By Ade Blackburn
Pantomime season is here again and the Liverpool city region has a host of excellent shows this year. From Boy George in Peter Pan, Liam Fox in Aladdin and the legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto at the Everyman, there’s a varied and immensely fun selection on offer.
1. Aladdin: St Helens Theatre Royal (2 December – 4 January)
Take a 3D magic carpet ride this Christmas with Aladdin at St Helens Theatre Royal, where you’ll be whisked off to a spectacular pantoland. Emmerdale’s Liam Fox makes his professional panto debut as the evil Abanazer, and pantomime royalty Leanne Campbell appears digitally as the magical ‘Genie of the Mirror’.
They promise gorgeous sets, dazzling costumes, plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and an excellent soundtrack.
2.Cinderella: The Everyman Rock n Roll Panto (17 November – 20 January 2024)
The iconic Everyman Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto is back, and this year they’re telling the story of Cinderella. With heaps of sass, silliness and sparkle, their gifted actor-musicians will bring the classic fairy tale to life, in surprising style.
Bursting with banging pop and rock tunes, this is a show to have you singing and dancing along, no matter what your age.
3. Peter Pan: M&S Bank Arena (2-3 December)
A big budget adaptation of J.M Barrie’s much-loved Peter Pan will be flying into Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena this December. The show promises a spectacular spin on the timeless classic adventure. Legendary Culture Club star and DJ, Boy George, also debuts as Captain Hook in this fun Neverland fantasy.
Featuring fabulous digital animation, the unique show boasts a cast of fifty, including a dozen cirque performers and daring aerial stunts.
4. Sleeping Beauty: The Auditorium (16 December – 30 December)
This year’s spectacular Sleeping Beauty pantomime at The Auditorium, features great live music, showstopping dance routines and beautiful costumes. It’s sure to be a magical experience for children and adults alike.
The show features reality TV star and model, Katie Price as Carabosse, comedy sensation Bippo as The Castle Clown, plus Britain’s Got Talent finalist Lucy Kay as The Fairy.
5. Jack and the Beanstalk: The Atkinson, Southport (7 – 31 December)
Join hero Jack Trott as he embarks on an extraordinary journey up the beanstalk to an enchanted land above the clouds. With hilarious antics, lovable characters, and a handful of magic beans, this traditional Jack and the Beanstalk panto is captivating for audiences of all ages.
Packed with toe-tapping songs and stunning sets, this larger-than-life pantomime promises to be an unmissable treat for everyone this festive season.
6. Beauty and the Beast: Ten Streets Social (29 November – 5 December)
Join the fun for a pantomime tale as old as time, Beauty and the Beast. Meet Belle and her friends on this magical adventure, as they discover that beauty is more than skin deep.
There’ll be glittering outfits and fantastic staging, alongside plenty of audience participation and huge helpings of laughter. Beauty and the Beast is a family pantomime not to be missed.
7. Mother Goose: Merchant Taylors’ Boys School, Crosby (3 – 10 December)
The show is written by Laughing Cat Pantomimes and directed by Rosie Shields
8. Beauty and the Beast: Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight (8 – 31 December)
The enchanting Beauty and the Beast is making its way into The Gladstone Theatre this Christmas, as the Dreamworld Entertainments team return for another family pantomime in Port Sunlight.
Along with a spectacular cast, there’s all the laughs and traditions with a modern twist, their audience have come to know and love. Expect magic, mystery and lots of sparkle as they take you on a journey to find spell breaking love!
9. Jack and The Beanstalk: Floral Pavilion, New Brighton (9 December – 7 January 2024)
This Jack and The Beanstalk production is full of song and dance numbers, bags of audience participation, plus magnificent 3D effects.
The show is led by TV star Hayley Tamaddon as The Vegetable Fairy, Hayley is known for her roles in Emmerdale and Coronation Street. Joining her on stage will be CBeebies Joseph Elliot, as Fleshcreep, and Blood Brothers star Sean Jones, as Simple Simon. Not forgetting Oliver Brooks as the unmissable Dame Trott!
10. The Wizard of Oz: Liverpool Empire (13 December – 7 January 2024)
Featuring the iconic score from the Oscar-winning film, Liverpool Empire has a production of The Wizard of Oz, including the classics, Over The Rainbow and Follow The Yellow Brick Road. Join Dorothy, Toto, and friends on a magical adventure down the yellow brick road.
Based on the much-loved movie, this critically rated production is directed by Nikolai Foster, known for his work on legendary musicals such as A Chorus Line and Billy Elliot The Musical.
11. Dick Whittington: Hope Street Theatre (14 – 31 December)
This Dick Whittington show features Hope Street’s favourite panto dame John Garfield-Roberts, serving comedy chaos as Sarah the Cook, alongside Lesley Butler as the revolting Queen Rat and Phil Perez as fantastically funny Fitzwarren.
Produced by Christopher Jones of Just Entertainment, the show features a host of Merseyside performers, including a large junior ensemble from the Hope Street based Performers Theatre School.
12. The Scouse Genie (Adults Panto): Hope Street Theatre (28 November – 2 December)
City Theatre present their first ever adult panto, The Scouse Genie, at Hope Street Theatre this year.
Based on the famous Aladdin story, The Scouse Genie tells the tale of Aria, a local Scouse girl who lives with her mum, Liver Bird, and her brother and sister, Timothy and Stacey. Set in Liverpool, this rebooted version of Aladdin will be something you’ve never seen before!