HEX, ORLANDO and MANDELA Feature in our Top Ten Shows for December

London is spoilt for choice with some amazing shows this month

By: Dec. 01, 2022
HEX, ORLANDO and MANDELA Feature in our Top Ten Shows for December
Emma Corrin in rehearsal
Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

From Emma Corrin's return to the stage, a Disney success coming to London for the first time and some suitably festive treats, December brings a wealth of fantastic shows to London.

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1. Orlando, Garrick Theatre

In the court of Queen Elizabeth I, the young nobleman Orlando begins his search for identity as he embarks on one of the greatest adventures in all of literature. Travelling through time and place he is catapulted into the court of King James, falls in love with a Russian princess, witnesses London freeze over and wakes up under the blazing sun of Constantinople transformed into a young woman.

Michael Grandage directs Emma Corrin in Neil Bartlett's joyous new adaptation of Virginia Woolf's modern masterpiece - Orlando. This eagerly-awaited show is Woolf's time-travelling tale of gender fluidity, love, courage and personal recognition that opens on 5 December.

Orlando is at Garrick Theatre until 25 February 2023. Book tickets here.

2. Hex, National Theatre

After Covid so cruelly forced last year's cancellation of Hex, this December sees the return of The National Theatre's festive show. Rufus Norris directs this vividly original retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale with music by Jim Fortune and lyrics by Rufus Norris.

Deep in the wood, a lonely fairy longs for someone to bless. When she is summoned to the palace to help the princess sleep, her dream turns into a nightmare and her blessing becomes a curse. Soon, she is plunged into a frantic, hundred-year quest to somehow make everything right.

Hex is at The National Theatre until 14 January 2023. Book tickets here.

3. London Community Gospel Choir at Christmas, Royal Albert Hall

There are some brilliant shows and concerts to choose from at the Royal Albert Hall this December, but the 40th anniversary show from the London Community Gospel Choir at Christmas will be very special. After a dazzling concert in 2021, the choir returns for the 2022 Christmas season with an exciting festive show featuring the gospel classics you love, with musical accompaniment from Heritage Orchestra and the powerhouse London Community Gospel Choir band. You won't want to miss this night of soulful harmonies and festive cheer.

London Community Gospel Choir at Christmas is at the Royal Albert Hall on 20 December. Book tickets here.

4. Mandela, Young Vic Theatre

This new musical production is presented in partnership with Nandi Mandela, Luvuyo Madasa and the Mandela family. It tells the extraordinary story of Nelson Mandela, a man who changed the course of modern history - the sacrifices he made as a husband and father, and the global movement that inspired him and his comrades to keep fighting.

Mandela is at Young Vic Theatre until 4 February. Book tickets here.

HEX, ORLANDO and MANDELA Feature in our Top Ten Shows for December 5. Newsies, Troubadour Wembley Park

Newsies opened on Broadway in 2012 and was slated to play only 100 performances but went on to play over 1,000 performances before touring and winning two Tony Awards®, including Best Original Score.

Now for the first time, audiences in the UK have a chance see an innovative and brand new immersive production at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. Theatregoers will be thrust right inside the action as the newsies dance, sing, jump and fly around the streets of a booming 19th century New York City.

Newsies is at the Troubadour Wembley Park until 19 February. Book tickets here.

6. Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, Southbank Centre

With a combination of Dickens' classic characters and Dolly Parton's one-of-a-kind songwriting and storytelling expertise, Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol looks set to be a joyful Christmas event.

Set during the 1930s in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee, this production imagines Ebenezer Scrooge as the owner of a mining company town, where his callous greed blinds him to the joys and gifts of the season. As a Christmas Eve snowstorm approaches, Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who compel him to see life anew and discover that love is the greatest and most precious gift we have.

Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol is at the Southbank Centre until 8 January 2023. Book tickets here.

7. Nutcracker, London Coliseum

For many, it wouldn't be Christmas without Nutcracker. Wayne Eagling's Nutcracker brings over 100 of English National Ballet's dancers and musicians together with exquisite dancing, beautiful sets and Tchaikovsky's iconic score.

On a sparkling Christmas Eve in a frost-dusted Edwardian London, Clara receives an enchanted Nutcracker as a present. Together, they discover a magical world where she battles with the Mouse King and takes a hot air balloon ride across London to the glistening Land of Snow where a puppet theatre comes to life with dancers from around the world.

Nutcracker is at the London Coliseum from 15 December - 8 January 2023. Book tickets here.

HEX, ORLANDO and MANDELA Feature in our Top Ten Shows for December
Photo Credit: Julia Fullerton-Batten

8. A Streetcar Named Desire, Almeida Theatre

When Blanche unexpectedly visits her estranged sister Stella, she brings with her a past that will threaten their future. As Stella's husband Stanley stalks closer to the truth, Blanche's fragile world begins to fracture. Reality and illusion collide and a violent conflict changes their lives forever.

Lydia Wilson returns to the Almeida to play Blanche, with the BAFTA-winning Paul Mescal as Stanley, and Anjana Vasan as Stella. Tickets are almost sold out, so grab yours quickly.

A Streetcar Named Desire, Almeida Theatre from 12 December - 4 February 2023. Book tickets here.

9. A Christmas Carol, Middle Temple Hall

There may be many versions of A Christmas Carol being staged every year, but few are as atmospheric at this one by Antic Disposition. Step off the bustle of Fleet Street and journey through cobbled alleyways and gas-lit courtyards to arrive at the hidden historical gem of Middle Temple Hall.

First staged in 2012 and firmly established as one of London's most magical Christmas treats, this festive celebration combines the ghostly tale of Ebenezer Scrooge with original songs inspired by the carols of a traditional Victorian Christmas.

Antic Disposition's A Christmas Carol is at Middle Temple Hall from 20-29 December. Book tickets here.

10. Watch On The Rhine, Donmar Warehouse

Perfect as an antidote to the panto season, Watch On The Rhine is Lillian Hellman's political thriller, given a timely revival by director Ellen McDougall. Starring Olivier Award winner Patricia Hodge, we meet widow Fanny Farrelly in 1940, who anxiously awaits the return of her daughter and her German husband, fleeing Europe with their children.

As night falls, dark secrets emerge and this American sanctuary becomes even more dangerous than what they left behind.

Watch On The Rhine is at The Donmar Warehouse 16 December - 4 January. Book tickets here.