CHRISTMAS means pantomimes and if you‘re a fan there is no shortage of shows to get stuck into this year.
Festive shows are a very British tradition involving all the family and the emphasis on audience participation adds to the fun.
Traditional shows like Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella play alongside more contemporary offerings such as The Very Snowy Christmas and The Snow Spider.
Some continue for several weeks while others have a run of just a few days or are even a one-off.
Opening next week are Aladdin at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham and Jack and the Beanstalk at Tewkesbury’s Roses.
Featuring the winning double act of Tweedy the clown and panto dame William Elliot, Aladdin promises good clean fun and frolics.
With a flying carpet and magic tricks, there will be plenty of enchantment in the air from Friday until January 12. Tickets cost £14 to £23 from 01242 572573.
A 14ft animatronic giant is the star of Jack and the Beanstalk, at The Roses in Tewkesbury from next Saturday until January 4.
With slapstick and songs galore, as well as a beanstalk reaching into the sky, this show will suit young and old alike. Tickets from £9.50 to £22 from 01684 295074.
Although the Bacon Theatre in Cheltenham presents their panto after Christmas, there is a treat for youngsters on December 3 when The Very Snowy Christmas arrives. As Big Mouse and Little Mouse are putting up decorations when big white flakes start falling from the sky, prompting Little Mouse to exclaim that the sky is falling down.
Find out what happens in this delightful show, offering colourful costumes, puppets and audience interaction. The show begins at 10.30am and tickets cost £7.50 to £8.50 from 01242 258002.
Gloucester’s own Dick Whittington heads for London to make his fortune at the Kings Theatre in Gloucester on December 5, 6 and 7.
Starstruck Youth Drama perform the classic panto story at 7.30pm and 2.30pm on Saturday. Tickets cost £5 and £6 from 01452 721745.
Later next month also at the Kings is Sleeping Beauty, written and directed by Gloucester-based Rowena Davies.
Performances run from December 18 to 21 at 7pm, with a matinee on Saturday at 2pm and tickets cost £6 to £8 from 01452 396572.
Finally, be enchanted by the tale of The Snow Spider at the Playhouse Theatre in Cheltenham from December 17 to January 4. Breathtaking theatre and live music combine for a magical show. For tickets, call 01242 522852.