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  • Miles Hedley

THE 12 DAYS (AND NIGHTS) OF CHRISTMAS in and around Greenwich

1 The Queen Of Hearts, Greenwich Theatre till 2 January. Legendary dame Andrew Pollard is back live with his own take on a traditional panto alongside favourite villain Anthony Spargo. Expect songs, jokes, romance and plenty of audience participation.

2 Ice rink, The Queen’s House till 9 January. The setting at the heart of the Greenwich World Heritage Site couldn’t be better with the Royal Museums’ complex on one side and the Old Royal Naval College on the other. Great fun for all ages.

3 A Christmas Carol, Old Royal Naval College 3-23 December. Goblin Theatre present a new version – with original songs and music – of Charles Dickens’ perennial seasonal favourite in the amazing surroundings of the ORNC’s Painted Hall.

4 The Snow Queen, Albany 4-23 December. The world is getting warmer and snow is a thing of the past – who’s going to save the world from disaster? A thrilling and intensely topical family entertainment from theatre-makers Wrongsemble.

5 Family Festive Sing-A-Long, Blackheath Halls 4 December. The annual event returns to the Great Hall with the promise of joining in well-known Christmas songs led by a choir plus a challenge to wear your sparkliest and most colourful Xmas jumper.

6 The Little Prince, Woolwich Works 4 December. Luca Silvestrini’s Protein Dance will use spoken word and song as well as movement to bring to life Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s wonderful and often surreal fairytale about the power of love and friendship.

7 The Messiah, Old Royal Naval College 5 December. The ORNC’s glorious chapel is the setting for this performance of Handel’s great oratorio, which includes the matchless Hallelujah chorus, by a Trinity Laban choir conducted by Ralph Allwood.

8 A Christmas Carol, Greenwich Theatre 6&13 December. John O’Connor reprises his brilliant one-man show recreating one of Dickens’ reading performances. Another chance (see No3 above) to delight in the man who invented our idea of Christmas.

9 The Ballad Of Rudy, Canada Water Theatre 10&11 December. Rudy the reindeer may not have a red nose in this family musical adventure but he does have a host of cool friends such as a blues-singing polar bear, a jazz-loving puffin and a beatboxing fox.

10 The Nutcracker, Blackheath Halls 11-12 December. Let’s All Dance returns to the Great Hall with the world’s favourite ballet which features wonderful characters like the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King, fabulous music and dazzling costumes.

11 The Grotteaux, Woolwich Works 16 December to 8 January. Every show drips with glamour and variety as Shotgun Carousel combine cabaret, drag, burlesque, circus and live music. And there’s even a special New Year’s Eve show to usher in 2022.

12 Keith Christmas, Mycenae House 16 December. The veteran (and aptly-named) folkie is joined by a cappella quartet Morrigan and singer Bob Kenwood for a night of festive wassailing organised by brilliant local charity Global Fusion Music And Arts.

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