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 pantos are opening next week!!!!
What more could you ask for?! Having moved around this area 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 for our Christmas local theatre visit. What impacts your decision?
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 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.
TUNBRIDGE WELLS: THE SNOW QUEEN – The Trinity Theatre
13 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 auditioned from the local area – not just as chorus but as main parts if the play dictates. We love it there. 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!
SEVENOAKS: ALADDIN – The Stag Theatre
6 Dec – 5 Jan. Usually a fairly large production with some celebrities. Parking can be tricky. Allow plenty of time.
TUNBRIDGE WELLS: PETER PAN – The Assembly Hall Theatre
7 Dec – 5 Jan. 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. CalverleyIce Skating There are a variety of places to park with easy access to the theatre but it does get busy pre show around Christmas time.
CRAWLEY – DICK WHITTINGTON – The Hawth
6 Dec – 5 Jan. A large theatre but with lots of on site parking the Hawth is a modern, but thriving venue near Crawley. With a few celebrities in the cast this is bound to be a good afternoon out.
The Rose Theatre – THE SNOW QUEEN – Kingston
6 Dec – 5 Jan. 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 who live Berkshire way. 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. 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. Her Christmas photographs for 2019 are taking place outdoors on location.
Find out more about her children and family photography here.
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