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Traditional pantomimes and ones with a modern twist – Rosy Moorhead rounds up what's on this Christmas in Finchley, Potters Bar, Borehamwood and Barnet
Everyone's favourite monster, The Gruffalo, comes to artsdepot in North Finchley. (Photo credit Alastair Muir)
Everyone’s favourite monster is back on stage this Christmas in a smash hit musical adaptation of the award-winning picture book The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, at artsdepot in North Finchley.
Tall Stories, the company behind the much-loved The Gruffalo’s Child staged there last year, brings us more monster fun with quick-thinking Mouse, who goes into the deep, dark wood in this magical show, perfect for children aged three and above and their grownups.
Discover what happens when he comes face to face with wheeler dealer Fox, eccentric old Owl and the maraca-shaking Snake, and, of course... The Gruffalo.
- Artsdepot, Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley. December 8 to January 6 at various times. Details: 020 8369 5454, www.artsdepot.co.uk
Spend a fairytale Christmas with the best-loved pantomime of them all, Cinderella, at Wyllyotts Theatre in Potters Bar, brought to you by the team behind last year’s smash hit panto, Jack and the Beanstalk.
Left at home by the ugliest of sisters, Cinders cannot go to the ball. But with help from her magical fairy godmother and some brilliant buffoonery from Buttons, the most exciting night of her life is about to begin.
With all the ingredients of a perfect panto, don’t miss out on this timeless tale of laughter, magic and true love.
- Wyllyotts Theatre, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar. December 15 to January 6 at various times. Details: 01707 645 005, www.wyllyottstheatre.co.uk
On midwinter eve, when an icy wind blew, the moon weaved its magic and wishes came true.
A long time ago and very far away, Miki, Polar Bear and Penguin live in a place where nothing ever grows. One midwinter eve they make a wish and Miki embarks on a magical adventure - in search of a star.
Featuring underwater creatures, songs to sing along to and extraordinary puppetry, Miki is an inspiring story about friendship, courage and adventure, based on the much-loved book by Stephen Mackey.
Ideal for those aged three to six and those too young for a full-length panto, but fun for the whole family.
- The Ark Theatre, Hertswood Upper Site, Thrift Farm Lane, Borehamwood. December 5-8 at various times. Details: 020 8238 7288, www.thearktheatre.co.uk
Puss in Boots
Barnet am dram group The Warren present everybody’s favourite, Puss in Boots, at The Bull Theatre in January.
Follow Tom as he tries to regain the family home, tricked away from his father, the miller, by the evil Voltaire, with the help of a rather special talking cat.
- The Bull Theatre, High Street, Barnet. January 17-19 at various times. Details: 07982 462668, www.thewarren.info, www.thebulltheatre.com
Set in the fairytale town of Watfordia, Mother Goose features a cast of talented theatre actors, a live onstage band, and a ballet-dancing goose, bringing this classic pantomime to life in Vaudeville-style with a contemporary twist.
Mother Goose and Priscilla the Goose are inseparable – but will Mother Goose ever learn the timely lesson that there’s more to happiness than riches, celebrity and beauty, and more to her friend Priscilla than her ability to lay golden eggs?
Local star Terence Frisch takes on the title role and panto favourites Donovan Blackwood and Sheena Patel make a return to the Palace stage.
- Watford Palace Theatre, Clarendon Road, Watford. December 7-29. Details: 01923 225671, www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk
A Christmas Carol
Critically acclaimed theatre company The Pantaloons are coming to Shenley Park Chapel with their hilarious, fast-paced adaptation of Dickens's festive favourite A Christmas Carol.
With a cast of just four actors, this production is sure to put a smile on the glummest face (even Scrooge's), using audience interaction, puppetry, slapstick, original music and traditional carols.
- Shenley Park Chapel, Shenley Park. Sunday, December 9 at 2pm and 6pm. Details: 01923 852 629, www.thepantaloons.co.uk
Beauty and the Beast
This heart-warming show has something for everyone, combining a popular classic fairytale with all the cherished traditions of pantomime.
With fantastic music, brilliant costumes and dazzling scenery, this production of Beauty and the Beast promises fun and laughter, colourful pantomime characters, a beautiful heroine, a Beast who is not as he seems and loads of audience participation.
- The Radlett Centre, Aldenham Avenue, Radlett. December 8-31. Details: 01923 859291, www.radlettcentre.co.uk
Once upon a time, in the village of Puddle-on-the-Marsh, a woman called Mother Goose lived on a farm with her son Billy and daughter Jill. They were very poor and had sold all their animals except their favourite, Priscilla the Goose. The family owed so much rent to the Squire that finally he gave them one last chance to pay, or he would evict them forever.
Luckily, Fairy Good-Enough was on hand to help them and with a wave of her magic wand.
A charming panto full of fun and thrills.
- Millfield Theatre, Silver Street, Edmonton. November 29 to January 5. Details: 020 8807 6680