With so much going on at Christmas at Reigate Dance Centre, it's nice to be able to see a professional show over the Christmas period. Whether you go as a family, to be inspired by different telling's of traditional stories or simply to be entertained, there is something for everyone.
For younger children, the Nutcracker is always a favourite, and the English National Ballet are performing this work at the Coliseum (nearest tube Leicester Square) from the 13th December to 6th January. Or, if you prefer a different staging in the round, the Birmingham Royal Ballet have an adapted version at the Royal Albert Hall.
In our area, Ballet Theatre Uk are also performing at the Harlequin in Redhill on November 18th if you prefer something close to home, or Swan Lake at the Hawth on November 30th, and the Nutcracker is also on at the Hawth on 21st December.
For perhaps the slightly older child, Matthew Bourne's different take on Cinderella is a dramatic re-working of this classic tale set during the Blitz. As usual, Bourne's unique styling and choreography may appeal to ballet and contemporary pupils alike.
ALTERNATIVES TO BALLET
If you prefer something lighter, and panto is not on your list, then Nativity the Musical may be an option. Based on the popular comedy film. When the school teacher promises his children that a Hollywood producer is coming to watch their nativity, things don't quite go according to plan. This show is on at the Apollo in Hammersmith.
For a family Christmas Show, Snow White and Rose Red is on at the Battersea Arts Centre, based on 2 sisters of complete opposite characters to each other. The show is full or rock songs, jokes, puppetry and a girl power message - a good alternative to a traditional panto and maybe worth a look.
If you prefer something traditional, and dad might not be up to a full ballet, Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol is being adapted at the Old Vic, Southwark, starring Rhys Ifans. The show is recommended for children of ages 11-12 and upwards.
A little closer to home, there is a contemporary dance extravaganza at the Hawth - Joss Arnott triple bill. Definitely different, and an alternative to family shows - perhaps geared to our more mature/older pupils.
Our own Lucy Genge is performing alongside Stephen Mulhern in Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley on December 8th - 7th January if you like traditional pantos, and we wish her well.
Finally, the National Theatre have managed to get the rights to produce Disney's Pinocchio which includes all the best loved songs including 'When you wish upon a Star'. The National have a long tradition of producing excellent adaptations, and this should prove no exception. This can be seen over Christmas and well into the New Year at the South Bank.
Whatever your fancy, this is a small pick of the great shows on offer. It's always a good idea to see professional performers at work as it puts all their weekly training into context (as well as hopefully enjoying the whole experience)!
We hope you have a good Xmas, and let us know what the shows were like - we would love to hear your feedback