Highlights include Doris, Dolly & The Dressing Room Divas, Beauty and the Beast and Remember December
Festive theatre is best-served with a good lashing of sparkle, and not many theatrical forms sparkle more than cabaret, pantomimes and storytelling sessions. Luckily, there are a whole host of these shows happening across the Central Belt in Scotland's two biggest cities for 2018's festive season. We've picked out the best of the bunch, which we're sure will keep you laughing, wowing and shouting 'he's behind you!'.
Doris, Dolly and the Dressing Room Divas / credit: Leslie Black Edinburgh Add a little bit of sparkle to the dark nights with the Voodoo Rooms' Festive Frolics Cabaret Show and Dinner (Sat 15, Sat 22 Dec) with dancers, circus performers and comedians. If you want a cheap night out, every Saturday in December Bruce Devlin is hosting his cracker of a variety show at The Stand for the price of a cocktail. Failing that, try the biggest cabaret event of the year – La Clique Noël – Part Deux (Fri 16 Nov–Sat 5 Jan) – hosted by the mistress of mayhem Bernie Dieter. Or why not head over to the Gilded Balloon's Rose Theatre for Doris, Dolly & the Dressing Room Divas... at Christmas! (Wed 21 Nov–Sun 16 Dec). It's a no-holds-barred camp and thrilling binge of music and laughs.
Glasgow Enjoy the ultimate drag and cabaret night catching the Christmas Queens Tour at the SEC Armadillo with many of your favourite RuPaul's Drag Race stars (Sat 1 Dec). If you aren't lucky enough to nab tickets for that, get in the mood for celebrating with Stella Litchfield at Stella's Christmas Cabaret Cracker (Fri 14 Dec), complete with feel-good Christmas numbers. For a fancier evening, try the Alea Casino which has exclusive Cabaret Christmas Packages with live cabaret (every Friday and Saturday in December).
Nine Tales and Carols Edinburgh The Scottish Storytelling Centre does what it says on the tin and has plenty of riveting storytelling sessions for the festive period. In Nine Tales and Carols (Sat 15 Dec), Beverley Bryant and Heather Yule bring a Christmas story to life through storytelling and music; Stories Round the Tree is a cosy storytelling session around their decked out tree (Fri 21, Sat 22 Dec); and A Winter Warmer (Thu 6 Dec) hosts wintry tales presented by the Burgh Blatherers, complete with mulled wine and mince pies.
Glasgow Head to Remember December (Fri 30 Nov-Sat 31 Dec) at the Tron Theatre with the kids and go on a fun-filled adventure saving Christmas with Flora. Over on the southside of the city is The Village Storytelling Centre, a hidden gem which hosts its annual Christmas Party at the Langton Halls (Fri 21 Dec). If you need a reason to keep the kids busy while you shop, every weekend throughout the festive period at Glasgow Loves Christmas' on George Square there are a range of free kids entertainments including Santa storytelling.
Beauty and the Beast Edinburgh As usual, the biggest panto in the city is at the Kings Theatre and this year it's showing the classic beast of a tale – Beauty and the Beast (Sat 1 Dec–Sun 20 Jan) – starring Grant Stott and Allan Stewart. Other pantomime goings-on in Edinburgh are Balerno Theatre Company's Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood (Wed 5–Sat 8 Dec) and Edinburgh People's Theatre's Little Red Riding Hood (Fri 14–Sat 22 Dec), both at the Church Hill Theatre.
Glasgow Pantomime season in Glasgow wouldn't be complete without the Krankies and this year they star in Cinderella at the SEC (Wed 12–Sun 30 Dec). At the iconic panto venue, the Kings Theatre, they're rivalling that with Aladdin (Sat 1 Dec–Sun 6 Jan) starring Elaine C. Smith. However, if you like a pantomime that shuns tradition, go and see Johnny McKnight's version of Mother Goose – Mammy Goose (Tue 27 Nov-–un 6 Jan) – or A Play, A Pie and A Pint's adults-only The Lying Bitch and the Wardrobe (Mon 26 Nov–Sat 29 Dec).
Vocalist Stella Litchfield performs show tunes and Christmas classics with the help of the Gordon Cree Trio. Featuring 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas', 'Jingle Bells', 'Santa Baby', 'It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas' and a selection box of cabaret favourites. May contain strong language.
Allan and Grant return in a beast of a Pantomime!
Pantomime is loud for a small pair of ears, spectacular sights can sometimes cause tears! If bringing a little one, please be aware, one or two scenes are intended to scare. The odd naughty joke for grown-up laughter, ensures that we all finish Happily Ever After.
Host Bruce Devlin presents a Christmas cracker of a cabaret show, a fast paced festive hour awaits from the fringe festival hit!
With Dave Fulton, Andrew McKinlay and Jesus L'Oreal.
‘A ‘best of' hour featuring a selection of the biggest and best…' (Fringe Review 2017).
Enjoy mirth, merriment and mulled wine in…