UK Pantomimes happening in 2020 – oh yes they are!
Here’s a joyous news story no other country in the world is going to appreciate in quite the same way: UK pantomimes will be happening in 2020.
Panto is a Christmas tradition that people just don’t get outside of UK waters. The slapstick comedy, panto dames and chucking sweets at the crowd is a wholly British and Irish phenomena.
And thankfully Christmas pantomimes in 2020 have been saved from the event scrap pile (albeit with less chocolate volleys from the stage). After all, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of ‘he’s behind you’ and ‘oh no she isn’t’.
See my big festive round up for more UK Christmas days out in 2020.
2020 pantomimes saved!
For a while things were looking a bit dicey there. And, yes, many 2020 UK pantos have still had to be cancelled. However, it was announced in October that the quintessentially British tradition of pantomime has attracted emergency funding from the National Lottery.
It’s helping out by buying all seats at QDOS pantomimes that can’t be sold due to COVID safe measures in about 10 theatres. What’s left is 250,000 seats for pantomime punters.
Of course, the National Lottery can only go so far. Some regional theatres supporters have already been working double time to keep the panto spirit alive in 2020 by putting in place COVID-safe measures and socially distanced auditoriums.
Hurrah! So where are UK pantomimes happening in 2020?
UK pantomimes near you in 2020
UPDATE 15 December: events in 2020 are subject to change. Some pantomimes listed here will not be able to proceed if they remain or move into Tier 3 in December 2020 or January 2021. Please speak to venues direct for the latest information.
Here’s a list of 2020 pantomimes that were confirmed in October:
Car park pantomimes
Who would have thought that drive in theatre would become a thing in 2020? But thank goodness it has. Here are some of the touring car park pantomimes happening this Christmas:
Horrible Histories’ Horrible Christmas
Get into the festive spirit at a friendly social distanced Christmas performance at outdoor venues across the UK.The Birmingham Stage Company and Horrible Histories, to present Horrible Christmas.
Many dates have already sold out so get in quick!
Horrible Christmas, various venues, 11 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Cinderella with The Parking Lot Social
Pull up at venues in one of six UK locations to see a pantomime from the comfort of your own car. Shows take place throughout December.
Cinderella, various locations, 1 to 24 December 2020.
Christmas pantomimes in Aberdeen 2020
Jack and the Beanstalk at the Tivoli Theatre
Jack and the Beanstalk appears to be the most popular Christmas pantomime in 2020. And there will be Fi-Fi-Fo-Fun aplenty at Tivoli Theatre as they retell this classic panto story.
Jack and the Beanstalk, Tivoli Theatre, 4 to 22 December 2020.
Pantomime in Berkshire 2020
Cinderella at the Theatre Royal Windsor
Britt Ekland and Basil Brush star in this adaptation of the traditional pantomime favourite, Cinderella at the Royal Theatre Windsor.
Cinderella, Theatre Royal Windsor, 3 December 2020 to 10 January 2021.
Aladdin at the Corn Exchange Newbury
Your wish has been granted – Aladdin and his friends will be at the Corn Exchange this Christmas for a socially distanced pantomime.
With a little pantomime magic, and a lot of hard work behind the scenes, there will be a magic carpet ride adventure this Christmas.
Aladdin, Corn Exchange Newbury, 4 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Pantomime in Buckinghamshire
Sleeping Beauty at Milton Keynes Theatre
This year’s production, created especially for Milton Keynes Theatre in this unprecedented year, will be a riotously funny, one-act celebration of pantomime, packed full of comedy and laughter and allow audience members the opportunity to come safely together and enjoy the magic of the much-loved and unique art form this festive season.
Sleeping Beauty, Milton Keynes Theatre, 19 December 2020 to 10 January 2021.
Pantomimes in Dorset 2020
Jack and the Beanstalk at the Tivoli Theatre
Made-to-Measure Productions are delighted to be returning to Wimborne’s Tivoli Theatre this Christmas with a hilarious, brand new production of Jack and the Beanstalk. Join Jack on his adventure to Cloudland to save Princess Apricot from the clutches of the evil Giant Blunderbore!
Jack and the Beanstalk, Tivoli Theatre Wimborne, 18 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Happy Ever After at The Lighthouse, Poole
Join CBeebies star Chris Jarvis and friends as they share their Christmas story. How will Cinders get to her next ball? Will Humpty Dumpty ever pull himself together and will they all live happily ever after?
Happy Ever After, The Lighthouse, Poole, 18 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Pantomimes in Devon
Santa’s Christmas Cracker at Queens Theatre Barnstaple
Join Father Christmas and friends for a fun, festive, musical and socially-distanced adventure to discover the wonder of Christmas!
Santa’s Christmas Cracker is a 45 minute, interactive family show, particularly suitable for 2-7 year olds. Afterward, the adventure continues as, with social distancing, gloves, and a mask for Father Christmas, each child gets to meet him and receive a specially wrapped present – it’s the most Christmassy Christmas show ever, HO-HO-HO!
Santa’s Christmas Cracker, Queens Theatre, Barnstaple, 24 December 2020. Book online.
Buttons at The Palace Theatre
Sheffield comedian Tom Binns aka Hospital DJ Ivan Brackenbury will put on ‘Buttons – the one-man pantomime’.
It turns out Buttons has got a bit complacent of late and has lost the magic of Panto but with the help of his Fairy God Mentor, played by Bernie Clifton, he rediscovers the magic just in time for a happy ending.
This one hour show will be performed three times on New Years Eve.
Buttons, Palace Theatre, Paignton, 31 December 2020. Book online.
Aladdin at The Palace Theatre
Fasten your seat belts for a COVID safe magical carpet ride to Old Peking to meet Aladdin and his hard working mother and local laundress, Widow Twankey.
Follow Aladdin on his quest to find a magic lamp for the Evil Sorcerer Abanazar, who has promised Aladdin a treasure trove of wealth.
Aladdin, Palace Theatre, Paignton, 9 to 10 January 2021.
Wizard of Oz at Exeter Corn Exchange
A pantomime will be going ahead in Exeter this Christmas. The Wizard of Oz has been adapted for a socially distanced and COVID safe performance.
Exeter’s favourite double-act, Matt Finegan and Daniel Page, will return as Glinda and the Wicked Witch, alongside another top-quality West End professional cast!
Wizard of Oz, Exeter Corn Exchange, 19 December 2020 to 3 January 2021. Book online.
Visit the Devon with Kids website to find more pantomimes in Devon.
Christmas pantomimes in County Durham 2020
Dick Whittington at The Majestic Theatre
Dick Whittington’s heading to town to seek his fortune – he’s heard the streets are paved with gold. But when he gets there, it’s hard to see the gold beneath the grime…. it is Darlington! And King Rat is out to get him!
Dick Whittington, The Majestic Theatre, Darlington, 19 to 31 December 2020.
Pantomime in Flintshire 2020
The Panto That Nearly Never Was
After postponing Beauty and the Beast until Christmas 2021, Theatr Clwyd has pulled out all the stops to put on something a bit different but just as festive. Join them for a rock ’n’ roll, panto-esque show all about getting back on your feet even when you’ve been knocked down.
The Panto That Nearly Never Was, Theatr Clwyd, Mold, 17 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Pantomime in Hampshire
Dick Whittington at The Kings Theatre
Join Dick on his thrilling quest to find adventure, fame and fortune in the glittering streets of London. Will he be able to defeat villainous rodent Queen Rat, save the city and win the hand of his love, Alice?
Starring one half of X Factor Finalists Same Difference, Sean Smith as Dick Whittington, Jack Edwards as Dame Dolly and a host of West End talent including local favourites Julia Worsley and James Percy.
Dick Whittington, The Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, 8 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Sleeping Beauty at The Mayflower Theatre
This unmissable family production of Sleeping Beauty is being put on especially for 2020 with National Lottery funding. It will star Joe Pasquale, Lesley Joseph, Ceri Dupree, Neal Wright, Sarah Earnshaw, and introducing Georgia Carr.
Sleeping Beauty, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 19 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Pantomime in Kent
Nurse Nellie Saves Panto at Marlowe Theatre
Book tickets for Marlowe’s fun-sized, socially-distanced festive family treat this Christmas. Starring the award-winning Marlowe pantomime legend, Ben Roddy, alongside four phenomenal panto performers, this joyous, funny and uplifting show promises to be the perfect antidote to 2020.
When a baddie steals the joy of pantomime, will Nurse Nellie and her friends manage to rescue it? Oh yes they will!
Nurse Nellie Saves Panto, Marlowe Theatre, 11 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Pantomime in Lancashire
Sleeping Beauty at the Opera House Manchester
Don’t get caught snoozing this festive season, and grab your tickets for this year’s unmissable, socially distanced pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, created especially for Christmas 2020!
Sleeping Beauty, the Opera House Manchester, 12 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Jack and the Beanstalk at Lowther Pavilion
Jack is conned into parting with Daisy thew cow for a worthless bag of Beans. Follow his adventures up the beanstalk to try to make amends.
Jack and the Beanstalk, Lowther Pavilion, 18 to 30 December 2020.
Christmas pantomimes in London 2020
Pantoland at The London Palladium
This is one of the QDOS UK pantomimes to benefit from Lottery funding. Pantoland is a Christmas variety starring London Palladium Panto favourites including Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers, Gary Wilmot, Ashley Banjo and Diversity and Charlie Stemp.
Pantoland, London Palladium, 12 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Dick Wittington at The National Theatre
Join Dick Whittington and friends on an adventure to save the true spirit of London as pantomime comes to the National Theatre for one year only.
The National Theatre will be putting on this socially-distanced pantomime over December and January. The Olivier Theatre is being remodelled to to allow performances ‘in the round’.
Dick Wittington, The National Theatre, 11 December 2020 to 23 January 2021.
Potted Panto at the Garrick Theatre
This panto with multiple personalities will take you on a madcap ride through seven of the biggest fairy tales along with their best-loved characters from the wonderful world of pantomime.
Potted Panto, Garrick Theatre, London, 5 December 2020 to 10 January 2021.
Pantomime in Merseyside 2020
The Wizard of Oz at The Atkinson
Fly over the rainbow and take a walk down the Yellow Brick Road with Hollyoaks star Ray Quinn this Christmas. Expect all your favourite songs from Oz along with brilliant choreography to make this a Christmas show the whole family will love.
The Wizard of Oz, The Atkinson, 18 to 31 December 2020.
Christmas pantomimes in Norfolk 2020
Rapuzel at St Georges Theatre
A socially distanced pantomime will go ahead at St Georges Theatre this December. Expect the usual family festive fun packed with songs, slapstick, effects and hilarity for a shorter than usual run.
Rapunzel, St Georges Theatre, Great Yarmouth, 15 to 19 December 2020.
Pantomime in Northamptonshire
Sleeping Beauty at The Deco in Northampton
The Deco invites you to visit Trumptonia this Christmas; a land of fairies, unicorns and dragons where once upon a time, a princess is born. Spurned at the celebration party, malevolent wicked fairy Carabosse casts an evil spell which changes the Princess’s life forever.
Will Princess Tahlia take charge of her own destiny? Find out during this socially distanced panto in Northampton.
Sleeping Beauty, The Deco, Northampton, 11 to 24 December 2020.
Pantomime in Northumberland
Jack and the Beanstalk at Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Climb up Tyne Theatre’s socially distanced beanstalk this December with a giant of a show starring the hilarious Charlie Richmond as Simple Simon and a cast of some of the North East’s best panto talent.
Jack and the Beanstalk, Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 18 to 24 December 2020.
Pantomime in Shropshire
We’ll Have to do it Again Then, Won’t We?! at Severn Theatre
Shrewsbury’s Severn Theatre is putting on an alternative pantomime lead by Dame Brad Fitt. Meet the man behind the make-up and enjoy a ‘socially distanced’, side-splitting journey through pantoland with stories, slapstick and songs.
We’ll Have to do it Again Then, Won’t We?!, Severn Theatre, Shrewsbury, 4 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Pantomime in Somerset
Robin Hood at Bristol Hippodrome
Grab your merry men and women and get ready for a socially distanced pantomime like never before, in a sheriff-busting, arrow-shooting, tights-wearing, hog-roasting production of Robin Hood, created especially for Christmas 2020!
Robin Hood, Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol, 18 December 2020 to 10 January 2021.
Sleeping Beauty at The Playhouse Theatre
Mischievous forces will be at play when a far from sleepy production of the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty will be brought to life in traditional pantomime style this Christmas at The Playhouse.
This year’s production will be a scaled down pantomime, to allow for social distancing within the cast, crew and audience.
Sleeping Beauty, The Playhouse Theatre, Weston Super Mare, 12 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Pantomime in Staffordshire
Jack and the Beanstalk at Lichfield Garrick
Join Jack on the adventure of a lifetime as he falls in love, is tricked by arch-villain, Flesh Creep, and climbs a giant beanstalk to a giant’s lair.
Jack and the Beanstalk, Lichfield Garrick, 18 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Pantomime in Yorkshire
Sleeping Beauty at The Bradford Playhouse
In an amendment from the previous pantomime programme, audiences at there Bradford Playhouse can see Sleeping Beauty this Christmas.
Sleeping Beauty, Bradford Playhouse, 17 to 23 December 2020.
Planning your Christmas family fun? Why not use Pinterest to save this post about UK pantomimes in 2020.