I'm a working mum writing about life in Edinburgh (and anywhere else we go) with two curious, adventurous, and imaginative children. Visit my blog at www.linzertortes.blogspot.co.uk. Follow me on Twitter: @LinzerLaw
There are lots of different shows on in Edinburgh at any time of year, and especially in August during the Festival, but to me there's something a bit more special about the Christmas ones.
They remind of sleepy car journeys home in mid-winter darkness, or the excitement of opening night in an amateur pantomime. My family always went to see a show of some kind as part of our Christmas, and we've kept up the tradition now I have my own children.
My daughter's birthday is on 27th December, so I do my research early to decide what we'll see. If you're wondering what's on, then I've gathered my research to provide the answer.
The King's Theatre Christmas shows are always very recognisable as classic pantomimes. There will be dames, there will be "behind yous" and there will be probably be an excited group of Brownies or Cubs diving for sweeties. This year it's Mother Goose, and it runs from 1st December to 20th January.
The King's sister venue, the Festival Theatre, has an adaptation of a classic Christmas film, The Snowman. I love the film, despite always feeling such sadness at the end, and the stage adaptation has previously reviewed very well. It runs from 13th December to 30th December and is suitable for even quite little children.
Last year, we went to the Lyceum to see their adaptation on Beauty and the Beast. The costumes, sets, and programmes were beautifully created. We cut out pictures and art from the programme to put in the children's scrapbooks. I would expect an equally pretty show from this year's offering. It's a new twist on a classic tale, as this Cinderella is relocated to modern-day Paris where she lives with her father and longs for the love and glamour of a rather unique Prince. Her world is shattered by the arrival of the wonderfully hilarious and awful 'new sisters' and their truly terrifying mother, Monique. The show runs from 29th November until 29th December.
Last year's Lyceum programme from Beauty and the Beast as a scrapbook keepsake.
If none of those take your fancy, then why not try out another old favourite? The Edinburgh People's Theatre will be at the Churchill Theatre, and this year they are performing Aladdin. Expect another classic pantomime with a familiar story of Aladdin escaping from the Vizier and wooing the Princess. It will be lots of fun for families, and children of all ages. This one has a shorter run, from 21st to 30th December.
Further out of town, there's Puss in Boots at Musselburgh's Brunton Theatre. According to their website, a wicked witch has joined forces with an evil ogre and must be stopped by Puss in Boots and the pantomime dame. This one will have be full of fun and laughter with oodles of gags, local references, chart hits, outrageous costumes and lots of singing, dancing and shouting out in good old pantomime style. The show starts on 27th November and runs all the way through until 5th January.
Winning the competition for the cutest poster and the most unusual concept, St Serf's Player are putting on Frankenstein: The Panto. It's at St Serf's Church Hall and is on from the 28th to the 30th of December.
The poster for St. Serf's production of Frankenstein: The Panto
The Traverse Theatre is Edinburgh's writing theatre, so they always have new and interesting productions of original works. Too Many Penguins is written especially for 1 - 4 year olds, which makes it a little bit more family-friendly for those with very young children. This sounds like a fun theatrical experience, and the arrival of the penguins will entertain and delight. The show runs from 11th December to 22nd December and is only £8/£10 for a whole family ticket.
The Playhouse don't have a traditional, or even untraditional, Christmas show on, but they do have the adaptation of another film favourite: Dirty Dancing. If you can't face another Christmassy thing, but would like a night out at the theatre, then why not go along to this one instead? It's on from 4th December until 12th January.
And finally, there's a special one-off Peter Pan "Panda-mime" to celebrate the first annual anniversary of the arrival of the pandas to Edinburgh Zoo. It's on Sunday 9th December with performances all day, free with entry to the zoo. I think out of all of the above, I know this is the one my children will want to see the most.
So, there you go, now you what to see in Edinburgh this Christmas. I hope you enjoy the show!