Take a seat in a London theatre this Christmas and be whisked away on a magical journey. From classical ballet and festive plays to family-friendly pantomimes featuring all your favourite characters, we take a look at the best shows in London this Christmas.

Best Shows in London


A timeless classic, Cinderella is one of the season’s favourite family shows. This year’s offering is sure to be a hit, with its star-studded cast including actor Paul O’Grady as the Wicked Stepmother, comedian Julien Clary as Dandini, and Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden taking on the role of Fairy Godmother.

Cinderella at The London Palladium
10th December 2016 – 15th January 2017

The Snowman

This Raymond Briggs story of a young boy and his snowman on an adventure to the North Pole is a favourite across the generations. This Christmas, see the play performed alongside the famous soundtrack composed by Howard Blake OBE. 

The Snowman at The Peacock Theatre
25th November 2016 – 3rd January 2017

Best Shows in London

The Nutcracker on Ice

Encompassed within Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Nutcracker on Ice is set to dazzle festivalgoers this season. Performed by the renowned Imperial Ice Stars, the story of Clara, the Mouse King and the Nutcracker Prince, not to forget the Sugar Plum Fairy, will be told with spectacular acrobatics on the ice. 

The Nutcracker on Ice at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
18th November 2016 – 2nd January 2017 

The Nutcracker

A ballet as iconic as The Nutcracker deserves a venue of equal importance, so the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is a fitting setting for the performance to unfold. The breathtaking production by The Royal Ballet is complemented by the show’s sparkling stage sets and dazzling costumes.

The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House
23rd November 2016 – 12th January 2017

Best Shows in London

Peter Pan

JM Barrie’s classic tale, Peter Pan, returns to the stage year after year, and for good reason. With its much-loved characters, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and Wendy, whatever your age, you’re sure to be captivated by the tale of “the boy who never grew up”. This performance is expected to be one of the best shows in London this Christmas, and follows the director Sally Cookson’s sell-out run at the Bristol Old Vic. 

Peter Pan at the National Theatre
From 16th November 2016.

Potted Panto 

Combining seven classic stories in one play, this pantomime delivers a performance of whistle-stop fun. With costume changes and props defining each act, the stories feature the energetic Potted Panto cast, Daniel Clarkson, and Jefferson Turner. 

Potted Panto at the Garrick Theatre
10th December 2016 – 15th January 2017 

Best Shows in London

Mr Popper’s Penguins 

For an alternative to the classic Christmas stories, settle in for this adaptation of the novel by Richard and Florence Atwater, which tells the tale of Mr and Mrs Popper and their troupe of performing penguins. The story is brought to life with original music and penguin puppets. 

Mr Popper’s Penguins at the Criterion Theatre
15th – 31st December 2016

If you’re spending Christmas in London, make the day one to remember by taking a tour of London’s historic sites, going on a journey to some of England’s greatest landmarks, or by having a festive Christmas lunch on the river.

Image credits: Cover photo of the Nutcracker © iStock / arinahabich. Potted Panto scenes. Peter Pan © Photograph by Sam Robinson, designed by the NT Graphic Design Studio. The Bristol Old Vic cast of Peter Pan © Mark Douet.