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Theatre picks: A winter line-up your kids will love

Heart-warming tales, puppet shows and pantos for family theatre trips

The Snowman

The coming theatre season in West Yorkshire is packed full of fabulous shows your little ones will love.

Looking ahead to the colder, shorter days of winter, our guide offers a selection of heart-warming live theatre shows in and around Huddersfield, ideal for children and families.

We’ve included festive pantomimes and a puppet show as well as classic fairy tales and a Roald Dahl classic.

Tickets are on sale now and we've got all the information you need — what's on where, when, and how to book.

So why not book a family trip to the theatre? Whether you fancy booing the baddies at a pantomime or being swept away by the magic of The Snowman, we've got shows the whole family can enjoy.

Here's our guide to family theatre in November, December and January:

NOVEMBER

The Tinderbox

Square Chapel Centre for the Arts: Sunday, November 20

Norwich Puppet Theatre presents a retelling of the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about the roguish soldier who acquires a magical tinderbox which gives him extraordinary powers. The 2.30pm performance is suitable for ages four and above. Running time 50 minutes. Tickets £8 from www.squarechapel.co.uk or 01422 349422.

Sleeping Beauty, coming to the Theatre Royal, Wakefield, this winter

Sleeping Beauty

Theatre Royal, Wakefield: Thursday, November 24 until Saturday, December 31

The classic fairy tale comes to life in panto format. There are BSL interpreted performances on Thursday, December 8, at 1.30pm and 6pm, and a relaxed performance on Thursday, December 1, at 10am. Prices £13 to £22.50 from www.theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk, 01924 211311.

Rudolf

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds: Friday, November 25, until Saturday, December 31

A gentle tale about Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer’s aspirations to pull Santa’s sleigh and ideal for young children. Will Rudolf graduate from Reindeer School? Of course he will, despite being the red-nosed reject, with the help of the Ugly Duckling – who else? Tickets are £11 to £16 from www.wyp.org.uk or 0113 2137700.


DECEMBER

Santa’s Polka Dot Pirate

Victoria Theatre, Halifax: Thursday, December 1, to Wednesday, December 7

Described as a ‘fun-packed festive experience for children’ this show is packed with songs and offers youngsters the chance to meet Santa himself in person (as well as receive a gift from him). Suitable for little ones up to the age of six, there are several shows a day between 10.30am and 3.30pm. Tickets are £7.50 and £10.50 from www.victoriatheatre.co.uk or 01422 351158.

The Victoria Theatre in Halifax(Image: unknown)

The Witches

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds: Friday, December 2, to Saturday, January 21, 2017

Roald Dahl’s scary book about the child-hating witches features a cast of actor-musicians so there’s lots of music and action as a brave young boy and his grandmother plan to get rid of the witches for good. Adapted by David Wood from the original story. Aimed at ages five plus. Tickets are £16 to £20 from www.wyp.org.uk or 0113 2137700.

Cinderella , the Lawrence Batley Theatre's first professional panto

Cinderella

Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield: Friday, December 9, to Saturday, December 31

The theatre’s first-ever professional panto, created by Yorkshire residents and experienced theatre duo Joyce Branagh and Andrew Pollard. About as classic a tale as it’s possible to find, this production promises all the essential panto elements, original and well-known music and not one but two dames. Suitable for all ages. Tickets are £10 to £17 from www.thelbt.org.uk or 01484 430528. Audio described performance on Thursday, December 15; relaxed show on Monday, December 19; and BSL sign language performance on Tuesday, December 20.

Peter Pan at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax

Peter Pan

Victoria Theatre, Halifax: Saturday, December 10, to Monday, January 2, 2017

Fly away to Never Never Land with Wendy, Michael and the boys for a swashbuckling panto. Featuring traditional slapstick, a ticking crocodile and plenty of song and dance. Tickets are from £15 to £18.95 from www.victoriatheatre.co.uk or 01422 351158.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Square Chapel Centre for the Arts, Halifax: Sunday, December 11

The famous Narnia story is brought to the stage by APL Theatre. Aimed at children aged four and over, it tells the story of the magic wardrobe that is the entrance to a wondrous land of talking animals and the majestic lion king Aslan. Shows at 3pm and 6pm. Tickets £10 and £12 from www.squarechapel.co.uk or 01422 349422. Running time 110 minutes.

The Snowman

The Snowman

Huddersfield Town Hall: Tuesday, December 13

Not so much a show as a magical experience, the annual performance of the score to The Snowman by the Orchestra of Opera North combines live music with a showing of the famous 1982 cartoon film by Raymond Briggs. There are also readings of classic children’s tales – based on the Roald Dahl versions of The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood, accompanied by a big screen picture book. Tickets are from £1 for children to £12. To book visit tickets.kirklees.gov.uk or call 01484 225755.

Peter Pan at the Alhambra, Bradford, with Billy Pearce, Darren Day, Charlie Hardwick and Jon Lee

Peter Pan

Alhambra Theatre, Bradford: Saturday, December 17, to Sunday, January 29

Darren Day and Billy Pearce star in the season’s offering from the Alhambra, the region’s biggest professional panto. This is another version of the story of the boy who never grew up and promises 3D special effects and comedian Billy as the fumbling pirate fool Smee. Darren is Captain Hook. Tickets are from £15.50 to £39.

West Yorkshire pantomimes 2016: Fabulous festive shows for Christmas

JANUARY

Dick Whittington

Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield: January 7 to 14, 2017

Huddersfield Light Opera Company’s annual panto should brighten up the dull, dark days of January. Always popular with local audiences, the show is written by Paul Bennett and Chris Brearley, both members of the company, and promises traditional panto at its best. Tickets are from £4 to £15 from www.thelbt.org.uk or 01484 430528.

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