You either love or hate panto but let’s face it – they’re cheesy as hell. There’s no escaping them though, and if you just take it easy, have a few swift ones beforehand, you might just find yourself having a good time.
Here’s the best ones you can catch in Manchester this festive season…
Manchester Opera House
Gareth Gates as Prince Charming (or so he thinks) and Coronation Street’s Les Dennis and Connor McIntrye taking on the roles of the ugly sisters. Surely it will make for a laugh a minute.
More Coronation Street ex-stars (including Janice Battersby and Richard Hillman) take on roles as parrots and the like in a less traditional pantomime but an equally as silly musical all the same.
A family favourite and running for over a month at the beautiful Stockport Plaza. Comedian Ted Robbins and Claire King from Emmerdale make a welcome return to Stockport for this hilarious production of the well-known tale.
Another Cinderella production, but the Coliseum is well-known throughout the land for their legendary pantomimes – so this one won’t disappoint. Not that the other one will either of course.
Promising a unique twist on the classic tale, this production of Aladdin down at the Dancehouse will surely come with plenty of belly laughs, glitz and glamour, for the low-low price of only £10! Even a street rat could afford that.
White and Släpstick
Two shows for the price of one! White, an interactive show for the younger in the audience, and Släpstick, an explosive and captivating Dutch musical for the older kids.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Bolton Octagon Theatre
Bolton’s Octagon Theatre will be transformed into the land of Oz, but with a modern, colloquial twist as Dorothy’s ruby slippers become shiny red trainers and the Great Oz… well, he’s now from Wigan.
The Albert Halls, Bolton
Another classic pantomime with yet more soap and reality TV stars playing the main characters. I’m starting to think that panto has become the graveyard of failed soap stars? Surely not?! Singer Charlotte Dacia plays Snow White, alongside, I presume, all of the dwarfs too.