December in London 2015

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Santa Run Battersea Park

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Santa Run Battersea Park
Great Christmas Pudding Race
The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker
Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race
Guys and Dolls
Madonna: Rebel Heart World Tour
BBC Good Food Show Festive Fayre
Status Quo: Accept No Substitute Tour
Bill Bailey: Limboland
English National Ballet: Nutcracker
Henry IV (Part II)
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty
Guards Chapel Christmas Carol Concert
The Little Match Girl
The Firework-Maker's Daughter
Slava's Snowshow
Peter Pan, New Wimbledon Theatre
Hetty Feather
Pop-Up Screens Cinema in the Snow
Santa Claus and the Night before Christmas
Mumford & Sons
BRICK
Seven Dials and St Martin's Courtyard Shopping Evening
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty
London Illustration Fair
Wow! Said the Owl
Santa Swims at Sea Life London Aquarium
The Little Bird Who Stayed For Winter: Peut-Etre Theatre
Simply Red: Reformed! 2015 World Tour
 

 

Dress up as Santa for the Santa Run, watch hardy swimmers take part in the Peter Pan Cup, or book tickets to the heart-warming Nutcracker - from the weird and wonderful to the beautiful and traditional, all the usual festive favourites return to London in December 2015.

 
 

Madonna: Rebel Heart World Tour

After performing at the Brits for the first time in 20 years Madge is embarking on a mega 35-city tour.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 01st - 02nd December 2015

 

After performing at the Brits for the first time in 20 years - memorable mainly for one spectacular fall - Madonna has now announced that she will be embarking on a mega 35-city tour, stopping by the O2 in London on Tuesday 1st December. The tour comes in support of the superstar's latest album, Rebel Heart, released in early March 2015. Her 13th studio album, it features the likes of Nicki Minaj, Chance the Rapper and Mike Tyson while producers include Kanye West, Diplo and Avicii. With Madonna's reputation as one of the most successful live performers of all time - the 2008/2009 Sticky & Sweet tour is the highest grossing tour of all time for a solo artist - this is sure to be another epic show. Whether the dancer responsible for that stair incident will be invited back though is up for debate. Tickets go on sale on Monday 16th March 2015.

 
 
 

Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty

In a radical twist on the original tale, our heroine doesn't fall in love at first sight.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 01st December - 24th January 2016

 

The famous ballet classic Sleeping Beauty becomes "an eye-popping gothic delight" (Observer) in Matthew Bourne's re-imagining of the iconic classic. The choreographer is renowned for his revolutionary adaptations of classic works and this production of Tchaikovsky's 1889 ballet is no different as the heroine of the piece, Aurora, wakes up in 2011 and, in a radical twist on the original tale, doesn't fall in love at first sight. Bourne describes the modern age that she wakes up in as "a world more mysterious and wonderful than any fairy story".

 
 
 

Santa Claus and the Night before Christmas

Magic tricks, songs and stories for children aged 2 and over.

New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, London, SW19 1QG

Tube: Wimbledon Station

 

Dates: 01st - 24th December 2015

 

An ideal introduction to theatre for the very young, Santa Claus and the Night before Christmas will have all the audience believing in Father Christmas by the end of the show. Staged at New Wimbledon Studio from 1st to 24th December, the show, suitable for children aged 2 and over, is set on Christmas Eve and with Christmas morning fast approaching cheeky elves Charlie and Kara must help Santa prove that he is real. With magic tricks, songs and stories, this wonderfully interactive experience includes bubbles and the magical moment when snowflakes fall over the audience. As an added Christmas treat, children get to meet Santa after the show and come away with a special present to keep.

 
 
 

A Christmas Carol

A helter-skelter, supernatural ride through the Christmas past, present and future.

Rose Theatre Kingston, 24-26 High Street, Kingston upon Thames, London, KT1 1HL

Tube: Richmond Station

 

Dates: 01st December - 03rd January 2016

 

Charles Dickens's seasonal tale A Christmas Carol is brought to life once again this Christmas, with Ciaran McConville directing his own version at the Rose Theatre Kingston. Promising a heart-warming family production that's ideal for the festive season, McConville directs a company of actors joined by members of the Rose Youth Theatre. The enchanting story follows Ebenezer Scrooge on a Christmas like no other, when he is propelled on a helter-skelter, supernatural ride through the Christmas past, present and future, encouraging him to embrace the Christmas spirit before it's too late.

 
 
 

Dr Seuss's The Lorax

David Greig adapts Dr. Seuss's classic tale for the Old Vic's Christmas show, with songs and zany humour.

Old Vic Theatre, 103 The Cut, London, SE1 8NB

Tube: Waterloo Station, Southwark Station, Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 02nd December - 16th January 2016

 

Inspired by Dr. Seuss's classic tale, David Greig adapts The Lorax for the Old Vic's Christmas show, a production directed by Max Webster who brought Twelfth Night to Regents Park Open Air Theatre for family audiences last summer. The bonkers tale tells of a moustachioed and cantankerous critter who's on a mission to protect the earth from the greedy, tree-chopping, Thneed-knitting businessman known only as The Once-ler. With songs and zany humour this is a show that will appeal to audiences of all ages.

 
 
 

Hetty Feather

Five star adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson's book about a girl who escapes from the Foundling Hospital.

Artsdepot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, London, N12 0GA

Tube: Woodside Park Station

 

Dates: 02nd - 06th December 2015

 

After a sell-out West End run this summer, the Olivier nominated Hetty Feather arrives at artsdepot, one of four family shows at the north Finchley theatre this Christmas. This five star adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson's wonderful book which "gives Matilda a run for its money" (Telegraph). A "shape-shifting wonder of a show", it manages with a cast of just six and a few humble props, to treat us to a "character-crammed adventure that enthralls its young audience with ease for two hours" (Telegraph). Phoebe Thomas is excellent in the lead role playing a Victorian girl who escapes from the Foundling Hospital and embarks on a search to find her real mother, and is given a great script by Emma Reeves - known for CBBC's The Story of Tracy Beaker.

 
 
 

Wow! Said the Owl

Enjoy the world of colours with this curious little owl.

Little Angel Theatre, 14 Dagmar Passage, London, N1 2DN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 02nd December - 31st January 2016

 

An awe-inspiring book for young readers, Wow! Said the Owl by award winning author Tim Hopgood, has inspired a Christmas production for the very young. Children as young as two will enjoy the world of colours with this curious little owl who, unlike other little owls, stays awake the whole day long. Beautiful colours of the pink sky, green leaves, and golden sun inspire this not-so nocturnal creature to stay awake through the day. But it's not until night that the stars produce the biggest wow factor of all. A blend of beautiful story-telling, puppetry and music directed by Joy Haynes, this show will delight and theatre goers under four years old.

 
 
 

Guards Chapel Christmas Carol Concert

Diana Rigg reads at this year's concert held in the grade II listed Guards Chapel.

The Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks Birdcage Walk, London, SW1E 6HQ

Tube: St James's Park Station

 

Dates: 03rd December 2015

 

One of the most prestigious events in Macmillan's annual calendar, Dame Diana Rigg will read at this year's Guards Chapel Christmas Carol Concert. There will also be performances from classical pianist Janina Fialkowska, baritone Benjamin Appl, and accordionist Martynas Levickis, supported by London Contemporary Orchestra, in the grade II listed Guards Chapel, the spiritual home of the Household Division at Wellington Barracks. Hosted by Macmillan vice president and BBC presenter Martyn Lewis CBE, the soiree will include readings from a variety of Macmillan's celebrity supporters. It's a lovely way to kick off the Christmas season and the audience can join in with the Royal Military Chapel Choir singing festive carols.

 
 
 

Seven Dials and St Martin's Courtyard Shopping Evening

Discounts, giveaways and for free wreath making.

Seven Dials, Monmouth Street, London, WC2H 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station, Tottenham Court Road Station

 

Dates: 03rd December 2015

 

Wrap up your Christmas shopping early this year with the Seven Dials festive Shopping Evening on the first Thursday of December. There is 20 per cent off at over 120 stores - from high-end fashion, street styles, beauty, gadgets and gifts - as well free activities in stores and surrounding streets which will be closed to traffic. Head to the festive Seven Dials teepee for giveaways and to Monmouth Street for free wreath making. There will be live music and a DJ outside Urban Outfitters, and street food at the Earlham Street f ood h ub. Shops like Larsson & Jennings, Tatty Devine, Loft Design by... Coco De Mer, Caudalie, Miller Harris, Orla Kiely, Office, Urban Outfitters, Farah, COS, Barbour and Bailey Nelson are all taking part, and one lucky shopper will get the chance to win a Seven Dials shopping spree worth 1,000.

 
 
 

The Chocolate Festival

If you are a chocoholic then you simply cannot afford to miss this event.

 

Just in time to stock up on goodies for Christmas, The Chocolate Festival returns to Business Design Centre with an array of chocolatiers and artisan delights to tickle your taste buds. This event will feature stands from award winning chocolatiers, demonstrations, tastings and talks. There will be a Cocoa Spa, where guests can try luxurious cocoa beauty treatments; a Health Zone, serving up free-from and raw chocolate and providing information with the health benefits of chocolate; and a Chocolate Market, where you can pick up goodies from Britain's best artisan chocolate companies. If you are a chocoholic, or you know someone who is, then you simply cannot afford to miss this event.

 
 
 

BBC Good Food Show Festive Fayre

Celebrity appearances from Atul Kochhar and Lisa Faulkner plus demos from top chefs in the candle-lit Tudor Kitchen.

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, London, KT8 9AU

Tube: Richmond Station

 

Dates: 04th - 06th December 2015

 

A brand new festive event for 2015, the BBC Good Food Show Festive Fayre brings Christmas to Hampton Court with food from The Hebridean Food Company, Christmas liquors from Portobello Gin, and demos from top chefs in the candle-lit Tudor Kitchen. Celebrity chefs include Atul Kochhar, the first Indian chef ever to receive a Michelin star, Shelina Permalloo, the 'sunshine' chef behind cookery books 'Sunshine on a Plate' and 'The Sunshine Diet', Dhruv Baker, who was crowned winner of MasterChef in 2010, the same year TV presenter Lisa Faulkner won Celebrity MasterChef. Visitors can also stock up on Christmas food and there'll be hints and tips on how to impress friends and family over the holiday season.

 
 
 

London Illustration Fair

Works by 30 young, emerging illustrators selected by a panel of industry experts.

Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, London, SE1 9PH

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 04th - 06th December 2015

 

The London Illustration Fair marks its third anniversary this December, moving from the East End to the Bargehouse, a four-storey warehouse by the Oxo Tower on the South Bank. The fair will showcase the work of 30 young, emerging illustrators selected by a panel of industry experts. Exhibiting alongside the artist-led stands will also be a line-up of handpicked creative partners including Wide Eye Editions, Laurence King, Outline Editions, Boxer Books, Puck Collective, Material Gallery, Super Superficial and Art on a Postcard. There will also be a three-dimensional installation by graffiti legend Thierry Noir, the first artist to paint the Berlin Wall, plus Crafty Fox Market Hijack, a packed programme of artist-led talks and workshops, live DJs and a fully stocked winter-warming bar.

 
 
 

Cinderella, Richmond Theatre

Hayley Mills makes her panto debut as the Fairy Godmother alongside Olivier award-winning dame Matthew Kelly.

Richmond Theatre, The Green, Surrey, London, TW9 1QJ

Tube: Richmond Station

 

Dates: 04th December - 10th January 2016

 

Richmond Theatre is pulling out all the stops with its pantomime this year. The star-studded line-up for Richmond's production of Cinderella includes Golden Globe and BAFTA award winning British actress Hayley Mills, who makes her panto debut as the Fairy Godmother, with Olivier award winning dame Matthew Kelly as one half of the Ugly Sisters. It's a family affair for Matthew who is joined by his son, actor Matthew Rixon, as the dynamic duo reprise the roles of the Ugly Sisters they played to critical acclaim in Cinderella at Wimbledon last year. Joining this A-list line-up is CBeebies presenter Chris Jarvis (you'll know him from Show Me Me) who is back in the role of Buttons .

 
 
 

Santa Run Battersea Park

Don a Santa suit and run, jog or walk 6km for charity.

Battersea Park, Albert Bridge Road, Battersea Park, Battersea, London, SW11 4NJ

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 05th December 2015

 

Join hundreds of other Santas on a festive run through Battersea Park before relaxing afterwards with mulled wine and Christmas cake. No previous experience is needed for this fantastically festive day. Simply register online, turn up on the day, collect your free Santa outfit and tackle the 6km run. The spirit of the event is to be decided solely by the participants, meaning you can decide to walk, jog or run as fast or as slow as you like. Why will everyone be dressed as Santa? Well, ignoring the obvious (the time of year), proceeds from the run will be donated to Disability Snowsport UK, a national charity that helps people with disabilities to access the thrill of snow sports. If you've ever fancied a fun run through London whilst dressed as Father Christmas (and let's face it, who hasn't?) then this is the one for you. Alternatively, try out the Santa Run at Victoria Park on 6th December 2015.

 
 
 

Great Christmas Pudding Race

A festive take on the traditional egg and spoon race.

Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station, Charing Cross Station

 

Dates: 05th December 2015

 

You're familiar with the egg and spoon race. Well how about the Christmas Pudding Race? Covent Garden Piazza swells with spectators as about 150 contestants in teams of six don fancy dress and race around a course strewn with flour-filled balloons, foam jets and other obstacles - all while trying to balance a Christmas pudding on a flimsy plate! The race has been going on every year since 1980 and it raises money for Cancer Research. At this time of year Covent Garden is a great place to be, with shops full of Christmas decorations and street entertainers putting on some diverting shows before and after the main event. The perfect way to break up a day of Christmas shopping in Covent Garden's collection of stylish stores.

 
 
 

Peter Pan, New Wimbledon Theatre

Verne Troyer, Mini-Me in Austin Powers, and comedian Marcus Brigstocke make their panto debut.

New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, London, SW19 1QG

Tube: Wimbledon Station

 

Dates: 05th December - 10th January 2016

 

Hollywood film star and TV personality Verne Troyer, best known for his role as Mini-Me in the hit comedy Austin Powers, and British comedian Marcus Brigstocke star in New Wimbledon Theatre's pantomime this Christmas. They make their panto debut in Peter Pan, starring alongside old favourites comedian Jarred Christmas, who takes on the role of Smee, and dance troupe Flawless as The Pirate Crew. Join the boy who never could grow up and Wendy as they take on Captain Hook in a song and dance spectacular at New Wimbledon Theatre, always a popular choice for an all-star cast pantomime.

 
 
 

Santa Run Victoria Park

Victoria Park, Grove Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E3 5SN

Tube: Mile End Station

 

Dates: 06th December 2015

 

Further to the run in Battersea Park on 5th December, a Santa Run will also take place at Victoria Park on 7th December 2014. Participants are invited to dress up as Santa and run, jog or walk around the park, choosing to do either a 5km or 10km course. Run by doitforcharity.com, it's expected to see around 4,000 people take part to raise money for hundreds of different charities.

 
 
 

The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker

The family, festive favourite returns for another year.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 08th December - 09th January 2016

 

That great seasonal stalwart The Nutcracker starts playing at the Royal Opera House on 8th December, offering families a fun and festive treat watching Clara dance in front of the Christmas tree. It's hard to imagine a production more indulgently sumptuous than Peter Wright's restaging of Lev Ivanov's choreography to Tchaikovsky's famous score. From the heart-warming family party of the opening scene to the appearance of the magical kingdom, the action beckons you in, helped every ballet step of the way by Julie Trevelyan Oman's gorgeous, nostalgic designs out of the late 1800s. This is pure spectacle but The Royal Ballet pulls it off with such beauty and style that it's a Christmas cracker...

 
 
 

Mumford & Sons

The London-based indie-folk outfit rounds off the year with two gigs at The O2.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 09th - 10th December 2015

 

The multi-platinum selling London-based indie-folk outfit led by singer Marcus Mumford, Mumford & Sons, rounds off an incredible year - including a summer show at Reading Festival - with two gigs at The O2 on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th December 2015 with support from Jack Garratt on the 9th. Two years since the band co-headlined Glastonbury along with the Rolling Stones, the "leaders of the folk revival" have beefed up their rock credentials - this year's release, Wilder Mind, was the bestselling rock debut since Coldplay's Ghost Stories a year ago - and are still filling stadiums.

 
 
 

The Dazzle

Andrew Scott and David Dawson star in the UK premiere of this comedy.

Found111, 111 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station, Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station

 

Dates: 10th December - 30th January 2016

 

The UK premiere of Richard Greenberg's The Dazzle is staged at temporary theatre Found111 this December. A co-production between the Michael Grandage Company and Emily Dobbs Productions, the play stars Sherlock and Spectre star Andrew Scott alongside David Dawson, known for The Duchess of Malfi, Peaky Blinders and Luther. Set in New York City at the beginning of the 20th Century, the play sees two brothers sat in their homes surrounded by 136 tons of hoarded junk. When a beautiful guest arrives, their lives are thrown into sharp focus as hidden desire bubble to the surface and hopeful possibilities arrive.

 
 
 

Guys and Dolls

A big hit at the Chichester Festival, the musical celebration of Prohibition-era New York comes with choreography by Carlos Acosta.

Savoy Theatre, Savoy Court, Strand, London, WC2R 0ET

Tube: Embankment Underground Station, Charing Cross Station, Covent Garden Station, Temple Station

 

Dates: 10th December - 12th March 2016

 

Chichester Festival Theatre's production of Guys and Dolls transfers to the West End this December, taking place at the Savoy Theatre. A big hit at the Chichester Festival 2014, the acclaimed revival sees Sophie Thompson and Jamie Parker reprise their roles as Miss Adelaide and Sky Masterson, with Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright choreographing, and Peter McKintosh doing the set design. The show follows Nathan Detroit when he needs money for an illegal dice game, and he needs it fast. But can he win a bet with notorious gambler Sky Masterson when straight-laced Sarah Brown is involved?

 
 
 

The Firework-Maker's Daughter

David Bruce's opera is a fun theatrical spectacle set in a mystical Eastern land.

Linbury Studio Theatre, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 10th December - 02nd January 2016

 

David Bruce's opera, based on a story by Philip Pullman, is a magical tale of courage and friendship with Balinese shadow puppetry and folk-inspired music. In this theatrical event, suitable for all the family and for children aged 8 and upwards, composer David Bruce and poet Glyn Maxwell adapt Pullman's acclaimed children's novel The Firework-Maker's Daughter, telling the story of Lila who desperately wants to be a firework-maker like her father Lalchand. He claims it's no job for a girl so she runs away to learn the trade, followed by her friend Chulak and the lovesick white elephant Hamlet. Along the way they meet pirates, tigers and the terrifying Fire-Fiend in what promises to be a fun theatrical spectacle set in a mystical Eastern land.

 
 
 

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Dominic West stars in the revival of Christopher Hampton's award-winning drama set in pre-revolutionary France.

The Donmar Warehouse, 41 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9LD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station, Tottenham Court Road Station

 

Dates: 11th December - 13th February 2016

 

The Donmar Warehouse's Christmas offering is the revival of Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses, with Janet McTeer and Dominic West taking the roles of Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont. In 1782 Choderlos de Laclos's novel of sex, intrigue and betrayal in pre-revolutionary France shocked the world and two hundred years later Hampton's adaptation was staged to critical acclaim, winning the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Play. Directed by Josie Rourke, this revival reignites the seductive battle of the sexes.

 
 
 

Brick 2015

The immersive LEGO extravaganza returns with incredible creations and The Museum of LEGO.

ExCeL London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1XL

Tube: Canning Town Station

 

Dates: 11th - 13th December 2015

 

After the phenomenal success of the inaugural BRICK show at London's ExCeL last year, the immersive LEGO extravaganza returns. From a Guinness World Record breaking attempt to the famous LEGO pits, where you can build anything you like, there are plenty of hands-on activities. And if every one of the 48,000 visitors contributes one small square there will be a huge mosaic by the end of the three day show. Marvel at the incredible creations made in The Fan Zone, from entire LEGO cities to massive Star Wars builds. Leave messages for other LEGO fans at the event on The Brick Wall, and design your very own LEGO minifigure. Race enthusiasts design and race their own custom car, 'Brick Flicks' reimagines classic movie scenes with LEGO, and The Museum of LEGO gives us the illustrious history of the long-loved toy.

 
 
 

Pop-Up Screens Cinema in the Snow

Movie goers enter a snow-filled world of film through a magic wardrobe.

20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove, London, W11 2QA

Tube: Ladbroke Grove Station

 

Dates: 11th - 23rd December 2015

 

Taking up residency in the 20th Century Theatre, Pop Up Screens will be hosting a Christmas special where movie goers enter a snow-filled world of film through a magic wardrobe. Transforming the historic grade I listed Notting Hill building into a winter wonderland from 11th to 23rd December, the Cinema in the Snow line up includes Elf, Love Actually, Grinch, White Christmas and Home Alone. Hot Chocolate, brownies, popcorn and mulled wine will be on offer and you can bet on a white Christmas here - on entering through the wardrobe, visitors will be greeted by falling snow.

 
 
 

Goodnight Mister Tom

Young boy Willie builds an unlikely friendship with a reclusive elderly gentleman.

Duke of York's Theatre, St Martins Lane, Soho, London, WC2N 4BG

Tube: Leicester Square Station, Charing Cross Station, Covent Garden Station, Piccadilly Circus Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 11th December - 20th February 2016

 

After success at the Chichester Festival Theatre and winning an Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and Family in 2013, David Wood's adaptation of Goodnight Mister Tom is back for Christmas 2015. This time staged at the Duke of York's Theatre, Michelle Magorian's tale follows a young boy named Willie who suffers at the hands of his abusive mother. Events take a turn when the Blitz hits London and young Willie is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside, where he builds an unlikely friendship with a reclusive elderly gentleman, Mister Tom. Full of emotion and sensitivity, the story is a modern classic that has the ability to entertain audiences young and old alike, making it the perfect festive family show.

 
 
 

The Little Match Girl

Arthur Pita's magical production based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic story returns.

Sadler's Wells: Lilian Baylis Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 12th December - 03rd January 2016

 

A snowy stage sets the scene for an icy cold Christmas Eve, where the Little Match Girl paces the emptying streets, shivering and desperate, trying to sell her matches. This magical production based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic story, adapted by celebrated director and choreographer Arthur Pita, returns following a sell-out season last year as the Sadler's Wells Christmas show at the Lilian Baylis theatre. Classically based dance moves are performed against a clever set by Yann Seabra and a score by Frank Moon which uses pre-recorded and live sound. The story may not be the most cheerful but a trip to the moon prompts a fun-filled episode with an astronaut and a miniature space shuttle - more than enough to keep the over 5s enthralled.

 
 
 

Status Quo: Accept No Substitute Tour

The Quo plug back in and bring their thunderous electric live show to The O2.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 13th December 2015

 

Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Andy Bown, John 'Rhino' Edwards and Leon Cave aka Status Quo will plug back in and bring their thunderous electric live show to The O2 in December 2015. Packed with hits, new and old, taken from their impressive back catalogue, this is a concert Quo fans won't want to miss. Support comes from former Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson who recently released an album with the Who's Roger Daltrey and picked up the Q icon award at this year's Q Awards.

 
 
 

Bill Bailey: Limboland

For the Black Books actor, who recently turned 50, his latest show is "a bit about getting older about".

Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Charing Cross Station, Embankment Underground Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 14th December - 10th January 2016

 

The wild haired, musically minded comedian Bill Bailey brings his Limboland tour to London's West End, to the Vaudeville Theatre where it runs from 14th December 2015 until 10th January 2016. For the Black Books actor, who recently turned 50, the show is "a bit about getting older about" but also about "the perception gap between how our lives really are and how we imagine them to be". There are personal anecdotes including a disastrous family trip to Norway to see the Northern Lights interspersed with musical numbers - from Bailey's version of the protest song to a country and western ballad played on a Bible.

 
 
 

Henry IV (Part II)

The creative team behind the five star production of Richard II with David Tennant reunites.

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station, Moorgate Station

 

Dates: 14th December - 23rd January 2016

 

Antony Sher plays the infamous comic knight Falstaff in Shakespeare's history play Henry IV Parts I and II, directed at the Barbican by Royal Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Gregory Doran who reunites with the creative team behind the five star production of Richard II with David Tennant in the lead role. Sher is joined by Jasper Britton as Henry IV, Alex Hassell as Prince Hal and Paola Dionisotti as Mistress Quickly in this epic, comic and thrilling vision of a nation in turmoil. Part II picks up the story as the King, his health deteriorating, is not sure whether his son, Hal, is a worthy heir.

 
 
 

The Little Bird Who Stayed For Winter: Peut-Etre Theatre

A story about creating art, finding a friend, and learning how to fly.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station

 

Dates: 14th December - 04th January 2016

 

An uplifting and enchanting story about a little bird that loves the songs of a Parisian street artist so much that when all the other birds fly away for the winter she stays behind. Brought to the Roundhouse by Peut-etre Theatre as this year's Christmas show, The Little Bird Who Stayed for Winter has, at its heart, a story about creating art, finding a friend, and learning how to fly. Four performers bring an array of characters to life to tell this story of love, adventure and heartache through dance, circus skills and music.

 
 
 

London International Horse Show

A full week of galloping, jumping and pinpoint dressage steps.

Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London, W14 8UX

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station

 

Dates: 15th - 21st December 2015

 

London's annual equestrian fiesta graces Olympia once more for a full week of galloping, jumping and pinpoint dressage steps. There's enough to please everybody at the London International Horse Show, with the UK's only World Cup dressage qualifier, spectacular show-jumping competitions, and some fantastic equestrian shopping opportunities. As well as the elegant steeds trotting around, there are usually some dog-related competitions too, including a canine agility contest. The grand finale is an enormous festive parade with hundreds of horses, costumes and music combining to a spectacular climax.

 
 
 

English National Ballet: Nutcracker

With its Edwardian setting created by Peter Farmer, this is a very traditional interpretation of the Christmas classic.

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4ES

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 16th December - 10th January 2016

 

A very traditional interpretation of E.T.A. Hoffman's the Nutcracker, English National Ballet's version was first performed in 2010 to celebrate the company's 60th birthday. This glittering production was created by Wayne Eagling (artistic director of the company from 2005 to 2012), and with its Edwardian setting created by Peter Farmer, it cannot fail to get you in the Christmas spirit. As sure as putting up fairy lights, filling Christmas stockings and having too much mulled wine at the office party, watching Clara dance in front of the Christmas tree is a truly festive thing to do. Wayne Eagling's choreography to Tchaikovsky's famous score is continuously heart-warming and every beautiful scene, from the family party to the appearance of the magical kingdom, lures you in.

 
 
 

Slava's Snowshow

Theatrical clowning and a stunning snow-filled spectacle.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 16th December - 03rd January 2016

 

The multi-award winning sensation, Slava's Snowshow has delighted audiences in over 80 cities around the world including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Hong Kong and Moscow. And now this visual masterpiece returns to London for another Christmas season at the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre this December. Loved by children and adults alike, Slava's Snowshow is a combination of theatrical clowning and stunning spectacle performed by the internationally renowned company of clowns lead by Slava Polunin. Experience a unique dream-like world which culminates in a breathtaking blizzard leaving you (literally) knee deep in snow! The Independent was moved to describe it as "simply thrilling - an unmissable comedy masterpiece." Recommended for ages 8 and above, this is definitely one not to miss.

 
 
 

Simply Red: Reformed! 2015 World Tour

Mick Hucknall and his soulful band mark their third decade with a world tour.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 17th - 19th December 2015

 

Marking their 30th anniversary, the inimitable Mick Hucknall and his soulful band mark their third decade with a world tour, the UK leg of which features 14 dates including two shows at The O2. Having sold 60 million albums worldwide since they first started in 1985 Simply Red have a back catalogue stuffed with hits like 'Holding Back The Years', 'If You Don't Know Me By Now' and 'Something Got Me Started'. S upport comes from Natalie Imbruglia.

 
 
 

Santa Swims at Sea Life London Aquarium

See if you can spot Santa feeding the sea turtles and sharks.

Sea Life London Aquarium, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB

Tube: Waterloo Station, Westminster Station

 

Dates: 17th - 23rd December 2015

 

See if you can spot Santa swimming among the sea creatures as he gets in the water for the first time ever at the Sea Life London Aquarium this festive season. Immersed in the water with the aquarium's two giant rare green sea turtles, Boris and Phoenix, sharks, rays and tropical fish, Santa will take a dip at 11.45am every day between 17th and 23rd December. It's Christmas come early for the inhabitants of the million-litre ocean display as Father Christmas feeds squid to the dozens of sleek rays and scatter cockles and sprat for the shoals of tropical fish.

 
 
 

Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race

Start your Christmas Day by watching this traditional race, which dates back to 1864.

Serpentine Boating Lake, The Boat House, Serpentine Road, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge Station

 

Dates: 25th December 2015

 

This lot are a hardy bunch but tradition is tradition and members of the Serpentine Swimming Club have been plunging themselves into the Serpentine lake's icy waters every Christmas Day since 1864. At temperatures of below four degrees Celsius in winter, the swimmers will want to get a wiggle on so it's lucky that they are all in hot pursuit of the prestigious Peter Pan Cup. The name of the 100-yard race dates back to 1904 when J.M Barrie, the creator of the boy who refused to grow up, presented the first cup. While most of us are still tucked up in bed or delving into our stocking the competitors line up (and pretend not to shiver) for their 9am start, a jolly crowd gathers to witness the spectacle. It's a great way to get some fresh air on Christmas morning and you'll feel like you've earned your post-lunch snooze. Behind you, Hyde Park offers a wonderful wintry landscape and, if you want to continue the Peter Pan theme, why not nip across to see the famous statue in Kensington Gardens. It was so cold and snowy in 2010 that the race had to be cancelled - although some intrepid souls still broke holes in the ice in order to have a quick dip.

 
 
 

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