to eat on Christmas Eve..." Another perfect pre-Christmas pick for your young ones. See the venue website here for more information.

The Cat In The Hat | Turbine Theatre | until 11 Jan
It's a while since the source material for this show was popular at my house, for children get older and put away childish things. But I presume the works of Dr Seuss are still popular in the homes of other, smaller children, even if mine have moved on now. So, you'll all no doubt be pleased to take in this fab adaptation of the well loved book. "From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that the cat in the hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will mum find when he gets home?" Click here.


THREE LITTLE SHOWS>>

The Little Match Girl | Sadler's Wells | until 29 Dec
Yes, yes, you read that right. I decided to tie three shows together on the basis that they all have the word 'little' in their title. But there are other connections, and not just subject and genre based ones. In fact, what we also have here are three more shows suitable for children. And that gives the word 'little' an extra meaning here too. Anyway, we start with what will obviously be a delightful and enthralling dance experience based on the well loved Hans Christian Andersen tale. "On an icy cold Christmas eve in an imaginary Italian town, the little match girl wanders the streets with just one final match to keep her warm. Journey with her as she encounters good and bad in an endlessly imaginative world". More here.

The Little Prince | Omnibus Theatre | until 30 Dec
"On a quest to return to the asteroid that he calls home, The Little Prince encounters a stranded pilot and her crashed plane. Their adventure is one that will take you and your family across the galaxy, from the Sahara Desert to the Moon. The Little Prince lives alone on his planet, frying eggs over volcanoes and weeding baobabs until one day, Rose appears and sparks a journey for The Little Prince to meet the streetwise fox, the king without any subjects and the magical snake who sees all". A great adaptation by Sally Pomme Clayton of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's classic story. Details here.

The Little Prince | The Place | until 24 Dec (pictured)
And yes, we're lucky to have a second adaptation of 'The Little Prince' to consider, only this one will be a bit different as it's the work of Luca Silvestrini's Protein dance company, and promises to be combine dance, humour and spoken word to convey the story, and features an original score by Frank Moon. Silvestrini is well known for his ability to create accessible and engaging dance performances, and this particular show sounds like it will be a treat for anyone of any age - the blurb suggests that it's aimed at those aged 5-105, but has nothing unsuitable for younger children in it. "Protein's charming dance theatre show invites us to look at the world through one's heart and to reconnect with our inner child". And that sounds lovely. Info here.


THREE SOHO TREATS FOR THE NEW YEAR>>

Alice Fraser: Savage | Soho Theatre | 2-4 Jan (pictured)
And now, finally, something for the grown-ups! I bet you're feeling all left out. Especially those of you without children to take to shows. Anyway, I've got just what you need for the New Year, when Christmas is over and you're having to sadly make your way back to work: a comedy show. Make going to comedy shows your New Year's resolution, and maybe start with this show from the very excellent Alice Fraser. Funny, but also heart-felt: Savage tells the story of her mother's long illness, and how a chance conversation about faith led her to a rage-filled existential moment, and, suggests the blurb, "it might just change the way you choose to see the world". More here.

Crybabies: Danger Brigade | Soho Theatre | 6-11 Jan
Our reviewer loved this show when he saw it at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer, so it was no surprise to us when the troupe responsible for it got a Comedy Award Newcomer nomination. Here's what we said: "With its fourth-wall-breaking, multi-rolling, madcap comedy it promises laughs from start to finish. There's no doubt it is at times unpolished, but this type of comedy profits from having an edge to it, and the cast's talent clearly shines through. While the dark and nonsensical humour won't be for everyone, for those who like their comedy on the wacky side, this is right on target". So, waste not thy time, and head this way to get booking.

Jessica Fostekew: Hench | Soho Theatre | 6-25 Jan
And finally to the renowned and well loved Jessica Fostekew, another act that won the acclaim of our review team when performing this Edinburgh Comedy Award main prize nominated show. "Fostekew adeptly takes on the hypocrisies of society's norms through the lens of relationships, parenting and a new-found love of weightlifting", wrote our reviewer. "For women, how you look and behave is entirely bound up with your womanliness, and of course to Fostekew, being hench has always been less than a compliment - but she's learning otherwise. In this hilarious hour, she turns femininity on its head to show that being strong is an inherently female characteristic". Again, what are you waiting for? Get your tickets here, quickly, before they are all gone.
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