2023 – Christmas panto and Christmas theatre – West Sussex, Kent and Surrey.
Christmas is coming! Seasonal outfits are currently bursting out of the shops, local towns are having their Christmas shop open evenings, the nights draw in at 2 pm and the Christmas pantomimes are opening in a week or two!!!!
What more could you ask for?! Having moved around these counties quite a bit recently I have had a chance to sample most of the various local theatres and we don’t always choose our most local at any time for our Christmas local theatre visit. What impacts your decision?
Check out my little compilation below of some of the most gorgeous Christmas theatre in the local area.
The theatre itself is important to me and places like The Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells feel Christmassy even in the summer!! My children’s ages have played a big part over the years with the more traditional Christmas pantomime giving way to wintery stories as they got older.
Do you look for the stars you know who are featuring or chase down a different story or pantomime every year? Is big staging, costume and set important to your family or do your prefer the more intimate venues where you are closer to the stage?
This blog is to hopefully encourage you to look outside your most local theatre and choose the production that you’re most likely to enjoy! Lots of factors to consider! Here is my round up with some handy hints.
Christmas Pantomimes – Tunbridge Wells, Kent
TUNBRIDGE WELLS: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – The Assembly Hall Theatre
9 Dec 2023- 5 Jan 2024 A very large theatre so not very intimate but some celebrities and a modern touch to the panto. If you are visiting Tunbridge Wells for the first time, why don’t you make a day of it and go ice skating as well at SKATE TUNBRIDGE WELLS at Calverley Park and the try the new SKATE TUNBRIDGE WELLS CHRISTMAS WHEEL .
There are a variety of places to park with easy access to the theatre, but it does get busy pre-show around Christmas time so may be wise to book restaurants ahead.
9 Dec – 31 Dec. The Trinity Theatre has always been one of our favourites to visit all year round and especially at Christmas. Even when we may have booked one of the larger traditional pantos we still booked to come here and have watched everything at Christmas from The Secret Garden to Wind in the Willows. Usually not a celebrity cast at all but nevertheless some fantastic performers and the children are often auditioned from the local area – not just as chorus but as main parts if the play dictates. We love it there. This year they have chosen to go more traditional panto so I will be interested to see what people think.
The Trinity Parking is difficult so use the town carparks in Tunbridge Wells and give yourselves extra time or book a cab if you are local so you can enjoy a mulled wine!
Christmas pantomimes – Sevenoaks, Kent
SEVENOAKS: Jack and the Beanstalk – The Stag Theatre
8 Dec – 31 Dec. Usually a fairly large production with some celebrities – this year Boyzone’s Shane Lynch features as Abanazar. Parking can be tricky. Allow plenty of time.
Christmas Pantomime – East Grinstead – West Sussex
EAST GRINSTEAD – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Chequer Mead Theatre
Showing 9th December 23 to 1 January 24 this relatively long season showcases some local favourites. With parking directly opposite and a some lovely children friendly restaurants within walking distance of the high street that dates back to around 1200 it really is the perfect backdrop for a Christmas treat!
Christmas pantomime – Crawley – West Sussex
CRAWLEY – A Christmas Carol – The Hawth
20 Dec – 24. A large theatre but with lots of on site parking the Hawth is a modern, but thriving venue near Crawley. Well know carols and some local cast this is a sure to be a special Christmassy experience – but watch out for the limited dates of showing! Don’t miss out.
Kingston Christmas pantomimes
The Rose Theatre – PETER PAN – Kingston
1 Dec – 7 Jan.
The longest running out of the theatres mentioned and the only one continuing in to Jan. This is a new version of Peter Pan and guaranteed to be beautiful.
Not far round the M25 from our neck of the woods is the very lovely Rose Theatre. This is definitely worth a visit and we have used it as an in between meeting place with family at Christmas. The stage is in the round and the seats are bench format but ticketed. There is a chance to sit very close to the stage and there is something very special about the intimacy of the Christmas productions in this theatre. Similar types of performers as we see in the Trinity with their Youth Company adding to the cast.
Again not really your traditional panto, but we have been taking the kids into their early teens. Kingston is right on the Thames of course and is very pretty so great places to eat afterwards. Again give yourself plenty of time as parking is busy and needs a walk.
Nic is an award winning portrait photographer covering Sussex, Kent and Surrey. She is a family, children and dog photographer near East Grinstead.
My Christmas mini sessions for this year have now come to a close but please do drop me an email on my contact form if you’d like to be notified when they are launched for booking next year. They always disappear super fast. In the meantime my beautiful Gift Vouchers for my specialist dog photography and family photoshoots make beautiful Christmas Gifts.
Find out more about my children and family photography here.
I look forward to meeting you! For all bookings please drop me a line on my Contact Form.