Oh, yes it is! Pantomime season is here again so we’ve put together a list of the biggest and best pantos in Essex. Which evil villain will you be booing to see this year?

We also have listings for grottos, Christmas markets, and Christmas lights switch on events in Essex.

Essex Pantomimes 2016

Robinson Crusoe
Cliffs Pavilion Palace Theatre
Station Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 7RA
Saturday 10th December to Sunday 8th January 2017
Returning by popular demand Brian Conley makes a welcome return to the Cliffs Pavilion and will lead the cast of this year’s swashbuckling pantomime Robinson Crusoe & the Caribbean Pirates.
01702 351135
Website www.southendtheatres.org.uk

The Mill Arts & Events Centre
Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, SS6 7ED
Thursday 1st to Saturday 3rd December 2016
Tel: 01268 771751
Website www.rods.org.uk

Sleeping Beauty
The Towngate Theatre

St. Martin’s Square, Basildon, SS14 1DL
Wednesday 30th Nov 2016 to Tuesday 3rd Jan 2017
With stunning scenery, colourful costumes, dazzling dancers and a fantastic full live band at every performance – this promises to be a breathtaking show that is not to be missed!
Tel: 01268 465 465
Website: www.towngatetheatre.co.uk

Sleeping Beauty
Princes Theatre
Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1SE
Saturday 10th Dec 2016 to Sunday 1st Jan 2017
Polka Dot Pantomimes return with the enchanting story of Sleeping Beauty.
Tel: 0843 208 0628
Website: www.essex-live.co.uk

Dick Whittington
Mercury Theatre
Balkerne Gate, Colchester, C01 1PT
Saturday 26th Nov 2016 to Sunday 8th Jan 2017
Mercury panto stars Dale Superville, Antony Stuart-Hicks and Ignatius Anthony tell the rags-to-riches tale of Dick Whittington – the Essex boy who heads to London to find out if the streets are paved with gold.
Tel: 01206 573948
Website: www.mercurytheatre.co.uk

Father Christmas
Headgate Theatre
Chapel Street North, Colchester, CO2 7AT
Wednesday 7th Dec to Saturday 10th Dec 2016
Christmas morning and no present for Dreadful Deidre, she’s on the naughty list again! To get her revenge on Father Christmas she sends her two henchmen, Snaffle and Snatchett, to the North Pole to change things once and for all! Join the Headgate’s Panto gang for a fun-filled festive adventure!
Tel: 01206 366000
Website: www.headgatetheatre.co.uk

Puss In Boots
Witham Public Hall
Witham, CM8 2DY
21st Dec 2016 to 28th Dec 2016
The animated film and subsequent musical SHREK drew its inspiration from the old fairy tale about the miller’s son who inherits the family cat when his father dies and is launched into a fantasy world where the cat turns the ogre into a mouse and helps the son find his fame, fortune and princess all in the swish of a tail.
Tel: 01376 567677
Website www.ticketsource.co.uk

Jack And The Beanstalk
Chelmsford Civic Theatre
Fairfield Road, Chelmsford, CM1 1JG
2nd Dec 2016 to 2nd January 2017
Join in with this traditional family pantomime that promises to enchant and excite audiences of all ages with this classic adventure story the whole family can enjoy. 
Tel: 01245 606505
Website www.chelmsford.gov.uk

Sleeping Beauty
Hylands House

Hylands Park, London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 8WQ
Wednesday 28th Dec 2016 – 4:00pm
In their third year at Hylands House The Panto Bus will deliver this timeless, traditional fairytale for all the family. It will be jam packed with all the fun, laughter, singing and dancing that The Panto Bus has become well known for.
Tel: 01245 605500
Website: www.chelmsford.gov.uk

Peter Pan
Braintree Arts Centre
Notley Road, Braintree, CM7 1WY
Saturday 17th Dec 2016
The Tiptree Academy of Performing Arts present the classic Disney Jnr ‘Peter Pan’. Join us as we enter Neverland and meet the infamous Characters on an adventure of a lifetime!
Tel: 01376 556 354
Website: www.braintreeartstheatre.com

Beauty and The Beast
Harlow Playhouse
Playhouse Square, Harlow, CM20 1LS
3rd Dec 2016 to 4th Jan 2016
Join Beauty and her incredible extended family on an extraordinary trip, as one of the world’s favourite tales takes to the stage, with surprising twists and wonderful turns, prepare to be swept off your feet!
Tel: 01279 431945
Website: uk.patronbase.com

Snow White
The Victoria Hall Theatre
Bury Road, Old Harlow, CM17 0ED
9th Dec 2016 to 22nd Dec 2016
A magical, musical Christmas show for all the family.
Tel: 01279 420 062
Website: www.victoriahalltheatre.co.uk

The Queen’s Theatre
Billet Lane, Hornchurch, RM11 1QT
3rd Dec 2016 – 14th Jan 2017
Join Cinderella on a magical adventure from rags to riches as her Fairy Godmother transforms her into a dazzling beauty fit for a Prince.
Tel: 01708 443333
Website: www.queens-theatre.co.uk

Peter Pan
Thameside Theatre
Orsett Road, Grays, RM17 5DX
2nd Dec 2016 to 8th Jan 2017
This star-studded family musical will be full of fun and festive cheer. Join Peter, Wendy, Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys on their swashbuckling adventure to rid Neverland of the villainous Captain Hook, his bumbling sidekick Smee and their crew of dastardly pirates.
Tel: 0845 300 5264
Website: www.thurrock.gov.uk

The Broadway
Broadway, Barking, IG11 7LS
3rd Dec 2016 to 7th Jan 2017
Let us transport you to the mysterious East (and no, we don’t mean Rainham), to bring you a tale of Aladdin, a poor boy from a poor family who falls for an out-of-bounds princess, is tricked by an evil wizard and gets to fly a magic carpet (so it isn’t all bad).
Tel: 02085 075607
Website: www.thebroadwaybarking.com

Beauty and the Beast
Sir James Hawkey Hall
Woodford Green, Redbridge, IG8 0GB
2nd to 15th January 2017
This year’s spectacular will be ‘Beauty and the Beast’. The script, written by Ben Crocker, has all the usual panto jaunts and many of the characters you would expect to find in the story (and a few you wouldn’t, like a large talking French poodle!) but don’t expect it to be the Disney version.
Tel: 01992 524462
Website: www.woodfordpantomime.co.uk

Kenneth More Theatre
Oakfield Road, Ilford, IG1 1BT
8th> Dec 2016 to 14th Jan 2017
Come and join Rapunzel, her Prince, Dame Teasy Weasy and the evil  Mother Gothel in this wonderful, all new, family pantomime. Don’t miss all the ‘hair-raising’ fun this festive season as the KMT presents this famous traditional pantomime version of Rapunzel.
Tel: 020 8553 4466
Website: www.kmtheatre.co.uk