What's on in the Midlands

Published: 1 December 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Helen George in My Cousin Rachel at Malvern Theatres
Little Red Riding Hood at Derby Theatre Credit: Robert Day
Jamie Muscato (Tony) and Adriana Ivelisse (Maria) in West Side Story at Curve, Leicester Credit: Ellie Kurttz

David Graham Productions stages “the perfect musical for Christmas”, Eric’s Christmas Panto, at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme from Monday until Saturday 14 December.

Five Years, based on Neal Pike’s memories of life at a special educational needs school, visits the Tilstone Studio at the Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton on Tuesday.

Jason Manford appears in the musical Curtains, with book by Rupert Holmes, original book and concept by Peter Stone, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, at the Regent Theatre, Stoke from Tuesday until Saturday.

A new production of Daphne du Maurier’s psychological thriller My Cousin Rachel, adapted by Joseph O’Connor and featuring Helen George, is on stage at Malvern Theatres from Tuesday until Saturday.

Matt Miller and Peader Kirk have come together to create Fitting, a solo performance which uses a "combination of spoken-word storytelling, online autobiographical accounts and physical theatre to explore themes of identity and belonging" which Miller performs Upstairs at the Western, Leicester on Wednesday.

A “unique and engaging show for children about friendship, fun, identity and the ever-changing meaning of family”, Penguins, created and directed by Paul Bosco McEneaney, can be seen in The Door at Birmingham REP from Wednesday until Saturday 14 December while on the main stage a new, re-imagined version of Peter Pan specifically for Birmingham audiences continues until Sunday 19 January.

Hammerpuzzle has two presentations in the Studio at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Under The Greenwood Tree, adapted from the novel by Thomas Hardy, from Wednesday until Monday 30 December and a new adaptation of Edward Lear’s nonsense poem The Owl and The Pussycat which continues until Tuesday 31 December.

Hiccup Theatre aims to build up an appetite for a new version of Little Red Riding Hood in the mornings and afternoons at Derby Theatre from Wednesday until Saturday 4 January while Neil Duffield’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol continues at other times until Saturday 4 January.

A new, comic retelling of Swiss Family Robinson with a cast of four and staged by New Old Friends runs at The Core at Corby Cube, Northamptonshire from Friday until Sunday 29 December.

Anita Dobson heads the cast as the Wicked Stepmother and is joined by Bernie Clifton, Sid Sloane and Martyn James in Cinderella in Derngate, Northampton from Friday until Sunday 29 December while Julia Donaldson’s sequel to Edward Lear’s poem, The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat, continues in the Underground Studio until Sunday 5 January.

Lee Latchford-Evans plays Jack and Andrea Valls is Princess Jess in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Pomegranate, Chesterfield from Friday until Sunday 5 January.

Morgan Brind is Auntie Hilda, Coronation Street’s Bill Ward plays Captain Hook and Katrina Bryan from CBeebies' Nina and the Neurons is Tinker Bell in Derby LIVE and Little Wolf Entertainment’s Peter Pan at Derby Arena from Saturday until Saturday 4 January.

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s “timeless” production of Sir Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker continues at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 14 December.

Raymond Briggs’s Father Christmas, a Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Pins and Needles production, continues at Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry until Sunday 29 December.

Birmingham Old Rep’s Christmas show, Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen, continues until Monday 30 December.

Tall Stories’ The Snow Dragon continues in the Djanogly Theatre at Lakeside Arts, Nottingham until Sunday and returns from 24 until 31 December.

The Christmas 2019 production at Birmingham venue Midlands Arts Centre (mac), Kipper’s Snowy Day, based on the Kipper stories by Mick Inkpen and performed by Slot Machine Theatre, continues until Tuesday 31 December.

Les Dennis and Connor McIntyre are Ugly Sisters, Gareth Gates is Prince Charming and Richard Cadell and Sooty play Buttons in Cinderella which continues at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham until Sunday 5 January.

Olivia Birchenough, Melanie Walters, Adam Moss, Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph go to the ball in Cinderella at Mansfield Palace Theatre which continues until Sunday 5 January.

Coventry’s Belgrade’s Puss in Boots, with writer and director Iain Lauchlan marking 25 years at the theatre, continues until Saturday 11 January.

Nottingham Playhouse’s panto Sleeping Beauty continues until Saturday 11 January.

Jamie Muscato plays Tony and Adriana Ivelisse, a Puerto Rican native making her professional UK debut, is Maria in West Side Story, with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, which continues at Curve, Leicester until Saturday 11 January.

The Theatre Chipping Norton pantomime Puss in Boots continues until Sunday 12 January.

A new production of Mark Twain’s The Prince and The Pauper continues at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme until Saturday 25 January.

At the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, David Walliams’s The Boy in the Dress featuring music by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers continues until Sunday 8 March 2020 while in the Swan Theatre Hannah Khalil’s A Museum in Baghdad continues until Saturday 25 January and Shakespeare's rarely-performed history play King John featuring Rosie Sheehy in the title role continues until Saturday 21 March.