From an evening of timeless stories to panto fun galore, there's plenty to enjoy...
Arabian Nights, Rugby High School, November 28 to 30
Rugby High aims to breathe fresh life into the timeless stories with music, puppetry, physical theatre and much more. In the play, Shahrazad must tell a story every evening in order to save her life and the lives of thousands of women. So each tale must entertain the king, but it must also teach him something about himself so that his heart will soften and he will learn the error of his ways. head of drama Catherine Mason said: "At the heart of this story is not only the power of storytelling, but the power of a woman’s voice. The tales are wonderful because they are a magical melting pot of cultures, ethnicities and beliefs. They celebrate diversity, and no matter who you are – young or old, male or female, poor or rich, Christian or Muslim – you can be the evil wrong-doer or the heroic saviour. It feels absolutely right that we are staging Arabian Nights in 2018, and we hope that the production also celebrates all that is wonderful about our multi-cultural country."
Details: Call 01788 810518
Sleeping Beauty, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, until January 5
Featuring a dragon, a dame and a dozing Princess, the Belgrade’s panto promises to bring a touch of magic and mayhem to festive celebrations. When Princess Belle pricks her finger on an enchanted spinning wheel she’s cursed to fall asleep for 100 years, unless she’s kissed by her one true love. Enter the dashing Prince Valiant, along with Nanny Fanny McWheeze and Muddles, who embark on a brave adventure to save the Princess from her terrible fate. But with the wicked Fairy Carabosse determined to ruin their plans, will our trusty trio be triumphant or is the Princess doomed to a century of snoozing? Once again written and directed by Iain Lauchlan, Sleeping Beauty features the spectacular sets, lavish costumes and performances that should make for a festive, funny and feel-good treat.
The Worst Witch, Royal & Derngate, Northampton, until December 30
Long before Harry Potter there was Mildred Hubble, an ordinary girl who found herself in an extraordinary place: a school for witches. Now in her final year, accident prone Mildred and her fellow pupils are about to embark on their biggest adventure yet. Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch stories have sold more than five million copies worldwide and been made into numerous films and TV series. The most recent and successful was written by playwright Emma Reeves (Royal Television Society Award for Best Children’s TV Programme and 2017 British Screenwriters Award for Best Children’s Programme) who is now bringing these stories to life on the Royal Stage in a major new play that will subsequently embark upon a national tour.
Russell Brand: My Life By William Shakespeare, Royal & Derngate, Northampton, December 4 to 6
The comedian, actor, author and podcaster takes some life lessons from William Shakespeare in this new theatre show.
Dick Whittington, Spa Centre, Leamington, December 1 to 30
Panto favourite JP McCue returns to the Spa Centre for the annual festive extravaganza. Louise Redmond, who is choreographing the production, said: “We are set for a fun filled rat-tastic show this year! The cast are all fabulous and despite working really hard we are still having a great time.”