ELL Guide to Christmas: It’s right behind you!

Mother Goose at Hackney Empire. Pic: Robert Workman

Mother Goose at Hackney Empire. Pic: Robert Workman

From swashbuckling pirate adventures to festive film marathons, there’s plenty of family-fun over the Christmas period. Eastlondonlines sent Hannah Boland out to discover all the unmissable events over the holidays.


A Journey through Bethlehem – Croydon Citadel

For a last minute festive treat for the family, head down to the Croydon Citadel on December 23 and experience an interactive walk-through of the nativity story. With offerings of food, music and crafts – along with real live animals – there’s something for everyone, including carols by candlelight to end the night.

Santa Claus and The Magical Christmas Journey – Fairfield Halls

Don’t miss out on the chance to catch a family-friendly musical, where a sleigh crash in Croydon can only be resolved through teamwork and friendship. The extravaganza is currently underway at Fairfield Halls and includes nursery rhymes, songs and even snowflakes falling over the audience. Tickets are available up until December 24. Children can meet Santa Claus after the show.



Mother Goose – Hackney Empire

Pantomime enthusiasts should visit the Hackney Empire, for what TimeOut magazine has called “as lavish a pantomime as you’ll ever see”. Actors will be performing Mother Goose in a nominal revival of the 2008 Olivier-nominated production until January 4. Make sure you get your tickets soon before they sell out.

Hackney Carol Concert – St Chad’s Church

Visit the beautiful St Chad’s Church, Dunloe Street, on December 17 for what is set to be a lovely carol service. Alongside general “festivities”, supper will be served after the service. All ages and groups are welcome and no booking is required. For more information, call organiser Jan Dewhurst on 07724079757.



Peter Pan – Orchard Theatre

Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood is starring as Hook in the Dartford Christmas pantomime, Peter Pan. The swashbuckling production starts this Friday and runs until January 3. It promises to feature “dazzling sets, sparkling costumes, an abundance of comedy and stunning special effects”. Special guests include comedian Dawson Chance and his ventriloquist dummy Willy.

Lewisham Borough Commander Christmas Carols

The borough police are hosting a carol concert this year, with hopes to raise support for their ‘Present for a Child’ initiative. For festivities and singing around a Christmas tree, head down to Lewisham High Street between 7:00 and 8:00pm on December 18. All are welcome.

The Magic of Christmas – The Orchard Theatre

The Orchard Theatre is hosting an evening of Christmas tunes on December 20. At £1.50 per ticket, those attending will have the chance to see the British operatic tenor and classical crossover singer, Gari Glaysher. If you’re feeling really extravagant, why not make a night of it and book a table at The Orchard Theatre Restaurant, where the Christmas menu is now on offer?


Tower Hamlets

Girls Just Watch Films – Genesis Cinema

A free Christmas film marathon is taking place at the Genesis cinema on December 11, hosted by the WI. Those going along to “Girls Just Watch Films” will have the chance to watch The Snowman followed by Bridget Jones Diary. The night promises plenty of mince pies and a great offer on glasses of mulled wine. The WI has asked for those attending to bring along cans of food to donate to charity.

Sing Tower Hamlets – St Paul’s Shadwell

This Wednesday, drop by St Paul’s Shadwell for a concert to raise money for the GrowTH night shelter. The east London community choir will be performing a variety of songs with seasonal refreshments to follow. If you already have plans, don’t worry – the choir will also be hosting another service on December 21, so you have no excuse to miss it!



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