Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
List Of Top Festive Shows For Children And Adults
From pantos to musicals, celebrities to the snowman, there's a Christmas cracker of delights for theatre fans over the festive season in Birmingham.... oh yes there is!
John Barrowman is one of the celebrities heading to Birmingham for the 2016 Christmas season
So get ready to boo, hiss, get on your glad rags for a big show or be enthralled into a winter dance wonderland as here's a round-up of shows to get all the family into the Christmas spirit.
1. Wind in the Willows at The Old Rep November 21 - December 31, 2016
Kenneth Grahame's classic children's story The Wind in the Willows is the Christmas show in the historic surroundings of the 100-year-old Old Rep theatre.
Animal magic with Wind in the Willows at The Old Rep this Christmas
This irreverent and playful take on the classic tale follows loyal Mole, faithful Ratty and steady old Badger as they do their very best to keep Mr Toad out of trouble.
It's packed with energetic performers, original music and an anarchic sense of humour. The Wind in the Willows is a festive show with a difference, and a real treat for all ages.
Tickets cost £16.50 adults and £13.50 children, or £55 for a family ticket, and are available from the Box Office on 0121 359 9444 or by visiting the Old Rep theatre website.
2. Chicago The Musical at New Alexandra Theatre December 12 - 31, 2016
Adding some raunchiness to Christmas is this award-winning musical starring EastEnders actor John Partridge and Coronation Street's Hayley Tamaddon as Billy Flynn and Roxie Hart.
Chicago sizzles up Christmas in Birmingham
Chicago the Musical at the New Alexandra Theatre, features a soundtrack of jazz-influenced, acclaimed songs chartering the lives of two murderesses as they attempt to escape death row in 1920s America. Features memorable, toe-tapping songs like All That Jazz and Razzle Dazzle.
3.Dick Whittington pantomime at Birmingham Hippodrome
December 19, 2016 - January 29, 2017
Join Dick Whittington and his cat for a comic adventure starring a list of household names at Birmingham Hippodrome. There's big song and dance routines along the way too as Dick makes his journey to London to eventually become the Mayor.
Lovable singer Jodie Prenger will be adding her voice to this year's panto at Birmingham Hippodrome
Popular actress and singer Jodie Prenger will star as Fairy Bow Bells alongside TV personality John Barrowman, Steve McFadden (Phil in EastEnders), The Krankies and the hilarious Matt Slack.
With a show that all the family can enjoy, plus some magical special effects and plenty of fun and games with the audience, Christmas isn't complete without a panto.
4. The Tempest at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon
November 8, 2016 - January 21, 2017
Shakespeare's magical tale is the Royal Shakespeare Company's (RSC) family show for the year aimed at being a good introduction to the bard for children.
Directed by the RSC's Artistic Director Gregory Doran, this production stars Simon Russell Beale as magician Prospero who has been stranded on an island with his daughter and is seeking vengeance on those who wronged him.
The Tempest will bewitch RSC audiences over Christmas.
Expect powerful drama and some wonderful special effects from the talented team at the RSC.
5. The Nutcracker at Birmingham Hippodrome
November 25 - December 13
Birmingham Royal Ballet's magnificent production will transport you to faraway worlds with king rats, princes and even a sugar plum fairy.
This ballet is the creme de la creme of Christmas dance shows and will leave all ages feeling uplifted and spirited away into a dream.
The Nutcracker is a dream of a ballet.
It follows young girl Clara, who goes on an adventure after a Christmas family party and ends up being shrunk under the tree to battle dancing rats and meet a cavalcade of characters from various lands. With amazing special effects, a snowstorm during a fairy dance and a series of fun sequences including the Russian Dance and Arabian Dance, it's an unforgettable experience.
6 Christmas Classics at Birmingham Symphony Hall
Every year, this special festive concert at Symphony Hall gets audiences in the Christmas spirit with a concert of timely seasonal classics, readings from a special guest and a singalong of carols to round it all off.
This year, the jubilant offering features Morse and Lewis actor Kevin Whately with some tales to break up the wonderful live music provided by soprano Julia Doyle, City of Birmingham Choir, the Fanfare Trumpeters from the Band of the Queen's Division and London Concert Orchestra.
Capturing the true spirit of Christmas, the performance includes excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, Handel's Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah and Mozart's Alleluia from Exsultate Jubilate.
Ahoy shipmates. This gripping swashbuckling adventure of pirates, gold and treasure maps is a family classic that will keep children enthralled from start to finish.
Making the main character a fiesty female, the story follows Jim who unearths a treasure map after pirates ransack her grandmother's inn. Setting sail for a faraway island Jim finds she has more than she bargained for in the shape of Long John Silver.
Bryony Lavery is behind this modern adaptation of the classic tale by Robert Louis Stevenson.
This is an out of the world Christmas experience for super hero fans of all ages as Marvel Universe Live! brings together the largest assembly of Marvel characters in a live production.
A Christmas superhero treat for Marvel fans.
Audiences can watch some of their favourite Marvel Super Heroes step out of the silver screen and onto the stage with a live show featuring cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts and martial arts.
Marvel Universe Live! takes place at Barclarycard Arena, formerly the NIA, in Birmingham city centre, just a 10 minute walk from New Street Station.
9. The Snowman at Birmingham Repetory Theatre
January 11 - 15, 2017
So, this is technically just after Christmas, but The Snowman has become an iconic tale associated with the season of goodwill and will keep those feelings bubbling along until mid January.
This show has become some-what of a regular at Birmingham Repetory Theatre (The Rep) and is now a well-loved favourite.
They'll be walking in the air.
The stage show is based upon the book by Raymond Briggs and the film directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates. When a young boy's snowman comes to life on Christmas Eve, the two set off on a night-time quest for adventure, meeting Father Christmas, dancing penguins, a reindeer and crowds of The Snowman's friends.
Audiences won't be disappointed, especially when they hear Howard Blake's classic song Walking In The Air.
10. Sleeping Beauty pantomime at Malvern Theatres
December 15, 2016 - January 8, 2017
The romantic fairytale of Sleeping Beauty gets a panto makeover with a host of TV names including Gillian Wright (Jean Slater from Eastenders), Channel 5's Milkshake presenter Amy Thompson, Chris Pizzey from The Basil Brush Show and Casualty's Rebecca Wheatley. There's also some comedy fun with Quinn Patrick as Nurse Nelly.
Sleeping Beauty is a romantic tale for Christmas
The Malvern panto is always a quality show that is good value for money with a traditional take focussing heavily on comedy, songs and the audience rather than special effects. There's normally even sweets and water thrown at the audience. A charming treat.