8 pantomimes and festive shows to enjoy in the North East over Christmas 2023

Peter Pan will be flying in to Tyne Theatre and Opera House from December 8 to January 7.Peter Pan will be flying in to Tyne Theatre and Opera House from December 8 to January 7.
Peter Pan will be flying in to Tyne Theatre and Opera House from December 8 to January 7.

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Panto season is fast approaching – oh, yes it is!

Pantomimes are a staple of Christmas in the UK. The tradition of child friendly comedy shows goes back generations and theatres across the region are looking to bring back their productions with a bang this winter.

There are plenty of pantomime options for families to choose from this year, with theatres across the region hoping to welcome groups to venues large and small.

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Newcastle Theatre Royal’s pantomime

One of the largest pantos of the year comes from Newcastle’s Theatre Royal where the venue is hosting a production of Pinocchio this winter. Starring Danny Adams as the titular character and Newcastle’s own Joe McElderry as Jiminy Cricket, the show will be running over seven weeks at the end of the year and into 2024.

The venue is already putting in place limited availability ticket warnings for shows before the New Year and tickets begin from £12.50. Running from Tuesday, November 28 until Sunday, January 14, relaxed, sign language and audio described and captioned performances are also available to enjoy.

Tickets can be picked up through the venue’s official website.

Newcastle Tyne Theatre’s pantomime

Staying in the region’s largest city, the Tyne Theatre and Opra House on Westgate Road will see families through its doors all festive season for a production of Peter Pan. The star of the show will be Matt Lapinskas, best known for roles on Eastenders and his time on Dancing On Ice, who is set to perform as the main character while the X Factor’s Sam Lavery will also take to the stage.

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Tickets start from £16.50 and can be bought on the venue’s online ticket office with shows taking place between Friday, December 8 and Sunday, January 7.

Sunderland Empire’s pantomime

Moving away from Newcastle, Wearside’s largest panto this year comes in the form of Disney classic Beauty and The Beast. The Empire Theatre’s production, which is set to run for just over three weeks throughout December, is being headed up by star of Emmerdale and Ackley Bridge, Charlie Hardwick while regular panto named Miss Rory and Tom Whalley return to the stage.

Tickets start from £13 with shows running almost every day between Friday, December 8 and New Year’s Eve. Tickets are available through the Empire’s website.

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South Shields pantomimes

Described as ‘The Little Panto With The Big Heart’, Aladdin is hitting the stage at the Customs House in South Tyneside this winter. The venue claims tickets are selling quickly for dates throughout the run, which is from Thursday, November 23 until Saturday, January 6.

Elsewhere in the town, families looking for a fun way to see in the new year can head to the Westovian Theatre for the site’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk, which is set to run between Friday, January 19 and Saturday, January 27.

Other North East pantomimes

Back in Newcastle, a production of Peter Pan will take place at the People’s Theatre on Stephenson Road for a week from Saturday, December 9 while over in Whitley Bay the town’s Playhouse venue will host two family plays.

Between Friday, December 8 and Saturday, January 6 the North Tyneside site will be offering families the chance to see Cinderella then, after a ten day break, the Whitley Bay Pantomime Society will take over for performances of Jack and the Beanstalk between Tuesday, January 16 and Sunday, January 21.

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