From classic wintry tales in Bolton to new Antarctic odysseys in Sale, there is a vast array of interactive musical magic on show across Greater Manchester throughout Christmas.

Parents, children and  call-and-response fanatics unite: here are the best pantomimes and musicals around Manchester during the festive season.

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
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
The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan | Opera House Manchester | Sat 10 Dec - Sat 31 Dec | 1pm, 2.30pm, 8pm, | From £13

Led by comedic superstar Jason Manford as Captain Hook alongside Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ben Nickless as Smee, The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan transports families on a swashbuckling journey to Neverland in a cavalcade of ‘amazing special effects, stunning sets, beautiful costumes and barrel-loads of laughter.’

3 Quay St, Manchester M3 3HP, Tel: 0333 009 5399
Cinderella | Stockport Plaza | Thu 8 Dec - Thu 8 Jan | 10.30am, 2pm, 7.30pm | From £17.05

Starring Eastenders’ Cheryl Fergison and The Royle Family’s Phil Mealey, Cinderella runs at Stockport’s art deco jewel for a month as ‘The North West’s Premier Family Pantomime’, with a full supporting cast and immersive set design.

Mersey Square, Stockport, Cheshire, SK1 1SP, Tel: 0161 477 7779
A Christmas Carol | Bolton Octagon | Thu 17 Nov - Sat 14 Jan | 10.15am, 2.15pm, 7pm | From £15

A brand new stage adaptation from the writers of the Octagon’s smash hit production of Treasure Island, this joyous interpretation of A Christmas Carol follows the classic tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge and his festive redemption with ‘toe-tapping live music and a good splash of magic.’

Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft S, Bolton BL1 1SB, Tel: 01204 520661
Jack and the Beanstalk | Salford Arts Theatre | Fri 2 Dec - Sat 31 Dec | 11am, 2pm, 7pm | From £8

Billed as ‘a traditional pantomime’, Harry Luty’s Jack and the Beanstalk runs throughout December at Salford Arts Theatre in a series of intimate, engaging shows ideal for kids who prefer their musical magic up close.

Kemsing Walk, Off Tunbridge Sq, Liverpool St., Salford M5 4BS, Tel: 0161 925 0111
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Thu 15 Dec 2022