Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without an outing to see the Nutcracker! There are FOUR different versions on offer in London this year, so choose yours wisely. If you don't have a sweet tooth, there's some savoury stuff to catch too.
Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!
This wildly theatrical reimagining of the Nutcracker will leave you feeling over indulged and possibly hyperactive. New Adventure’s expert cast lead you on a sweetly fantastical journey from Dr Dross’ Orphanage to a candy Kingdom designed to rot teeth all across the land. It’s the Nutcracker… but not as you know it. Full of colour and fun and it all zips along nicely (at Sadler’s Wells 6 December to 22 January, tickets from £10).
English National Ballet's The Nutcracker
Mouse king battles, ice-skating and a hot air balloon all help give a new twist to this fairytale. This classical production nods to the past whilst adding a modern theatrical flair to delight audiences old and young (at The Coliseum, 9-30 December, tickets from £10).
Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Christmas traditions don’t get better kept than at the Royal Opera House. Many have tried to capture this ballet’s original feel but only the Royal Ballet add that magic dust and the only thing more exciting than waking up to presents on Christmas morning is stepping into that beautiful auditorium with its plush seats and hushed grandeur for your first proper ballet (at the Royal Opera House, 3 December to 18 January, tickets from £5).
Birmingham Royal Ballet's The Nutcracker
Having proved itself a popular venue for ballet, The O2 hosts a Nutcracker with sleb introduction by wee Joe McElderry. BRB were on fine form earlier in the year and this big show should have that seasonal wow factor (at The O2, 27 to 30 December, tickets from £12).
If you’ve cracked one too many a nut in your time but still fancy a fairytale, you’re in luck! The Sleeping Beauty is also on at the Royal Opera House throughout December. And The Snowman is in residence at the Peacock Theatre until 8 January, tickets from £12. For kids (and big kids alike) Boing brings all the excitement of waiting for Santa to the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells from 13-31 December, tickets £12.
If you're more bah humbug than sugared almond, Choreographer extraordinaire, Wayne McGregor has taken a break from working with dancers at the Royal Ballet to create UNDANCE on his own company. Random Dance will be performing to music by Mark-Anthony Turnage (of Anna Nicole fame), and on a set designed by Turner prizewinner Mark Wallinger – with such a star studded creative team this is a show not to be missed. (At Sadler’s Well, 1-3 December, tickets from £10)
But we also think you should see Sydney Dance Company at the Southbank Centre as choreographic genius Rafael Bonachela skipped this town to go down under and reinvent them and this is their first appearance in London since (at Queen Elizabeth Hall, 1-3 December, tickets from £15).
And you can get funky with a little hip hop at Open Art Surgery, where Jonzi D (all time hip hop guru) will be putting the UK’s freshest talent through their paces (at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells, 10 December, tickets £5).
And there's always Strictly on the telly...