Panto season is about to burst onto the stage (Oh no it isn’t… no wait, it really is!).

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a trip to the Panto or festive performance. There are classic pantos, new performances, theatre for the kids and shows for the big kids at popular venues across the North East throughout the festive season. Though many of you are creatures of tradition and habit, returning year on year to your favourite places – here is a list to help those of you who are still undecided, find the perfect panto for 2018…

Tyne Theatre and Opera House: Cinderella

Cinderella at Tyne Theatre and Opera House

Glad rags at the ready as you shall go to the Ball thanks to Tyne Theatre and Opera House this winter. Cinderella is brought to you by Enchanted Entertainment whose charming performance of the much-loved fairy tale classic will leave you feeling warm and festive.

Fri 7 – Sun 30 December 2018. Tickets from £14

Sunderland Empire: Peter Pan

Peter Pan at Sunderland Empire

You’re never shout of laughs, cheeky quips and panto puns at Sunderland Empire and this year is no different. Get ready for Peter Pan and all his mischievous adventures when panto favourites are brought to life by a glittering cast including Hollyoaks and I’m a Celeb star Jamie Lomas as Captain Hook and one of half of Dick and Dom duo as hapless but loveable Smee. You'll be rolling in the aisles at this show-stopping, larger-than-life panto performance.

Fri 14 December 2018 – Sun 6 January 2019. Tickets £10 - £41.50 (plus booking fee).

Theatre Royal Newcastle: Goldilocks and The Three Bears

Goldilocks and the Three Bears at Theatre Royal Newcastle

Theatre Royal never fail to bring the very best in panto glitz and glam, gags and giggles. This year will be no different to head along to see fairy tale classic Goldilocks and The Three Bears and enjoy the return of comedy trio Danny Adams, Clive Webb and Chris Hayward for another magical performance.

Tue 27 November 2018 – Sun 20 January 2019. Tickets from £13.

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books: Peas vs Penguins

Peas vs Penguins at Seven Stories The National Centre For Children's Books

Seven Stories’ winter performance this year is slightly more unusual but no less fun! The National Centre for Childrens’ Books bring you Peas Vs Penguins – the ultimate wintry showdown. Get ready for a fabulous experience as their Story Catchers shower you with silliness, seasonal party games and a fun-filled family extravaganza. For any littlies in your family, you may want to try their Mini Peas vs Mini Penguins edition especially for your special ‘minis.’

Peas vs Penguins runs every weekend from Sat 24 November – Sun 23 December 2018. Minis can enjoy their special edition during the week (excluding Mondays) from Tue 20 November. Tickets for both events are £5 per person.

Northern Stage: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol at Northern Stage

Get ready to hear from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future this winter as Northern Stage bring you their imaginative take on an absolute classic – A Christmas Carol. Each year, Northern Stage pull out the stops to bring you a lively, vibrant, all-singing production and this year’s offering promises to deliver once again.

Sat 1 December 2018 – Sat 5 January 2019. Tickets from £10

People’s Theatre: Cinderella

Cinderella Panto at The People's Theatre Newcastle

The People's Theatre's festive offering this year is also Cinderella which has promised to explode onto the festive stage in a “sparkling shower of fairy tinsel.”

Sat 8 – Sun 16 December. Tickets are £14.50 for adults and £12 for children and concessions.

PLAYHOUSE Whitley Bay: Peter Pan

Peter Pan at Whitley Bay

Anthony Costa from noughties boy band Blue will be sailing onto the stage at PLAYHOUSE Whitley Bay to star as the evil Captain Hook in their version of Peter Pan. Panto jokes ahoy, set sail Neverland for some swashbuckling adventures and a barrel full of laughs.

Sat 1 December 2018 – Sat 5 January 2019. Tickets from £17.45.

Sage Gateshead: The Snowman

The Snowman at Sage Gateshead

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to watch The Snowman at Sage Gateshead accompanied by the incredible Royal Northern Sinfonia. This is a truly atmospheric experience. This year get ready to go on a musical bear hunt first.

Sat 22 – Mon Christmas Eve 24 December. Tickets from £17.50.

intu Metrocentre: Christmas Pantomime with the Metrognomes

intu Metrocentre Pantomime

The days between Christmas and New Year can often be a funny, timeless stretch. If you're popping out to do a little post-Christmas shopping or spending your vouchers - make sure to stop off at intu Metrocentre and experience the Metrognome's live rendition of Peter Pan.

Free event. Performances daily from Thu 27 December - Monday 31 December.

The Customs House: Beauty and the Beast

The cast of Beauty and The Beast at Customs House 2018

A tale as old as time is coming to South Shields this winter. Experience Beauty and The Beast at Customs House the panto way. With vibrant costumes and the unique Customs House twist, you're in for a treat.

Tue 27 November - Sat 5 January 2019. Tickets from £9.99

Snow White 2 - Appley Ever After at The Stand Newcastle

Snow White 2: Appley Ever After at The Stand Comedy Club Newcastle

It's a show for everyone, even people who don't like panto! It's a classic panto, with an alternative edge, like nothing you've seen before! Recommended for ages 5+

Tickets available for dates throughout December

Pantos and Performances Just For The Big Kids...

Newcastle City Hall: Laffs4Kids

Laffs4Kids Newcastle City Hall

Possibly the most heart-warming experience you’ll have whilst crying with laughter! This is truly a brilliant event packed with top quality comedy and entertainment which epitomises the spirit of the festive season. You can’t help but burst with joy as you walk into Newcastle City Hall to see the ever-growing mound of Christmas gifts donated as each person arrives which will be given to children as part of Cash 4 Kids this Christmas. Get yourselves along. By the way… this event is definitely for you adults!

Sun 16 December. Tickets £5 plus bring a gift for Cash 4 Kids children.

The Suggestibles Impro Pantso

The Suggestibles Impro Pantso

With no script and no score - what could possibly go wrong?! The Suggestibles bring you their own brand of hilarious panto where you can expect goodies, baddies, fairies and most importantly - expect the unexpected (oh... and leave the kids at home, this is definitely one for the grownups!). You’ll find this raucous bunch at Northern Stage, The Cumberland Arms and Durham Gala to name but a few of the North East venues they’ll be performing. You’ll need to be switched on mind, as you prepare to feed them your ‘creative’ suggestions!

Dates throughout December 2018. Prices vary depending on the venue.

Christmas Cracker and Mixtape Christmas at Live Theatre

Mixtape Xmas at Live Theatre Newcastle

Live Theatre have two festive offerings for you this Christmas in the form of Christmas Cracker - a wry, alternative Christmas show, and the return of Mixtape Xmas. Christmas Cracker asks many a question - what happens when a drunken Santa gate-crashes a Christmas get-together, when the festive TV schedule takes over your life, the secret lives of four siblings are unwrapped, and when all that stands between one family and Christmas heartbreak is a pigeon in a chip box?

Part comedy sketch show and part music quiz, Mixtape is one of the funniest concepts around. Featuring a mash up of Mixtape favourites from throughout the eras, as well as a stocking load of sketches inspired by classic Christmas tunes. Play in quiz teams to be in with the chance of winning one of the highly coveted Golden Mixtapes.

There are festive performances galore and something for all tastes. Check out full details of What's On using our Winter Festival guide.

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