Christmas panto highlights

Caroline Cassidy

Tis the season to be jolly (oh yes it is!) and you can't get much jollier than the traditional trip to the pantomime. Up and down the country, kids and adults alike will be yelling, 'He's behind you!' for all they're worth, so why not join them at one of this year's top class pantos?

Panto actors on stage
Panto actors on stage

Mother Goose - Glasgow
You can always be sure of a good show at Glasgow's King's Theatre, and this year will be no exception. Taking to the stage for an action-packed production of Mother Goose will be Scottish comedians Allan Stewart and Andy Gray, along with Grant Stott playing Demon Vanity. Amazing costumes and laughs aplenty are promised, along with a few surprises.
Runs from Saturday 1 December 2012 to Sunday 20 January 2013.

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Jack and the Beanstalk - Southampton
You'll need to book early to get a seat at Southampton's star-studded family spectacular this year, because The Mayflower's production of Jack and the Beanstalk boasts an all-star cast featuring West End star Lee Mead as Jack, British acting star Nigel Havers as Fleshcreep, and none other than Julian Clary as the Spirit of the Beans. And if that's not enough to tempt you, the show promises amazing 3D special effects for a journey up the beanstalk the kids will never forget.
Runs from Saturday 22 December 2012 to Saturday 19 January 2013.

Aladdin: A Wish Come True - The Theatre at the O2, London
A firm family favourite, Aladdin and his magic lamp take to the stage of the custom-built 2,000-seater theatre within London's 02, and this unique setting promises a spectacular show, not least because Paul O'Grady has agreed to bring Lily Savage back as Widow Twankey. It's a limited run though, so act fast if you want to get in on the action.
Runs from Friday 7 December 2012 to Saturday 5 January 2013.
Cinderella - Liverpool
For big-budget family entertainment, you'll find the Liverpool Empire's Christmas panto hard to beat. Taking on the role of poor Cinderella this year is native Scouser and former Atomic Kitten Liz McClarnon, while Loose Women star Coleen Nolan will add a touch of magic as the Fairy Godmother. And there'll be plenty of laughs thanks to the Ugly Sisters, played by Radio City's Pete Price and actress and comedienne Pauline Daniels.
Runs from Friday 14 December 2012 until Sunday 6 January 2013.

Peter Pan - Manchester
The Manchester Opera House welcomes none other than Baywatch superstar David Hasselhoff to the fray for the swashbuckling adventures of Peter Pan. Reprising his role as Captain Hook for the third time, the Knightrider star has clearly caught panto fever... and this year's show promises to be 'Hoff the Hook'.
Runs from Saturday 8 December 2012 to Sunday 13 January 2013.