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South West

The Snow Queen at Bristol Old Vic. Photo by Mark Douet

The Snow Queen at Bristol Old Vic. Photo by Mark Douet

South West
BATH The egg at Theatre Royal Bath, Saw Close, Bath BA1 1ET. 01225 448844; www.theatreroyal.org.uk Robin Hood 8 Dec-15 Jan. Age: 5+ Written and directed by Music and Lyrics by Thomas Johnson. Designed by Hannah Wolfe. Action packed, fast paced and fantastically funny this year’s egg Christmas show brings to life the legend of England’s best-loved outlaw in a thrilling adventure for all times and all ages. As Robin Hood, with a tongue as sharp as his sword, fights for justice, outwits the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and woos Maid Marian. Expect fiendish escapes, spectacular swashbuckling and sword fights galore-all performed by a fabulously versatile cast of four Merry men and a female ska band. The award winning writer and Director Greg Banks has established an international reputation for his work for young audiences and families. It has been seen from Seattle to Singapore via Moscow and The Arctic Circle, on Broadway and in the West End. His numerous plays include Why The Whales Came, Huck Finn, Pinocchio and Into the West.

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BATH Theatre Royal Bath, Saw Close, Bath BA1 1ET. 01225 448844; www.theatreroyal.org.uk Aladdin Thu Dec 8- Sun Jan 8. Age: 5+. Traditional pantomime with Bill Ward, Mark Rhodes, Jon Monie, Nick Wilton, Gemma Naylor, Tom Whalley, Loula Geater, and The Dorothy Coleborn School of Dance. Director: Michael Gattrell, Choreographer: Danielle Drayton, Musical Director: Oliver Rew.

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BRISTOL Hippodrome, 10 Saint Augustine’s Parade, Bristol BS1 4UZ; 0844 871 3012; http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome/ Cinderella Sat 10 DEC 2016 – Sun 08 JAN 2017. Age 6+ This Christmas, the most magical pantomime of all Cinderella come to Bristol – and it’s going to be even bigger and more spectacular than ever as national icons Torvill & Dean take to the stage as the Fairy Godparents. Britain’s most beloved sporting heroes bring their unique talents to The Bristol Hippodrome for the first time ever and will be wowing audiences with their amazing routines. The classic rags to riches tale Cinderella will be transformed into a breath-taking family extravaganza with glittering sets, gorgeous costumes, big song and dance numbers, real Shetland ponies and jaw-dropping skating sequences. So get your skates on and book your tickets now for the best panto in town!.

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BRISTOL Redgrave Theatre, Percival Road, Bristol BS8 3LE; 0117 973 3955; http://redgravetheatre.com JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS Sat 4 Feb & Sat 11 Feb 2017 Age: 5+ • 10am; £8 •Written & Directed by Toby Hulse. Meet Jason and the Argonauts – the original superheroes! A refugee forced out of his own land, Jason sets out on an epic quest across the known universe to find the magical Golden Fleece that will prove his identity, and allow him to find a home. Around him, Jason assembles the ultimate crew of misfits and outcasts – Heracles, the strongest man in the world, doomed to perpetual wandering; Zetes, part-man part-god, possessed with the power of flight; Atalanta, warrior princess, raised by wild bears; Orpheus, the legendary musician, driven mad by grief. His journey brings him face-to-face with terrifying dangers – the Harpies, the giant Amycus, an army of skeletons – before having to face the ultimate peril… himself. A bold theatrical style, clear, accessible storytelling, and live music bring these Ancient Greek legends vividly to life for a new generation.

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BRISTOL Bristol Old Vic Theatre, King Street, Bristol BS1 4ED England. 0117 987 7877; www.bristololdvic.org.uk; tickets@bristololdvic.org.uk Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain 2 Dec 2016 – 8 Jan 2017. Ages 0-7. The Lantern at Colston Hall. 10.30am, 1.30pm (Tue-Fri during term time). 11.30am, 3pm (Tue-Fri during hols & selected weekends) £13.50/7.50 conc. (plus booking fee). Under 2s go free. Tim is a child who knows his backstays from his whipstaffs, who can name every vessel that passes his seaside home, and is well versed in the very best sea shanties. There is only one problem; Tim is much too young to be a sailor! Stowing away aboard a steam ship, he meets the Brave Sea Captain and embarks upon the biggest adventure of his life.

THE SNOW QUEEN 2 Dec 2016 – 15 Jan 2017. Ages 5+. Come on an epic adventure this Christmas with Bristol Old Vic’s enchanting new version of Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless story The Snow Queen. Best friends Gerda and Kai are inseparable, growing up in their close-knit village surrounded by laughter and song. Their world is turned upside down when children start disappearing, and the legend of the strangely beautiful Snow Queen becomes all too real. When Kai too is stolen away, Gerda sets off on an ambitious and dangerous journey to save her best friend. On her way, a hodgepodge of mysterious characters – including a magpie, a garden of colourful flowers and a trusty reindeer – help her discover her true strength. Featuring cracking live music and original songs, this electrifying coming-of-age tale directed by Lee Lyford.

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BRISTOL The Tobacco Factory, Raleigh Rd, Bristol BS3 1TF; 0117 902 0344; www.tobaccofactorytheatres.com CINDERELLA: A FAIRY TALE 2 Dec-22 Jan. Age 6+ Director Sally Cookson. Revival Director Chris Pirie. Composer Benji Bower. Dramaturg Adam Peck. Designer Katie Sykes Lighting Designer Matt Graham. Puppetry Consultant Chris Pirie. Choreographer Joêl Daniel. Devised by the Company. Cast: Ella Isabella Marshall; Prince Joey Hickman; Step Mother Craig Edwards; Step Sister Lucy Tuck; Step Brother Dorian Simpson; Musicians Brian Hargreaves and Alex Heane. Since our fabulous production Cinderella: A Fairytale premiered here in 2011, we’ve performed it at three other venues for Christmas, it has been seen by 60,000 people, been nominated for an Olivier Award and won an Off West End Award. We’re absolutely delighted to bring it back to Bristol this Christmas. When Ella’s mother dies she is brought up by her devoted and loving father who teaches her the names and calls of the woodland birds that surround their home. But when her father marries again, Ella’s peaceful life is turned upside down by a host of new and unpleasant relations. It appears her only allies are the feathered friends who roost in the trees, but they are no ordinary birds… With their original and absorbing visual style, crystal-clear storytelling, original live music and pitch-perfect ensemble acting, the dream team from Tobacco Factory Theatres and Travelling Light with whom we created 101 Dalmatians and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, bring this classic tale of fortunes reversed, startlingly and imaginatively to life.

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BRISTOL The Wardrobe Theatre, 25 West Street, Old Market, Bristol BS2 ODF; 0117 9020344; www.thewardrobetheatre.com MISTLETOES & WHINEY COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS. Runs to Sunday, January 8, 2017. 11am and 2pm. £5. Under 3 go free. Age: 3-8 A mischievously fun new festive show for ages 3-8 years and their families – an exciting co-production between Open Attic Company (Much Ado About Puffin) and The Wardrobe Theatre (The Star Seekers) Mistletoes and Whiney are two of Christmas’ unseen helpers, making the magic happen to ensure everything is ready for the BIG DAY! Mistletoes loves December more than anything, but this year his cantankerous chum, Whiney, is fixed on making Christmas different… REALLY different!! But just how far will Whiney dare to go to spice up her Christmas? And how long can Mistletoes play along before he is faced with the prospect of having to save Christmas Day itself?! After the mesmerizing Much Ado About Puffin, Open Attic Company are delighted to present a stunning new family show this Christmas. Mistletoes & Whiney Countdown To Christmas is a co-production with The Wardrobe Theatre, their latest family show after the phenomenally popular The Star Seekers (a co-production with The Wardrobe Ensemble). Together they will make this a Christmas to remember…!

THE STAR SEEKERS 15-20 February Age: 3-8 • 11am and 2pm daily. £7, unders 3s free. • Join star seekers Alph, Betty and Gammo on a journey through space where you take the steering wheel. Inspired by our childhood wonder of the universe, The Wardrobe Ensemble and The Wardrobe Theatre have created a unique theatrical experience for children. The Star Seekers is an interactive show that explores the limitless majesty of galaxies, the solar system, shooting stars and planets through songs, silliness and anti-gravity antics. We need Bristol’s Star Seekers to help us complete our mission and answer one of the greatest unanswered questions of the universe: What do astronauts really have in their packed lunch boxes?! After the success of previous family shows Eliza & The Wild Swans and Edgar & The Land Of Lost, as well as international hit productions Riot, 33, 1972: The Future of Sex and Eloise & The Curse of The Golden Whisk, The Wardrobe Ensemble return with their popular show for young audiences, in collaboration with The Wardrobe Theatre.

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CHELTENHAM Bacon Theatre, Hatherley Road, Cheltenham, GL51 6RP Tel: 01242 250002 website www.bacontheatre.co.uk SLEEPING BEAUTY 18-22 Jan 2017. Age: 6+ Traditional pantomime. This classic tale of the Sleeping Princess will be next year’s traditional family Pantomime. Tickets also available from 01242 224144 or contact info@showcaseonline.co.uk Promenade Productions is an amateur dramatic society based in Cheltenham, has been together for 29 years producing an annual musical and pantomime and also performing concerts catering for young and old alike and with the help of our Young Promenaders are passing on skills, both on stage and backstage.

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CHELTENHAM Everyman Theatre, Regent Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1HQ Tel: 01242 236700 website www.everymantheatre.org.uk JACK AND THE BEANSTALK RUNS TO jAN 8. Age: 6+ DTweedy The Clown and William Elliott as Dame Trott return for the Everyman’s most gigantic pantomime yet. Don’t miss Jack’s adventures in Cloud Cuckoo Land, packed with slapstick, laughs, a giant and even a comedy cow. There will be an audio described performance and touch tour for the performance on Wednesday 4th January @ 2.00pm. There will be a relaxed performance on Thursday 5th January @ 10am. To book tickets for the relaxed performance please call 01242 695574. There will be a sign language interpreted performance on Saturday 7th January @ 2pm.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK Monday 23rd – Saturday 28th January 2017 Age 11+ • Tickets: £15 – £30 • The spine-chilling adaptation of Susan Hill’s acclaimed ghost story, THE WOMAN IN BLACK returns to the Everyman Theatre from January 23rd 2017. Stephen Mallatratt’s ingenious stage adaptation brings this tense story dramatically alive and this gripping production, directed by Everyman Board member Robin Herford, is a brilliantly successful study in atmosphere, illusion and controlled horror. A lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over him and his family by the spectre of a woman in black, engages a sceptical young actor to help him tell his terrifying story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul. It all begins innocently enough, but then, as they reach further into his darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds…. Editor: this has been a staple for English students in senior school to see as it introduces adult theatre, teenagers have a morbid obcession with death and ghosts and it is very frightening once the mass hysteria takes hold in the confines of a theatre. Not for the easily scared.

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EXETER Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter, Devon EX4 4QB; 01392 493 493; http://exeternorthcott.co.uk/ PETER PAN Fri 2 December 2016 – Sun 1 January 2017 Age 5+ Directed by Paul Jepson. Production Design by Ellan Parry. Escape to Neverland this Christmas with Exeter Northcott Theatre and the boy who never grew up… Join Wendy, John and Michael as they soar into the night sky with Peter, to a magical land of mermaids and fairy dust, where children can fly and all sorts of exciting adventures happen every day. But beware – danger is just around the corner. Captain Hook and the pirates are looking for revenge and Peter Pan is top of their list! For over a hundred years children (and adults) have drifted off to sleep dreaming of Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, fairy dust, crocodiles and of course the villainous Captain Hook. Featuring death defying feats of flying and a generous sprinkling of fairy dust, let your imagination soar in this magical new stage adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic story – the perfect festive treat for all the family. See our review.

ANIMAL FARM Wed 18-Sat 21 Jan. Age 10+ • 7.30pm Tickets: A & B £14 C & D £12. Concs: £8 (registered disabled, students, 60+) Schools: £5 each for groups 15+, 1 teacher free with every 15 students. Groups 10+ get 11th ticket FREE. 10yrs+ EXETER UNIVERSITY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS Animal Farm. Adapted by Peter Hall. ‘All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.’ Animal Farm – the history of a revolution that went wrong – is George Orwell’s brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power. A GCSE student reads the classic novel and immediately becomes absorbed by the action of the animal rebellion. As the story ignites around him, he finds the ideals of the uprising are being corrupted and forgotten. This visually engaging adaptation, underscored by live original music and incorporating physical theatre and puppetry, will explore how idealistic political views can easily be exploited and hijacked by propaganda. Can anyone ever truly be equal? www.eutco.org.uk

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EXETER Cygnet Theatre Friars Gate Exeter EX2 4AZ info@cygnettheatre.co.uk www.cygnettheatre.co.uk; 01392 277189 The Ghosts of Mr Dickens 10 Jan. Age 8+ 7.30pm. Untold Theatre by Avril Silk & Martin Levinson. The year is 1867 and, aboard the SS Cuba, Charles Dickens set sail for his final tour of America. During his journey, the renowned author becomes plagued with guilt-ridden visions and visitors from the spirit world. Figures from his life appear alongside characters from his stories. These spirits return to guide (and taunt) him. As reality blurs into fiction, the author is compelled to revisit the sins of his past. But this is no tale of redemption. This production combines ensemble performance and striking digital projections to explore the final years of Charles Dickens..

Twelfth Night (or What You Will) 17 February 2017 Age 11+ Ticket Price: £8.50 7.30pm. • Sun & Moon Theatre ‘In delay there lies no plenty … youth’s a stuff will not endure’ Christmas 1916. Set over 100 years ago, Sun & Moon Theatre’s Twelfth Night (or What You Will) takes place during the First World War. While war wages on, those back at home in Illyria try to forget, seeking distraction through frivolity, solace, and companionship. When refugee twins from Messaline, Viola and Sebastian, are shipwrecked and separated, they shake up this grief-stricken community. Believing her brother to be dead, Viola disguises herself as a young man, gaining employment in the household of Orsino, a wounded soldier who craves the affection of the recently bereaved Olivia. Conscious of life’s ephemerality, Shakespeare’s characters seize the day, resulting in mistaken identity, folly and love. A delightful yet melancholic comedy, Twelfth Night (or What You Will) is a vibrant, intimate ensemble production enriched with music, passion and wit.

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EXETER Pheonix Arts Centre, Gandy St, Exeter EX4 3LS. Phone: 01392 6670809 https://www.exeterphoenix.org.uk Ernie and the Sea of Ice 18 Dec-3 Jan. Age 6+ 7.30pm. Following the rip-roaring success of The King With Donkey’s Ears, Quirk Theatre and Exeter Phoenix present their fourteenth annual Christmas show, bringing original music and innovative and highly entertaining live theatre to nearly four thousand people at Christmas time. Join us, 100 years after Ernest Shackleton’s famous expedition, and follow in the great man’s footsteps with a wonderfully silly and exceptionally inventive tale for all the family. Setting off on the good ship Endurance with a brave crew, Ernie’s dream comes true – an adventure across the ice to the frozen world of Antarctica. Battling through huge seas and snow storms until…CRACK! The ship gets stuck in the ice. An unbelievable tale of derring-do, pure determination, penguins and Great British spirit!

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Gloucester Guildhall, 23 Eastgate St, Gloucester GL1 1NS Tel: 01452 503050 A CHRISTMAS CAROL Tue 17-Sat 21 Jan 2017. Age: 7+ • Tickets just £11.50 (£10 concs) available from the Everyman Theatre Box Office on 01242 572573. Tickets: £11.50 (£10.50 concs). Evenings: 7.45pm, Matinees 2pm. http://www.everymantheatre.org.uk/m-shows/a-christmas-carol/ • After a very successful sell-out and critically acclaimed run in the Cheltenham Everyman Studio Theatre, A Christmas Carol moves to Gloucester Guildhall next month for a short run. So if you missed this charming show here – catch it in Gloucester. Presented by Red Dog Theatre Company with the Everyman Theatre. Ebenezer Scrooge has no time for his fellow creatures – no time for anything except making a profit. Most of all he has no time for Christmas. Alone, bitter and hard as flint, he goes home to his chilly rooms while the world celebrates the season of goodwill. That night, Scrooge is taken on a ghostly journey that will turn his life upside down and change him forever. But has redemption come too late? What better way to celebrate the festive season than with this sparkling and heart-warming retelling of Dickens’ beloved tale.

THE GREAT BEAR OF THE NORTH Tuesday 17th – Saturday 21st January 2017 Age: 3-7 • After a very successful sell-out and critically acclaimed run in the Cheltenham Everyman Studio Theatre, The Great Bear of the North moves to Gloucester Guildhall. Tickets just £6.50 available from the Everyman Theatre Box Office on 01242 572573. Presented by Red Dog Theatre Company with the Everyman Theatre and sponsored by Cheltenham College Preparatory School • When Freya stumbles upon a lost bear cub in the snow, she finds a new friend – but Loki soon grows boo big to live in Freya’s little cottage… So the pair set off on an adventure taking them to the far North in search of Loki’s true home. But Christmas is coming, the nights are getting colder and darker and there are greedy trolls bent on mischief.

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