Get ready to boo the baddies, cheer the goodies and shout the inevitable line – “it’s behind you!”
Double entendres, slapstick and gender-swap costumes – all the essential elements for that great British winter pastime, the pantomime. Leeds has got loads of choice for you this season, from classics like Cinderella and Dick Whittington to a rock ‘n’ roll treatment of a tale as old as time. Check out six of the best productions that you won’t want to miss this year.
Beauty & the Beast Rock ’n’ Roll Panto
It’s the turn of Disney classic Beauty and the Beast to get a rock ’n’ roll make over! This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Rock ’n’ Roll pantomime at City Varieties, and after a year off, it’s set to be their most raucous yet. Talented musician-actors combine traditional elements of panto, like the audience participation and the groan-worthy gags, with glorious rock anthems performed live on stage. Lively, festive and oh-so-fun, you can join Belle, the beast and the enchanted castle for a right old knees up.
Beauty & the Beast Rock’n’Roll Panto comes to City Varieties Music Hall from Friday 26th November 2021 to Sunday 9th January 2022.
If it’s a rip-roaring panto that you’re after, then Carriageworks’ Aladdin has to be one of the best in Leeds this season. One of the most popular pantomimes of all time, you’ll follow Aladdin as he seeks love and fortune. Featuring all your favourite characters, including the genie and Widow Twankey, you’re sure to have lots of fun singing along to your favourite tunes, shouting at the stage and laughing wildly at all the jokes and slapstick comedy. This is a magical carpet ride of a panto!
Aladdin comes to Carriageworks Theatre from Friday 26th November 2021 to Sunday 9th January 2022.
Santa’s Panto Breakfast
Treat your little ones with a trip to see Santa in his very own panto! Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, The Snow Queen, Santa will transport you to a special world of Christmas magic and adventure. Breakfast is served at 8am, when you can choose from a full English, cereals and Christmas treats. Then, after the show, the little ones can meet the man himself and get a Christmas present. Once it’s all over, you can head out and enjoy Stockeld Park in all its festive glory, as its included in the ticket.
Santa’s Panto Breakfast comes to Stockeld Park every weekend from Saturday 4th to Friday 24th December 2021.
The Sword in the Scone
A hilarious twist on the legendary Arthurian tale, The Sword in the Scone combines knights, swords and some really bad baking. The good King Pendragon has died with no heir, and Merlin has been tasked with finding the next king of Camelot. When Arthur pulls the sword of Avalon from an over-baked scone, Merlin knows he’s found his king. But can Arthur rescue Lady Guinevere from the evil witch and her dragon? A riotously funny pantomime that you can’t miss.
The Sword in the Scone comes to St Mary’s Church, Whitkirk Community Centre from Wednesday 8th to Saturday 11th December 2021.
Dick Whittington is an absolute panto classic. The first recorded version was in the 1800s, but the jokes never get old. You can join Dick, Fairy Bowbells and his feline friend as they seek fame and fortune in the city where the streets are paved with gold – and all the characters they encounter along the way. With incredible costumes and sets, an action-packed story and hilarious gags, Dick Whittington is the perfect way to see off panto season in style in January 2022.
Dick Whittington comes to Yeadon Town Hall from Friday 21st to Saturday 29th January 2022.
Combining comedy with a classic fairy tale, this enchanting pantomime is entertainment for all the family. All Cinderella wants to do is to go to the royal ball and find her Prince Charming. But can her dreams come true, or will her wicked step-family stop her from going at all? Follow classic panto characters, like the hilarious Buttons, the fairy godmother and beautiful Princess Cinderella, as they take you through this side-splitting traditional pantomime.
Cinderella will come to Carriageworks Theatre from Friday 21st to Saturday 29th January 2022.