This has been a tough write as things have been changing constantly. Usually around this time of year I’d be compiling a list of family theatre treats for the festive period. Things are a little different this year, what with Welsh Government decreeing that being in an audience at a live performance is banned. However, here are few ideas for shows you can watch this Christmas season.
Once Upon a Time presented by RCT Theatres
Sunday 20 – Thursday 24 December 2020 / 2pm / free / YouTube pre-recorded
This free online storytelling show is jam-packed with music, fun and silliness galore. Once Upon a Time follows the adventures of some of your favourite panto characters including Aladdin and Cinderella.
Pre-recorded and available for free on YouTube in English, BSL with captions and an Audio Described introduction. Click on the link for a new panto character each day at 2pm.
Written and directed by Richard Tunley. With support from Taking Flight Theatre Company and Arts Council of Wales.
The Santa Show Online: Santa’s Christmas Countdown
Sunday 20 December 2020 / 2.15pm / £10 per household plus £1.29 booking fee / virtual show on Zoom / 90 minutes / ages 2-7
Take your seats from 2pm to sing along with your favourite festive songs like Jingle Bells. Join Father Christmas, Dotty the Elf and their friends in a festive, musical, interactive adventure to get Santa’s Christmas Countdown started.
During the show you can post your messages and photographs on The Santa Shows facebook page with Father Christmas and friends sharing your comments and pictures after the show.
Book for Santa’s Christmas Countdown
Hoof by Theatr Iolo and Kitsch & Sync
Tuesday 15 – Friday 18 December 2020 / various times / £2 per ticket / outside Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff / 20 minutes / ages 4+
A real life actual show! This outdoor performance of three little reindeer stumbling across an old abandoned theatre in the woods has been very popular. Some shows have sold out, some have limited availability. It sounds magical, I cannot wait.
Me… and The Bed, two productions by The Little Angel Theatre
Friday 25 December 2020 – Tuesday 5 January 2021 / free / YouTube / Me… for ages 2-5 and The Bed for 6-18 months
Based on a poem by Sylvia Plath, The Bed is deigned to introduce the youngest audience members to the magic of theatre and takes them on an adventure under water, to the jungle and even into space to find the best bed of all. Me…, based on the popular picture book by Emma Dodd follows a little penguin as he faces the big wide world on his own for the first time.
Watch on Me… and The Bed on YouTube from Christmas Day
Dick Whittington by National Theatre
Wednesday 23 December 3pm – Wednesday 27 December 2020 midnight / free / ages 6+
If you’re looking for a full length panto, National Theatre will be sharing their full length performance of Dick Whittington for free on YouTube. They had been due to perform to live performances but as London moved to Tier 3 these were cancelled. We enjoyed watching a fair few NT Live performances on our telly through YouTube during the original hardcore lockdown.
Watch Dick Whittington on YouTube from 23 December
Flossy & Boo’s Festive Adventures Activity Pack
Not a show but if you and your kids want to get cosy and creative over Christmas, this is a great pack. Flossy & Boo are a witty pair of characters who have created workshops, shows, interactive festival installations and are perfectly placed to share ideas for imaginative things to do. We especially loved the den building. You’ll even get exclusive access to some online video extras.