A family theatre bonanza

 
Timothy Barber
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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, NATIONAL THEATRE
A new version of the fairytale classic by Lucy Kirkwood, incorporating music, magic and puppets. The director is Katie Mitchell, who was behind last year’s enthralling Cat in a Hat. Until 4 Jan. Tickets from £10 from www.nationaltheatre.org.uk

MY DAD’S A BIRDMAN, THE YOUNG VIC
David Almond has adapted his own hit book about a father and daughter attempting to take to the skies despite the best efforts of an interfering aunt, while none other than the Pet Shop Boys have provided the songs. Until 1 Jan. £8 kids, £10 adults. www.youngvic.org

POTTED PANTO, VAUDEVILLE THEATRE
CBBC’s Dan and Jeff – who also had a smash hit with their wizardly Potted Potter – deliver seven pantomimes in 80 minutes, including Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Dick Whittington and Snow White. Madcap stuff. Tickets from £15 from www.pottedpanto.com

CINDERELLA, SADLER’S WELLS
Super-choreographer Matthew Bourne is reviving his exquisite version of Prokofiev’s Cinderella, set during the blackout in wartime London, where Cinderella’s encounter with a dashing RAF pilot plays out against a city transformed by the Blitz. Until 23 Jan. Tickets from £10 from www.sadlerswells.com

THE SNOWMAN, THE PEACOCK THEATRE
An enchanting stage version of Raymond Briggs’s book. Altogether now: we’re walking in the air…. Until 9 Jan. Tickets from £12, www.sadlerswells.com

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, HACKNEY EMPIRE
Panto fun of the fee fi fo fum variety at the Hackney Empire, including the singing harp, the golden hen, and Buttercup the break dancing cow. And a giant, of course. Until 9 Jan. Tickets from £9.50 from www.hackneyempire.co.uk

DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT, LYRIC HAMMERSMITH
Stephen Fry and Alan Davies have lent their voices as narrators Bow and Bells for the Lyric’s colourful telling of the feline fancier who came to London to seek his fortune and eventually became mayor. Until 8 Jan. Tickets from £10 from www.lyric.co.uk

PEPPA PIG’S PARTY, THE CRITERION
Every little kid’s favourite playful piggy celebrates her birthday with her brother George, Suzy Sheep, and Ellie Elephant, with songs and lots of jumping in puddles. Until 2 Jan. Tickets from $14.50 www.peppapiglive.com

GET SANTA!, THE ROYAL COURT
Sloane Square’s innovative theatre brings magic and mischief – and an elf called Bumblehole – to contemporary issues in Anthony Neilson’s play about a little girl who waits up for Santa on Christmas Eve to trap him, in order to make him help her find her real father. Until 15 Jan. Tickets from £8 from www.royalcourttheatre.com

ALSO OUT
FILMS, MUSIC, GAMES

FILM

SECRETARIAT John Malkovich and Diane Lane star in the story of the famous titular race horse.

MONSTERS Ultra-low budget, but rather enjoyable, British-made zombie flick.

THE WARRIOR’S WAY Action adventure with Kate Bosworth, Dong-gun Jang and Geoffrey Rush.

MUSIC

DUFFY Album two by the Welsh singer, co-written with Albert Hammond of the Strokes, titled Endlessly.

OLLY MURS X-Factor also-ran and chipper likely lad releases his eponymous debut.

BLACK EYED PEAS Their last album was called the E.N.D., so the new one’s called the Beginning. The wags!

DVD

SEX AND THE CITY 2 Sarah Jessica Parker et al go to Abu Dhabi, but leave their brains in the States.

THE A-TEAM Disappointing remake of the ‘80s TV show, with Liam Neeson and his badly-dyed grey hair as Hannibal.

CATS AND DOGS 1 AND 2 Double set of fun films about adventurous warring pets.

GAMES

DONKEY KONG COUNTRY RETURNS (WII) The latest installment of the game is released for Wii.

DEAD NATION (PS3) Kick zombie ass in this all-new shoot ‘em up.

BLAZBLUE: CONTINUUM SHIFT (PS3, X360) Sequel to the Japanese arcade game.