Christmas Shows

20 Affordable London Christmas Shows & Winter Pop Ups – Most Under £20

Holidays are coming! Holidays are coming!

Christmas isn’t all about Coca Cola, or John Lewis, or even The Muppet Christmas Carol – there is more to the festive season, and lots of it is out and about in London!

So here is our early Christmas present to you, our dear readers: 10 fab Christmas shows and 10 unmissable Winter Pop-Ups to keep you warm-hearted and jolly of spirit throughout this season of goodwill!

Christmas Shows

La Soiree | Aldwych Theatre | 24 November – 3 February | From £19.50

La Soiree

The perennial London favourite returns, bigger and better than ever. The La Soiree troupe of magnificent misfits have been given the keys to a proper West End theatre – as they say, “posh new venue, same cheeky show”.

The Box of Delights | Wilton’s Music Hall | 1 December – 6 January | From £15

Poet Laureate John Masefield’s much-loved classic is reimagined for the beautiful Wilton’s stage in this festive alternative to panto. Sure to be a hit for families who need a bit more than a round of “he’s behind you” for Christmas entertainment.

Slava’s Snowshow | Southbank Centre | 18 December – 4 January | From £20

Every year we see Slava’s Snowshow at the Southbank Centre, and every year we fall more deeply in love with the magical, mesmerising show. A must-see – and then a must-see-again – for young and old.

Nativity! The Musical | Eventim Apollo | 13-17 December | From £27.75

The surprise hit film created by Debbie Isitt is transferred to the stage for a touring production which visits the Hammersmith Apollo just in time for Christmas. If it’s anything like the film, there’ll likely not be a dry eye in the house come the (spoiler alert) suitably uplifting climax.

Great Expectations | Old Red Lion Theatre | 12 December – 6 January | From £14

The Charles Dickens classic gets another adaptation, but this one should stand out from the crowd: the script, adapted by Tom Crowley (Shock Treatment) brings Pip into the modern day, and promises a funny, fast-paced and moving translation of the much-loved tale.

Cinderella | Hackney Empire | 18 November – 31 December | From £10

The Hackney Empire Panto is an East London institution, and for good reason! It never disappoints, always deftly combining family fun, knockabout humour, innuendo, song, dance and silliness wrapped up in a well-known fairytale. This year it’s the turn of Cinderella, those Ugly Sisters and the ultimate evil Stepmother!

Mother Courage and her Children | Southwark Playhouse | 2 November – 9 December | From £12

Mother Courage and her Children

One of our favourite funny people Josie Lawrence plays it straight in this production of Tony Kushner’s translation of the Bertolt Brecht classic. What better time than the run-up to Christmas for what “has been described as the greatest anti-war play of all time”.

The Twilight Zone | Almeida Theatre | 5 December – 27 January | From £10

The TV phenomenon makes an unlikely transfer to the stage, promising an extraordinary theatrical experience as “stage magic and fantasy unite”.

The Tin Drum | Shoreditch Town Hall | 6-23 December | From £12

The Tin Drum

Gunter Grass’ surreal novel gets the Knee-high treatment: “part Baroque opera, part psychedelic white-out, part epic poem: a burlesque, a blitzkrieg, a tsunami”.

Romantics Anonymous | Shakespeare’s Globe | 20 October – 6 January | From £10

Emma Rice signs off at the end of her needlessly controversial and needlessly short tenure as Artistic Director of The Globe, going out on a high with this suitably offbeat love story.

Winter Pop-Ups

Crafty Fox Christmas Market | Geffrye Museum | 14 December

Get a Christmas fix of novel nick nacks from niche independent designers.

African Christmas Market | Africa Centre | 8-10 December

An African Christmas market takes over Great Suffolk Street, featuring “African and Caribbean food, craft, fashion and jewellery stalls; gospel choirs; a special Santa’s Grotto and kids’ activities; Christmas lights; warming drinks and seasonal surprises”.

Night at the Bombay Roxy | Dishoom Kensington | 27 November – 14 December

Immerse yourself in a night of Indian Noir at the Bombay Roxy, a café and jazz club in 1949 Bombay. Dishoom have teamed up with Kill The Beast’s Ollie Jones and Clem Garrity, and director Eduard Lewis, to create this site specific performance which promises to include cocktails, a lavish dining experience, and live jazz.

The Garmhaus Christmas Popup Vintage Market | Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen | 3 December

The Garmhaus takes over Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen for a festive pop-up, promising DJs, sequins, live art, bands, fabulous clothes galore, Christmas cocktails and more!

Outdoor Ice Rinks | Tower of London & Somerset House

Ok, it’s become a cliché, but for most Londoners Christmas is the one time each year when it’s possible/acceptable to go spend an evening ice-skating! There are plenty of pop-up rinks to choose from, but the Tower Of London & Somerset House are definitely two of the prettiest.

Skylight: Rooftop Ice Skating | Tobacco Dock | £10

If you need something different to keep your annual ice-skate interesting, why not try skating on a rooftop at Tobacco Dock?

Winter Market | Southbank Centre | 16 November – 30 December

The Southbank is one of our favourite locations in London all year round, and its Christmas incarnation is no disappointment. Nordic-inspired wooden chalets host top London traders fully stocked with festive food, drinks, gifts and treats for all!

Nuclear Winter | STYX | 29 November – 24 February | £55

Nuclear Winter

“Nuclear Winter is a yuletide festival with a cold war flavour! From Russia to America and back through Cuba we’ve got it all to make your Christmas period go with a bang.”

An immersive supper club experience, featuring cabaret and entertainment.

Finnish Rooftop Sauna | Southbank Centre | 16 November – 30 December | From £15

The best place to ride out the cold of winter is somewhere warm and cosy – so where better (or healthier?) than the Finnish Rooftop Sauna on the Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace.

Ice-Karting | Queensway | Tuesday & Sunday Evenings | £44

Basically dodgems on ice. What’s not to like? Go with friends, or play it moody and mysterious against a bunch of strangers – it will be cold and it will be fast!

Did we miss any Christmas Shows or Pop Ups that you think we should be shouting about? Let us know and we’ll do our best to add it!

Rupert Dannreuther

About 

I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.