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It’s showtime! Ten Christmas crackers

The Little Match Girl

Award-winning choreographer Arthur Pita gives Hans Christen Andersen’s fairytale a makeover with dance, song and live music, telling the heart-tugging tale of an impoverished young girl selling matches in the freezing depths of winter. Until Dec 11, Sadler’s Wells, sadlerswells.com

Dick Whittington And His Cat

Hackney Empire’s renowned pantos balance the genre’s conventions with sharp writing. Here, Dick and his moggy hop on the Empire Windrush and set sail from Jamaica for a new life in London Town. All ages. Until January 5, Hackney Empire, hackneyempire.co.uk

Goldilocks And The Three Bears

Sauciness is guaranteed at the historic venue’s A-list Christmas show with Julian Clary, Nigel Havers and Paul O’Grady (above), with added set-piece stunners from illusionist Phil Hitchcock, roller-skating duo The Skating Medini and stunt rider Peter Pavlov. Until January 12, London Palladium, palladiumpantomime.com

A Christmas Carol

This year, the Old Vic’s magical, moving production, written by Bafta-winning TV and stage writer Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials), stars Paterson Joseph as Scrooge. Eight+. Don’t miss our Weekend cover story interview with Paterson. Until Jan 18, The Old Vic, oldvictheatre.com

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

Deep waters: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

The National’s seasonal show is an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s dark fairytale in which a man is transported back to his 13-year-old self and enters an unsettling world on the cusp of destruction. Twelve+. Until Jan 25, National Theatre, nationaltheatre.co.uk

Christmas Carol: A Fairytale

The capital’s most atmospheric stage venue (built during Dickens’s lifetime) does things differently and its telling of the Christmas classic sees Scrooge played by a woman and also features spellbinding puppets and magic. Until Jan 4, Wiltons, wiltons.org.uk

Cinderella

Timmika Ramsay stars as Cinders, with emerging and young performers joining established names such as Shobna Gulati, in a cheeky, heartwarming and pop-fuelled adaptation of the timeless rags-to-riches tale. Until Jan 5, Lyric Hammersmith, lyric.co.uk

Nutcracker

Is it even Christmas without Tchaikovsy’s ballet? Sumptuous sets, 100 dancers and stirring music help tell the story of Clara and her nutcracker’s adventures in a magical world with a mean Mouse King, the Land Of Snow and the Kingdom Of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy awaits. Until Jan 5, London Coliseum, londoncoliseum.org

Nativity! The Musical

Sharon Osbourne, the Dyers (Love Islander Dani and dad Danny) and Rylan (Clark-Neal) are the celebrity icing on this nativity musical cake as the sparkling stage adaptation of the charming 2009 film returns for a third year. Little donkey, this ain’t. Until Dec 29, Hammersmith Apollo, eventimapollo.com

White Christmas

The wholesome stage adaptation of the Hollywood classic has impeccable West End chops with Danny Mac (Sunset Boulevard), Dan Burton (Singin’ In The Rain) and Brenda Edwards (Chicago). Expect slick dance routines, Irving Berlin’s glorious songs and gorgeous 1950s fashion in a wholesome family musical that harks back to simpler times. Until Jan 4, The Dominion Theatre, nederlander.co.uk