With the joy of winter now giddily near, Manchester’s various theatres have released tickets for a wonderfully diverse selection of festive shows as the Christmas countdown begins in earnest.

From orchestra-backed Muppets to an adults-only Dr. Seuss spin-off, here are some of the best Christmas theatre shows you can book right now:

WHO’S HOLIDAY! | HOME | Wed 30 Nov - Sat 3 Dec | 5pm, 8pm | £10-£30

Starring legendary US drag superstar Miz Cracker, heartfelt adults-only comedy WHO’S HOLIDAY! introduces a grown-up Cindy Lou Who as she recounts the twistes trajectory of her life since meeting the Grinch.

2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester, M4 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1500
Northern Chamber Orchestra | Tatton Park | Fri 9 Dec | 3.30pm, 7pm | £10-£27

Taking place in the Grand Tenant’s Hall at Tatton Park on Fri 9 Dec for one night only, the Northern Chamber Orchestra hosts an evening of stirring festive favourites, readings and songs, sung by the Choir of St Nicholas Catholic High School, Northwich, with ticket prices including a tour, a drink and a selection of sing-a-long carols.

Tatton Park, Knutsford, WA16 6SG, Tel: 01625 374400
The Man Who Wanted To Be A Penguin | Waterside Arts | Wed 30 Nov - Sat 31 Dec | £14/£12

Running at Sale’s Waterside Arts from Wed 30 Nov to Sat 31 Dec, The Man Who Wanted To Be A Penguin brings family-friendly ‘playful energy’ and a mix of puppetry, music and song to follow the story of an extraordinary explorer whose journey to Antarctica celebrates ‘wild creativity and the joy of individuality’.

Waterside Arts, 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, Trafford, M33 7ZF, Tel: 0161 912 5616
Robin Hood: The 80s Panto | Contact | Sat 10 Dec - Sat 31 Dec | 11am, 3.30pm, 7pm | £14-£24

Returning to Contact Theatre for a second year, eight-freestyle’s production of Robin Hood runs from Sat 10 Dec to New Year’s Eve with a classic tale of ‘courage, friendship and bad puns’ set to the uniquely joyous sounds of upbeat 80s pop.

Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6JA, Tel: 0161 274 0600
The Ocean at the End of the Lane | The Lowry | Mon 12 Dec - Sun 8 Jan | 2pm, 7.30pm | From £17

Described by The Daily Telegraph as ‘The National Theatre at its very best’, The Ocean at the End of the Lane brings a ‘thrilling adventure of fantasy, myth and friendship’ to the Lowry from Mon 12 Dec. From the imagination of Neil Gaiman, this wondrously thrilling story transports audiences to a magical world where a once-forgotten childhood bursts into a new realm of endless possibilities.

Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0343 208 6000
Claus The Musical | The Lowry | Wed 14 Dec - Sun 8 Jan | 4.30pm, 7.30pm, 8pm | From £22.50

Based on the beloved children’s book The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum, the world premiere of Claus The Musical promises a show ‘as magical as Christmas itself’. Featuring spellbinding songs, enchanting sets and ‘a whole load of festive fun’, guests of all ages are invited to discover the story of Claus and how he became the original spirit of Christmas.

Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0343 208 6000
Dave Gibb's Family Jukebox | The Stoller Hall | Sun 11 Dec | 4pm | £8/£35

With plenty of audience interaction and musical influences ranging from rock to reggae, David Gibb’s Family Jukebox proves parents and children alike with a wonderfully entertaining afternoon of singing and dancing, as Gibb transports guests through his expansive imagination ‘where wolves roam the school corridors, dragons live under the bed and teddy bears dance the night away at the disco’.

The Muppets Christmas Carol Live | The Bridgewater Hall | Wed 21 Dec | 3pm | From £31.50

Celebrated as ‘the ultimate festive escapism’ by Broadway World, The Bridgewater Hall presents a one-off screening of The Muppets Christmas Carol movie, accompanied by an incredible live orchestral performance of Miles Goldman’s original score.

Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3WS, Tel: 0161 907 9000
Realms of Glory | 53Two | Wed 14 Dec - Thu 22 Dec | | 2.30pm, 7.30pm | From £2

Following their sell-out concert production of Mallory on the Mountain at the Lowry, Imaginality Productions present a new toe-tapping musical which follows the lives of spirited Mancunians during the Blitz of Christmas 1940. Trapped beneath the streets, Lizzie Horton recounts her formative years in Manchester and her whirlwind romance with her RAF pilot husband, as she and her friends navigate grief and search for hope in a heartwarming festive tale set to a golden-age wartime score.

19 Watson Street, Manchester, M3 4LP
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Tue 29 Nov 2022