Theaterland celebrates the Festive Holiday Seasonby Burlington Bertie
Laughter, romance, song and dance, music or mystery - London's Theaterland has it all in spades, not to mention white tie and tails, this winter.
Musicals like Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace), Cabaret (Savoy), Les Miserables (Queen's), Monty Python's Spamalot (Playhouse), Shrek The Musical (Drury Lane), The Lion King (Lyceum), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's), Wicked (Apollo Victoria), continue their much acclaimed long runs into 2013 and beyond, while newcomers like Top Hat (Aldwych), and Singin' in the Rain (Palace Theatre), draw theatergoers who nostalgically remember the great Hollywood dancing days of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Jack Buchanan, Gene Kelly, and the evergreen tunes of Irving Berlin. Top Hat arrived in London to rave notices from the critics and will be a sell-out for months, if not years, to come.
Christmastide is Pantomime season, or 'Panto' for short. It is a peculiarly English theatrical phenomenon that does not export well; a theatrical spectacle of musical slapstick, sometimes bawdy double entendre and innuendo, anarchic absurdity and show business celebrities, incongruously cross-dressed in a vaudeville setting among spectacular sets, stage effects, fairytale romance and music.
'Panto' has its origins in the London theatre of Harlequin and Grimaldi 250 years ago. It flowered in the 1880s, and has been as much a part of family Christmas theater ever since.
Panto plots and scripts are (very) loosely based on traditional fairy tales. Typical offerings this Holiday season which extends into January, include Aladdin at the O2 Greenwich, Cinderella at the St. James Theatre, Jack and the Beanstalk at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Peter Pan at the Peacock Theatre, Snow White at the New Wimbledon Theatre. Other Panto scripts are based on fabled historical figures like Dick Whittington, (Bob Hope Theatre) or Robin Hood (Greenwich Theatre).
For a complete Panto listing check my link to London Pantos below. Offtolondon.com will book seats for all Musicals and Pantos together with Theater/Dining/Accommodation packages throughout the year via the link below.
If you have a question, contact us and we will do our best to provide answers.
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