There's nothing like a panto to get you into the festive spirit and there are some cracking shows taking place in and around Blackpool this year.
Firm favourites that have entertained families for years such as Cinderella, Aladdin and Dick Whittington are making a strong appearance at a number of venues in the region.
But if it's something a bit different you're after then why not take a look at Peter Pan a Festive Musical Adventure in Blackpool or Elf the Musical at the Lowry?
Whatever your needs you're bound to find something to keep you and the family entertained during this panto season.
Cinderella – The Grand Theatre Blackpool – Dec 19 - Jan 7
This enchanting rags-to-riches fairy tale is set to return to the stage of The Grand Theatre this Christmas.
This year's cast includes JJ Hamblett (Union J) who will star as Prince Charming, Melanie Walters (Gavin and Stacey) as Fairy Godmother, Olivia Birchenough(Channel 5’s Milkshake) as the beautiful Cinderella and Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph returning as the Ugly Sisters all starring alongside panto favourite the incredible Steve Royle (BBC Radio Lancashire) who will be making his 15th annual appearance starring as ‘Buttons’. For more details visit https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/cinderella/
Peter Pan a Festive Musical Adventure – Blackpool Opera House – Dec 16 - Jan 7
A sprinkling of fairy dust at the Blackpool Opera House will take you on a magical journey to Neverland in the sensational, swashbuckling musical adventure – Peter Pan.
TV star Jennifer Ellison will lead the cast of this family production as Captain Hook alongside X Factor’s Jake Quickenden in the title role. They will be joined on stage by Radio Wave’s Breakfast Show fave Scott Gallagher as hapless sidekick Smee and Blackpool’s own Maureen Nolan as Mrs Darling.
For more details visit: http://www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk/events/peter-pan/
Dick Whittington – Lowther Pavilion Theatre – Dec 8 - 30
Dick Whittington will be striding into the Lowther Pavilion this Christmas for a pantomime adventure paved in gold, packed with comedy capers and polished off with all the winning ingredients audiences know and love in pantomime.
Will Dick then make it back to London and become Lord Mayor? Will he find true love in the arms of Alice? Maybe with a little sprinkling of magic and sparkle from Fairy Bow Bells our pantomime adventure will have the happy ever after ending it deserves.
For more details visit: https://lowtherpavilion.co.uk/show/dick-whittington/
The Wizard of Oz on Ice – Pleasure Beach Arena – Dec 10 - 27
The young stars of BIDCA will showcase their incredible skating talent on the ice while telling the family favourite story of ‘Wizard of Oz’. In this show, BIDCA turn the ice into their own version of a yellow brick road where you’ll hear songs and watch routines which bring this American fairytale to life with a modern twist.
Directed and Choreographed by David Walsingham, and with more than 500 costumes to be stitched and fitted for the cast of 70 it looks like it's going to be a spectacular show.
For more details visit: https://www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/whats-on/bidca-the-wizard-of-oz/
Circus Panto - Mooky Doolittle – The Blackpool Tower – Nov 25 - Jan 21
This show will capture the attention of the little ones with performances to entertain leaving the whole family with goose-bumps.
Join Mooky and Mr Boo this year with a whole cast of four legged friends for some hilarious comedy capers that will leave you "GIRAFFING" for days.
For more details visit: https://www.theblackpooltower.com/attractions/the-blackpool-tower-circus/
Aladdin – Preston Guild Hall – Dec 7 - Jan 3
Comedian Phil Walker, who has written and directed the show, is back as Aladdin’s brother Wishee Washee. Joining Phil on stage is top TV trickster Paul Zenon, playing the evil sorcerer Abanazar.
Keeping Paul on his toes is popular children's group Go!GO!GO! member Carl Tracey, playing the role of Aladdin. Local Blackpool lass and former member of Club Juniors Stacey McClean is playing Princess Jasmine.
Preston lad Marvyn Dickinson and CBBC star from Class Dismissed is set to wow audiences as PC Pong. The role of Slave of the Ring is being taken on by one of the finest comedic comperes in the country, Jonathan Mayor. He will be joined by Emmerdale and Coronation Street actor Jeffrey Longmore who will be appearing as Widow Twankey.
For more details visit: https://prestonguildhall.co.uk/shows/aladdin-panto/
Sleeping Beauty – The Playhouse Theatre – Dec 8 - 23
Princess Aurora is castle-bound as her parents fear for her safety due to the terrible curse Carabosse has put on her.
The Good Fairies help but Aurora still needs a champion (Prince Charming) when she gets tangled in vines. Will they all fall asleep and not wake up? Can the Prince and the gang save Aurora from whatever lurks in the forest?
Mischievous fun ensues, a goodie with some gags, a baddie wanting boos. This superb cast perform a family friendly show with a fabulous musical score and sophisticated choreography that will excite the whole family.
For more details visit: http://www.prestonplayhouse.com/sleepingbeauty.php
Dick Whittington – The Grand Theatre – Dec 2 - 29
Following on from last year's record breaking perfomance, Lancaster Footlights presents another fabulous and fun-filled traditional family Pantomime - oh yes it is - with lots of music, dancing, jokes, laughter and audience participation.
For more details visit: http://www.lancastergrand.co.uk/shows/
Aladdin – The Dukes – 24 Nov– Jan 6
Times are tough in the laundry business and Aladdin and his hard-pressed Mum are struggling to survive. But when Aladdin’s long lost uncle turns up, it seems everything could change.
Will this charming chancer improve their fortunes? And what’s a young lad to do with an old lamp that needs polishing?
Join Aladdin and the Genie as they embark on a journey of discovery, danger and romance. See the everyday transformed into the exotic, in a world where the carpets are magical and the wishes unlimited.
For more details visit: https://dukes-lancaster.org/?event=aladdin
Beauty and the Beast – King George's Hall – Dec 17 - Dec 31
Cinderella – Thwaites Empire – December - Jan 4
Dick Whittington – Opera House – Dec 9 - Jan 7
Elf the Musical – The Lowry – Nov 24 - Jan 14
A Christmas Carol – Bolton Octagon – Nov 19 - Jan 13
Aladdin – Echo Arena – December 15 - 24
Cinderella – Empire – Dec 17 - Jan 7
Peter Pan – The Epstein Theatre – 8 Dec - Jan 1