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The best UK theatre to see in December 2023

From the festive Elf to Tuckshop's take on Sleeping Beauty, Simon Button rounds up this month’s must-sees

By Simon Button

Sleeping Beauty (Image: Provided)
Sleeping Beauty (Image: Provided)

December means Panto, but there’s plenty of other theatre too if that’s not your thing.

Check out these recommendations!


Elf (Image: Provided)

Emmerdale hunk Matthew Wolfenden dons the tunic and tights for the seasonal return of the frothy festive frolic that is the Elf musical. Based on the Will Ferrell movie and with Matthew as man-child Buddy, it’s got catchy songs by Matthew Skylar and Chad Beguelin, spectacular sets, the suave Tom Chambers back as Buddy’s workaholic father and Georgina Castle as the girl he falls for.

Elf is at the Dominion Theatre, London, until 6 January. Get tickets here.

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black (Image: Mark Hawkins)

The shiver-inducing stage adaptation of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black is making its way around the country after an astonishing 33 years in the West End. All about a lawyer who believes he’s cursed by the spectre of the titular lady, it’s a classic ghost story that sends shivers down the spine. It was made into a film starring Daniel Radcliffe but the stage version is much scarier.

The Woman in Black is touring the country until 1 June. Get tickets here.

My Favourite Things

My Favourite Things
My Favourite Things (Image: Provided)

Oh what a beautiful afternoon and evening it will be as this Rodgers & Hammerstein 80th Anniversary Concert gets two performances at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Surely London’s most beautiful theatre, it will provide an elegant setting for a to-die-for cast that includes Michael Ball, Audra McDonald, Patrick Wilson, Marisha Wallace, Julian Ovenden, and Maria Friedman, belting out some of the best compositions in musical theatre history.

My Favourite Things is at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London, on 12 December. Get tickets here.


Martha Kirby as Evita (Image: Marc Brenner)

With a radically reinvented Sunset Boulevard currently wowing the West End, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical (with lyrics by Tim Rice) about the life, times, and tantrums of Eva Peron is revived at Leicester Curve in what promises to be a “bold and visually arresting” production. Martha Kirby stars in the title role, with the brilliant Tyrone Huntley as her antagonist Che.

Evita is at Leicester Curve until 13 January. Get tickets here.

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty (Image: Provided)
Sleeping Beauty (Image: Provided)

The Tuckshop troupe bring their all-drag panto to London for a third season. Written by Miss Moppe, it’s about a sleeping maiden who actually may just be hungover, an evil witch, and a horny Prince Charming. The cast features Michael Marouli, Kate Butch, LoUis CYfer, Kitty Scott Claus, Yshee Black, Kemah Bob, and Victoria Scone. And judging by previous productions it’ll be a filthy hoot. Oh yes it will!

Sleeping Beauty is at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London, from 27 to 31 December. Get tickets here.