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11 of the best family Christmas shows 2021

For many families, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a pantomime or festive show – oh no it wouldn’t!  

And Merseyside has some of the country’s best live performance venues, which are open again after last year’s forced closures.

From star-led pantos such as Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, to Christmas concerts and a stage adaptation of a Dickens classic, there is something to suit everyone.

If you haven’t already booked your festive family show, here’s what’s on offer this December…

Claire House Christmas Concert at St George’s Hall

Claire House Concert 900 X 370

Join Claire House for one of the best Christmas concerts Liverpool has to offer.

The evening is in aid of the Wirral children’s hospice, which helps seriously and terminally ill children live life to the full.

Held at St George’s Hall, the festivities will feature the Vale of Clwyd Singers alongside Allerton Brass and Bronze Carillon.

Doors open at 6.15pm for a drinks reception, followed by music in the Concert Room.

Tickets are £20 from ticketquarter.co.uk.

When: December 14, 2021 at 7pm.

Nearest station: Lime Street low level for Wirral line, Liverpool Central for Northern line. 

Beauty and the Beast at Epstein Theatre

Epstein Panto Credit David Munn 900 X 370

Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre will reopen this December with the pantomime Beauty and the Beast.

Emmerdale newcomer Ben Richards will appear in the role of Gaston.

This is the timeless tale of Belle who falls in love with the most unexpected of princes.

Will the Beast learn to love and be loved?

The panto is one of the opening shows at the Hanover Street theatre, which has a new management team who took over in October this year.

Tickets from £15. Book at epsteintheatre.co.uk

When: December 16 to January 9, 2022.

Nearest station: Liverpool Central

Jack and the Beanstalk at Gladstone Theatre

Panto Gladstone 900 X 370

Family favourite Jack and the Beanstalk will be on stage at the Gladstone Theatre this Christmas.

Following Aladdin in 2019, Dreamworld Entertainments will be back in Port Sunlight with their ‘biggest panto ever’.

The cast includes Jessica Jones as Jill, Darren John Langford, and CBeebies’ Molly and Mack actor Ryan Towart as Dame Trott.

They will bring all the traditional, magic panto fun, as well as a cow, a beanstalk and, of course, a mean giant!

Tickets from £13 at gladstonetheatre.org.uk

When: December 11 to December 31, 2021

Nearest station: Port Sunlight

Christmas events at Liverpool Philharmonic

Santa Countdown Liverpool Phil 900 X 370

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall will host concerts to celebrate the most magical time of the year.

Santa’s Countdown toChristmas will feature the orchestra, children’s choirs and a visit from Santa!

Tickets for the hour-long family concerts, on December 18 and 19, start at £10.

The Hope Street venue will also host Spirit of Christmas, with carols and readings from Classic FM’s John Suchet.

It will include members from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir, conductor Ian Tracey and baritone Thomas Weinhappel.

The traditional concerts, aimed at adults and children over seven, will take place on December 17 to December 19, and December 21 to December 23. Tickets cost from £8 and can be booked at liverpoolphil.com

Nearest station: Liverpool Central

Beauty and the Beast at Floral Pavilion

Beauty And The Beast Floral 900 X 370

Beauty and the Beast opens at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton this December.

Gavin and Stacey star Melanie Walters, who played Gwen in the smash-hit comedy, will take to the stage as Fairy Bon Bon.

Milkshake's Olivia Birchenough and West End’s Shaun Dalton will take on the iconic lead roles.

Rescheduled from last Christmas, the show will include Polly La Plonk (Quinn Patrick) and her cheeky son Louis La Plonk (Sean Jones).

Will Belle and the Beast live happily ever after?

Tickets from £16.75. Visit floralpavilion.com

When: December 4 to January 2, 2022

Nearest station: New Brighton

A Christmas Carol at St George’s Hall

Ginificent A Christmas Carol 900 X 370

Families with older children will be welcomed at magical performance of A Christmas Carol.

The theatre adaptation of the famous Charles Dickens tale will take place in the Concert Room at St George’s Hall.

Ginificent Productions will bring the much-loved classic to life – on the stage where Dickens himself graced numerous times to recite his books.

The festive production, directed by Liam Scott, is suggested as PG12.

Tickets from £19.46. Visit eventbrite.co.uk

When: December 19 to December 23, 2021.

Nearest Station: Lime Street

Cinderella at The Atkinson

Claire Sweeney Atkinson 900 X 370

Grab your glass slippers for this spellbinding Christmas pantomime Cinderella staged at The Atkinson in Southport.

Starring Claire Sweeney as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, the classic panto has a modern twist.

Cinders, her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, Buttons and Prince Charming will all make an appearance.

Brought to the stage by LHK productions, expect a professional cast, live orchestra, lavish sets and exquisite costumes.

Tickets from £13. Book at theatkinson.co.uk

When: December 10 to January 2, 2022.

Nearest station: Southport

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World at Liverpool Playhouse

Fantastically Great Women Credit Pamela Raith 900 X 370

The Liverpool Playhouse stage will ‘burst into life’ with new pop musical Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World.

This stage adaptation of Kate Pankhurst’s picture book is written by dramatist Chris Bush and songwriter Miranda Cooper.

It tells the story of inquisitive heroine Jade as she breaks away from her class to go behind the scenes at the Gallery of Greatness in a museum.

Along her journey she meets amazing women such as Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie and Emmeline Pankhurst.

The show is aimed at children aged six and over. Tickets from £10 at everymanplayhouse.com.

When: December 8 to January 2, 2022

Nearest station: Lime Street low level for Wirral line, Liverpool Central for Northern line. 

Sleeping Beauty at Hope Street Theatre

Sleeping Beauty Hope Street Theatre 900 X 370

Liverpool will welcome a new Christmas production of Sleeping Beauty at The Hope Street Theatre.

Lucy Forrester will play Princess Aurora, alongside Aaron Hayes as Dame Dolly, Lesley Butler as Carabosse and Brian Comer as Fester the Jester.

The show, written by Christopher Jones, will feature talent from Liverpool Theatre School and Performers Theatre School.

Tickets from £10 and can be booked at hopestreettheatre.com.

When: December 16 to December 30, 2021

Nearest station: Liverpool Central

The Everyman Rock 'n' Roll panto: Robin Hood

Evpanto2021 900 X 385

Liverpool’s hugely popular rock ‘n’ roll panto will return to the Everyman for the festive season. 

Regular writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton have put their own mischievous spin on the classic adventure tale.

Robin Hood is the story of heroism, social justice, and tights!

Tickets from £15. Book at everymanplayhouse.com

When: November 27 to January 15, 2022.

Nearest station: Liverpool Central

Cinderella at M&S Bank Arena

Cinderella Liverpool 900 X 370

Head to Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena for a huge Christmas production of Cinderella and the ‘biggest ball this year’.

The pantomime will star Radio City’s Leanne Campbell as The Fairy Godmother, Bippo as Buttons, David Heath as Prince Charming and David Drewitt and Danny Jay as the Ugly Sisters.

Tickets from £21 at ticketquarter.co.uk

When: December 18 to December 28, 2021

Nearest Station: James Street for Wirral line, Liverpool Central for Northern line.

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Day Saver - Unlimited off-peak travel from £5.50

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A Family of 5 travel for just £13!*

A Family of 5 travel for just £13!*

*A Merseyrail Family Ticket covers up to a family of 5 for unlimited travel after 9.30am weekdays and all day on weekends and bank holidays. The ticket covers children aged 5 - 15 travelling with 1 or 2 adults.

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