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Birmingham Christmas Shows 2013

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
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Ho, ho ho A festive feast of theatre shows around Christmas
Santa Claus, children's tales and heartfelt romantic musicals provide a Christmas cracker of theatre extravaganzas in the run up to the festive celebration.

Miracle
Santa is brought to life in Miracle on 34th Street at New Alexandra Theatre


Here is a round-up of shows to see at Christmas-time across the region.

The Nutcracker - Birmingham Hippodrome
November 22 - December 12

This ballet is the ultimate tale to bring alive the magic of Christmas. Be spirited away to a world of giant rats, show fairies, a handsome prince, Russian dancers and the like.

The Nutcracker
Magical Christmas scenes in The Nutcracker ballet


The main character is a girl called Clara who after a Christmas party in her grand house, creeps downstairs at midnight to play with her new Nutcracker doll.

But the night takes on a magical turn as her Nutcracker comes to life and she is swept into an enchanted world packed with exotic characters and dances that are shimmeringly beautiful. Each of the people she meets performs for our heroine, such as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

This famed production is set to the dreamy, timeless music of Tchaikovsky, and is produced and co-choreographed by Peter Wright. The show comes with a cavalcade of fairytale costumes that little girls, in particular, will adore.

The Nutcracker
Tickets cost from 15 - 60 from the Birmingham Hippodrome Website.

A Christmas Carol at Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The Rep)
November 27, 2013 - January 4, 2014

Say 'bah humbug' to being a miser this Christmas with this heart-warming Charles Dickens' tale on realising the joys of friendship and family.

A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol at Birmingham Repetory Theatre


This classic tale follows Ebenezer Scrooge's journey of discovery with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future and is being billed as a "spooky" new production.

A Christmas Carol
Tickets cost 7 - 35 from Birmingham Rep Website.

Miracle on 34th Street - New Alexandra Theatre
December 5 to December 7

Do you believe in Santa Claus? This show, based on one of the most heart-warming Christmas films of all time, will make you believe again.

Miracle2
Joyous songs in Miracle on 34th Street


The movie of the same name, which has entertained families for decades, has now been transferred to stage into a musical.

It revolves around a mysterious elderly white-bearded man who claims to be the real Santa Claus in New York.

When he befriends a young mother and her son, this jolly gentleman sets about bringing happiness, good cheer and love across the city that never sleeps.

A family favourite, Miracle on 34th Street promises to lift your spirits ahead of the festive season.

Miracle on 34th Street
New Alexandra Theatre, Station Street, Birmingham.
Tickets cost 28.90 - 38.90 from New Alexandra Theatre Website or calling 0121 230 9082

Wendy and Peter Pan - Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon
December 10, 2013 - March 2, 2014

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) takes on JM Barrie's magical tale in this new version written by Ella Hickson. With a fairy called Tink, you can tell that this is sure to add some modern sparkle to an old favourite and Hickson says to prepare yourself for plenty of "twists".

Peter Pan
Twists galore in the Royal Shakespeare Company's new production of Peter Pan


Taking the audience back to a wintry Edwardian London in 1909, we see how the Darling children's lives are transformed with the arrival of Peter Pan and Tink.

Their adventures take flight to Neverland to face the Lost Boys, Captain Hook and a motley crew of characters.

Speaking of the new production, writer Hickson said: "The book was really meaty and I have kept a lot of the elements of the book but most of those elements have a new twist on them.

"It does still have the big battles, so Peter versus Hook, the pirate ship at the end and all of the Lost Boys, but each of the iconic moments have a new twist.

"It's new exciting times. It's nice and modern and nice and funny."

Making her RSC debut is Fiona Button as Wendy Darling, while Sam Swann is the boy that never grows old, and Guy Henry (surgeon Henrik Hanssen in TV's Holby City) takes on the dastardly role of Captain Hook.

The RSC won plaudits for its revitalisation of children's tale Matilda, so it is with keen anticipation that theatre fans look forward to the special effects, script and choreography in this latest production.

With snowfall, characters flying overhead and other tricks up their sleeve, this show is being billed for children from ages seven upwards.

Wendy and Peter Pan
Tickets cost from 17 from the RSC Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or at www.rsc.org.uk.

The Big Reunion Christmas Party
December 12

This bumper concert gives pop fans the chance to relive the 1990s with bands 5ive, Atomic Kitten, B*Witched, Liberty X, 911 and the Honeyz.

Big


Reuniting again to play their greatest hits and get the Christmas party started with some of their most famous tracks including Whole Again, C'est La Vie, Get On Up and End of the Road.

The line-up includes:
5IVE (Ritchie Neville, Scott Robinson, Abz Love, Sean Conlon)
Atomic Kitten (Natasha Hamilton, Liz McClarnon, Kerry Katona)
B*Witched (Edele Lynch, Keavy Lynch, Sinead O' Carroll, Lindsay Armaou)
Liberty X (Jessica Taylor, Michelle Heaton, Kevin Simm, Kelli Young, Tony Lundon)
911 (Lee Brennan, Simon 'Spike' Dawbarn, Jimmy Constable)
Honeyz (Celena Cherry, Mariama Goodman, Heavenli Roberts)

The Big Reunion Christmas Party
Tickets cost 34.50 and 42.50 from The Ticket Factory at www.theticketfactory.com or by calling 0844 338 8000.
More information can be found at www.lgarena.co.uk.

Ghost the Musical - New Alexandra Theatre
December 17, 2013 - January 5, 2014

Another film-come-stage musical to hit theatres with rave reviews is this romantic comedy about enduring love that features the most famous love scene involving a pottery wheel of all time.

After seeing this production, pop star Katy Perry tweeted that she and her friends "cried our eyes out, it was SO good!", while Peter Andre described it as the "'Best West End Show I have ever seen", and Dame Judi Dench said she was "absolutely enchanted by the magic of Ghost. Simply sensational. Stupendous!".

Ghost
Ghost the Musical comes to Birmingham at Christmas time,


The story follows Sam, who is killed in a vicious mugging but is left trapped as a ghost between this world and the next. Despite frantic attempts, he is unable to communicate with his beautiful grieving girlfriend, Molly.

Comedy comes in the form of a phoney psychic, who suddenly finds she really does have powers when it comes to being able to hear Sam. But can Sam get a message to Molly in time for her to solve the mystery of who murdered him and allow him to get out of the ghost limbo?

Originally starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in the Oscar-winning movie, this musical has the added bonus of a soundtrack created by Eurythmics' Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard. Despite new songs, it still features the timeless tune, Unchained Melody.

There is also Tony award-winning director Matthew Warchus at the helm following on from his successes with shows Matilda and Art.

Ghost The Musical
New Alexandra Theatre
Tickets cost 10 - 45 from the Box Office on 0844 871 3011 or book online at www.atgtickets.com/birmingham
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Why? Fabulous shows to get you in the Christmas mood
When: From November 22, 2013 - March 2, 2014
Where: Theatres across Birmingham and the Midlands
Cost: Various prices
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