Pantomimes are as much a part of Christmas as carols and chocolate coins.
Who doesn’t love this golden opportunity to cheer the hero, boo the villain and laugh at the Dame’s crazy costumes and corny jokes.
Soap stars and music heroes letting their hair on stage are the icing on the Christmas cake.
Now regarded by many as a British tradition, pantomime’s roots lie in ancient Greece. The art form was later adopted in Italy and France before UK audiences took it to their hearts. John Rich, a dancer, acrobat and mime artist, is believed to have laid the foundations for panto in England in the18th century.
1. Star turns
Todd Boyce stars in Mother Goose at Derby, Duncan James in Beauty And The Beast at Sheffield and Shane Richie in Dick Whittington at Nottingham, pictured anti-clockwise from right. Photo: Robert Day, Vox Multimedia Ltd, Tom Platinum Morley
Aladdin will be lighting up the Winding Wheel Theatre from December 1, 2023 to January 2, 2024. Nigel Clarke (CBeebies) plays the title role with Anne Hegerty (best known as The Governess from The Chase) and Tony Rudd (Britain's Got Talent) among the star-studded cast. Full price tickets from £20.20, go to www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk Photo: Chesterfield Borough Council
Cinderella, the world's favourite pantomime, will light up Buxton Opera House from December 8, 2023 to January 1, 2024. James Holmes (from TV's Miranda) teams up with David Dale to play the Ugly Sisters and Georgia Gallagher is Cinderella. Tickets from £21.50, book online at www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk or call 01298 72190. Photo: Buxton Opera House
Mother Goose will run at Derby Arena from December 8 to 31, 2023 and promises plenty of fun and 'fowl' play for families. Todd Boyce, best known as Coronation Street's serial killer Stephen Reid, plays the villainous Demon Vanity while award-winning panto dame Morgan Brind returns as Mother Goose. Tickets start at £18, go to www.derbylive.co.uk or call 01332 255800. Photo: Robert Day