• Play Hard
  • 22nd Nov 2023
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  • 8 minutes

Your ultimate North East theatre guide to Christmas 2023

It’s that time again, (oh, yes it is!) – from sparkling West End musicals to Christmas pantos, here are the festive shows you’ll want to book tickets for across the North East.


28th November – 14th January

Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Celebrating 18 years at the Theatre Royal, Danny Adams stars as Pinocchio in a spectacular new pantomime adventure making its premiere in Newcastle.

With Clive Webb as toymaker Geppetto, Newcastle’s own Joe McElderry as Jiminy Cricket and Chris Hayward returning to the side of good as Dame Rita, the cast will also feature returning favourites Mick Potts, Wayne Smith, Kylie Ann Ford and Christina Berriman Dawson along with West End performer Amelia Walker.

Tickets: from £12.50


Beauty and the Beast

8th – 31st December

Sunderland Empire

The canniest panto in all the land has been given a beastly makeover, with a sparkling cast that includes star of Emmerdale and Ackley BridgeCharlie Hardwick, who is set to sprinkle festive fairy dust in the role of Fairy Bon Bon, and the North East’s “queen of comedy” Miss Rory, who brings the glamour as Rorina La Plonk.

Tickets: from £13.00


Cinderella: A Fairytale

2nd December – 6th January at Northern Stage, Newcastle

Meet Ella. She prefers a Doc Marten to a glass slipper, and her bird friends to her step-family. When Ella meets a boy in the enchanted woods who loves to bird watch too, her heart begins to flutter. And then comes an invitation to join in the festive cheer at the Queen’s Christmas ball…

With music, dance and comedy, Cinderella: A Fairytale is full of Christmas magic for anyone who has ever dreamed of a happily ever after.

Tickets: from £12.00


Santa at Live Theatre

2nd – 23rd December

Live Theatre, Newcastle

It’s been a busy old year for Santa. The population keeps growing. People’s wishes keep getting bigger (and stranger). He’s feeling a little flustered, his beard’s getting in a twist and sometimes he just dreams of hopping on a reindeer and moving to Ibiza.

But with your help, we might just convince him to stay and make everything feel magical once again.

Pop a wish in the Live Theatre post box and come and enjoy this mini-play to warm your spirits this winter.

Tickets: from £10.00


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

8th – 31st December

Darlington Hippodrome

Much-loved pop and musical theatre star Gareth Gates is set to headline this family Christmas spectacular in Darlington.

Joining the line-up is Jenny ‘The Vixen’ Ryan from ITV’s The Chase, who will be playing the Wicked Queen, alongside hilarious comic and panto aficionado Josh Benson, who joins the cast as the loveable Muddles, Marina Lawrence-Mahrra as Snow White, and Jamie Jones as Mrs Nelly Nightnurse.

Book your tickets today, or you won’t be able to look yourself in the mirror…

Tickets: from £17.50



23rd November – 6th January

Durham Gala Theatre

In the magical land of No-Place Hall, we meet hardworking and clever Ella – or “Cinderella”, as her evil stepmother, Lady Longbottom, calls her.

With the help of her outrageous and funny Fairy Godmother, her best friend Buttons and Pipsqueak the mouse, find out if Ella will find the love of her life or spend the rest of it running around after her wickedly hilarious stepsisters, Monophobia and Philophobia.

Tickets: from £8.00



9th December – 3rd January

Maltings, Berwick

On any other night, at any other time, Cinderella’s wish would have turned out just fine; the guest-list is ready, everyone is invited to the party of the year, they’re so excited. But the clock is ticking and it’s starting to chime… have you got your tickets yet for this pantomime?!

Tickets: from £12.50


Peter Pan: The Musical

13th – 15th December

ARC, Stockton

Stockton Riverside College presents the classic tale of the boy who never grew up this Christmastime, as Peter Pan flies children Wendy, John and Michael off to Neverland for an adventure they’ll never forget.

The children go on escapades with pirates, lost boys and a team of feisty girls, with Wendy becoming such a good mother that they feel as though they could always stay in Neverland.

Tickets: from £13.00


A Musical Christmas at the Playhouse

15th – 30th December

Alnwick Playhouse

This celebration of musical theatre features a cast of West End performers, bringing you all the festive delights from some of the world’s best-loved musicals.

Including songs from Top Hat, The Sound of Music, Wicked, West Side Story, Les Miserables, Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman and many more, plus some Christmas classics you can’t help but sing along to, let London’s West End come to Alnwick.

Tickets: from £22.00  


Peter Pan

8th December – 7th December

Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle

Let your dreams take flight at Tyne Theatre this Christmas, as the fairytale classic Peter Pan lands onstage for another interstellar panto.

Starring Eastenders’ Matt Lapinskas as Peter Pan, CBBC’s Cleo Demetriou as Wendy and Capital Radio’s Sam Lavery as Tiger Lily, this festive family production will thrill the child in all of us.

Tickets: from £16.50



8th December – 7th January

Middlesbrough Theatre

Middlesbrough Theatre and Extravaganza Productions present the most magical pantomime of them all: Cinderella.

Starring Amelia Lily as Fairy Godmother and Philip Green as Buttons, with enchanted pumpkins, sparkling glass slippers, a pair of ugly sisters, a handsome Prince, fantastic costumes and lots of audience participation – Cinderella is an enchanting way to welcome in the festive season.

Tickets: from £24.00



23rd November – 6th January

The Customs House, South Shields

Dame Bella, her son Aladdin, and her hapless nephew Dennis work hard to make a living at the Cooksonville Laundry… But then Aladdin gets tricked by his wicked uncle Abanazar into descending into the magical Cave of Wonders.

The journey causes chaos and mayhem for the little family, who quickly find themselves in a world of magic carpets and a spell-binding Genie of the Lamp…

Tickets: from £12.00 


Peter Pan

9th – 17th December

Peoples Theatre, Newcastle

With a sprinkling of Tinkerbell’s fairy dust, Peter Pan whisks Wendy, John and Michael off on a flight to the magical Neverland – home to lost boys, mermaids and the dastardly pirate, Captain Hook.

Can Peter rid Neverland of Captain Hook forever? Will the Darlings find their way home to London? Will Mrs Starkey and her bumbling son Smee stick by Hook’s side? And, most importantly, do you believe in fairies?

Tickets: from £16.00



8th December – 6th January

Playhouse Whitley Bay, Newcastle

You know things are going to be fabulous when Louis Spence turns up as the Fairy Godmother… Joining him in this enchanting panto of Cinderella are local panto legend Steve Walls, Daniel Mawston, Keith and Ben Simmons, Jessica Lilley and Jacob Beresford.

Tickets: from £24.00 


Pretty Woman: The Musical 

14th – 30th December 

Stockton Globe

Don’t miss the chance to nab tickets to this blockbuster in the Durham theatre calendar, because it’s sure to be a big night out. Big. Huge.

Pretty Woman: The Musical is finally embarking on a UK tour, so make a date to see Hollywood’s ultimate rom-com live on stage. Expect the iconic ‘80s love story as told by Julia and Richard in the classic film, but with added rock stardust thanks to songs written by Grammy winners Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.

Tickets: from £13.00 


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Beth is our Senior Digital Executive and can be credited with how everything at HLN ‘looks’ – from the website to our social media and twice-weekly emails. She’s also the super organised one in the team and keeps us all on-track. A born and bred scouser, Beth moved to Newcastle…


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