Pantomimes and Christmas shows in Oxfordshire in 2021
It’s panto time. Oh no, it’s not. Oh yes, it is.
A great pantomime – a very British tradition at Christmas – is full of larger than life characters and plenty of laughs – a villain that everyone hates, a comical dame and young love.
From Oxford to Banbury, Henley to Chipping Norton, here’s our pick of the unmissable Pantomimes in Oxfordshire in 2021 and a list of the best ‘non panto’ family-friendly Christmas theatre shows in Oxfordshire.
We’ve also included the note-worthy non-Christmas themed shows taking place in Oxford and across Oxfordshire during this festive season, as well as Pantomimes worth travelling beyond Oxfordshire for.
So what are you waiting for, it’s time to get booking!
1. Rapunzel at The Theatre Chipping Norton
Knights and maidens, sword fights and sea-storms, sweeties and singalongs – this joyful reimagining of the classic tale has it all! So let your hair down and enjoy the latest and greatest adventure from Chipping Norton Theatre, the home of traditional family panto.
2. Robin Hood at Oxford Playhouse
Feared by the bad, loved by the good, taking from the rich to give to the poor. Robin Hood and his Merry Band are our favourite outlaws, especially when they treat us to songs, dance, laughter, and derring-do in an Oxford Playhouse Christmas Panto!
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas Show at Mill Arts Centre, Banbury
Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas Show is a vibrant celebration of Eric Carle’s adored classics and the perfect introduction to live theatre. Four timeless stories are brought to life in one delightful show – including a special edition of Eric Carle’s ‘Dream Snow’!
4. Suddenly A Star at The Story Museum, Oxford
A mother and her son share traditional tales of clever grandparents (as if there’s any other kind), donkeys, wishes, and cunning mice that will be music to your ears. Join them as they explore how a star can suddenly appear and strike an unexpected chord.
5. Mrs Delgado at Old Fire Station, Oxford
Mrs Delgado at Old Fire Station is a world premiere from Olivier Award-winner Mike Bartlett. It is a funny and poignant new play tells a story of desire, control, raised blinds and lowered boundaries pPerformed by acclaimed actor Rakhee Sharma and directed by Olivier Award-winner Clare Lizzimore.
6. Home In Time for Christmas at Oxford Playhouse
Will Kayla and Snowy get back home in time for Christmas? Take a starlight adventure with amazing puppets made by theatre company Smoking Apples and join Kayla and Snowy as they journey around the world, making new friends with the animals they meet along the way!
7. Cinderella at Kenton Theatre, Henley-on-Thames
After the postponement of last year’s pantomime, the Kenton Theatre is pleased to announce that there will be a ball this Christmas, with Cinderella being the pantomime for this year. The year’s panto is a wonderful love story full of magic, wonder, and silly jokes.
8. Margot’s Magical Winter Wonder Party at Pegasus Theatre, Oxford
Margot’s Magical Winter Wonder Party is a party like no other. It’s a celebration of the here and now – using physical comedy, original music, magical lights and puppetry as we collectively celebrate being back at the theatre. Join Margot and her cat Simon at Pegasus Theatre this winter and get ready to dance in your seats for the party of the year.
9. School of Rock at New Theatre Oxford
Mix things up this Christmas with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End and Broadway hit musical School of Rock at New Theatre Oxford. The global head-banging hit musical is based on the iconic movie starring Jack Black and features original songs from the movie, as well as new songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
10. Pinocchio at North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford
Brimming with heart and humour, this high-energy retelling of Carlo Collodi’s classic tale of a wooden puppet who yearns to be a real child sees The North Wall transformed into a magical wonderland. The brand new version of this familiar story promises to be an unforgettable adventure for the whole family.
11. The Ballad of Rudy at Cornerstone Didcot
Funny, warm and with a massive heart, this show features live music, original songs and lots of imagination, guaranteed to have children aged 3+ mesmerised throughout. Sing the blues with a Polar Bear, jam with the Puffins and beat-box with an Arctic Fox. It all happens at the North Pole Jazz Lounge - the coooolest place on earth.
13. Robin Hood: A Musical-Pantomime at Wykham Theatre, Banbury
Robin Hood arrives in Banbury in January 2022 for a beloved classic tale with a unique twist by Avocet Theatre Company. Featuring a hilarious script and brilliant musical numbers, Banbury’s favourite pantomime specialists return to bring this dazzling summer pantomime spectacle to Wykham Theatre.
And further afield...
14. Cinderella Panto at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
This most popular of fairy tales is heading to town with dashing Dandini, CBBC’s Mark Rhodes (from Sam and Mark’s Big Friday Wind Up) playing loyal servant to the handsome prince, alongside stunning Cinderella AKA Gemma Naylor (Nick Jnr) and of course, panto favourites BBC 3 Counties’ Breakfast Show presenter Andy Collins and Britain’s Got Talent’s La Voix (or flamboyant Fairy Godmother to you!).
15. Pantoland at The Palladium, London
This Christmas, American musician Donny Osmond and panto legend Julian Clary will take you on a magical trip to Pantoland at The Palladium. This star-filled extravaganza promises to be the ultimate feel-good show, with a celebration of the very best of pantomime, comedy in abundance and big show-stopping numbers. Expect all the things you’d expect from a great panto, really.