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The best Christmas shows to book: from Dickens and Elf to Gwyneth Paltrow on the slopes (yes, really)

 (ES)
(ES)

London has a wealth of festive fare to enjoy this Christmas. We have already covered off our pick of pantomimes and children's shows to book, and today it's the turn of Christmas-themed plays and musicals. Book for guaranteed Christmas cheer

A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic

 (Manuel Harlan)
(Manuel Harlan)

Jack Thorne's adaptation of Dickens' stone-cold Christmas classic has become an Old Vic staple, entrancing visitors year after year. 2023's edition is particularly special with the casting of the great Christopher Eccleston as Ebenezer Scrooge. Not one to miss.

To January 6; buy tickets here

Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York) at the Kiln Theatre

 (Marc Brenner)
(Marc Brenner)

Set at Christmas, this glorious new musical by Jim Barnes and Kit Buchan is a love letter to the rom-coms of the Eighties and Nineties (as well as Home Alone 2). With winning performances from Sam Tutty and Dujonna Gift and catchy, witty tunes, this is a must-see.

To December 23, buy tickets here

Gwyneth Goes Skiing at the Pleasance Theatre

According to Linus Karp, who takes on the role of the Hollywood A-lister herself, Gwyneth Goes Skiing "is going to be camp, it’s going to be Christmas, it’s going to be Goopy.” It’s the story of the Hollywood A-lister who collided on the slopes with a retired optometrist, an incident that would end up in court seven years later. A comedy of love, betrayal and skiing, where the audience is the jury.

To December 23. pleasance.co.uk

A Christmas Carol at Alexandra Palace

 (Bread and Butter PR)
(Bread and Butter PR)

London's other Christmas Carol, this time in the glorious surroundings of Ally Pally. This adaptation is by Mark Gatiss and the production has Keith Allen taking on humbugging duties as Scrooge.

To January 7, buy tickets here

Elf the Musical at the Dominion Theatre

 (matt crockett)
(matt crockett)

It’s Elf, you either love it or you don't... This musical adaptation of the wildly popular Will Ferrell movie about Buddy the Elf’s adventures in New York continues to pull in the punters to the Dominion. Real festive fun.

To January 6; buy tickets here

Christmas Actually at the Royal Festival Hall

Talking of a Christmas movie that divides audiences, there is none more divisive than Love Actually, with its gloopy tales of winter romance and heartbreak. But it clearly inspires devotion among enough fans to prompt the arrival of this Christmas variety extravaganza, curated by the film's creator Richard Curtis on the South Bank.

December 7-11; buy tickets here

A Sherlock Carol at the Marylebone Theatre

 (Alex Brenner)
(Alex Brenner)

This Dickens/Doyle mashup returns to Baker Street after a successful premiere last year. The plot revolves around the famed detective meeting a grown up Tiny Tim, who asks him to investigate the murder of his reformed benefactor Ebenezer Scrooge.

To January 7; buy tickets here