Emmie Newitt

The Shows Opening in London Theatres in December 2023

Looking for new shows to see in December? With Christmas now in sight, there's so much on offer in London's theatre scene. Read our guide to find out more.

shows to see in london in december 2023Unfortunate, Edward Scissorhands and The Motive and The Cue promotional images.

During December, the West End will continue to offer great musicals such as MRS DOUBTFIRE and FROZEN but the month also brings exciting new stuff too. So whether you fancy a festive family-friendly performance like THE GRUFFALO’S CHILD or London’s most popular pantomime PETER PAN at the London Palladium - there are these and 11 more shows opening up in December.


unfortunate musicalUnfortunate promotional image

Heading into London for a limited run from 8 December is the critically acclaimed hit parody UNFORTUNATE. Ursula, will spill all of the information on what really happened under the sea all those years ago. Having achieved sell out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and around the UK on a short tour, London audiences can now experience the hot pop soundtrack and trademark filthy humour as part of their December plans.

  • Playing at Southwark Playhouse Elephant
  • Booking until 17 February 2024

Ulster American

ulster americanWoody Harrelson, Louisa Harland and Andy Serkis star in Ulster American.

Starring Woody Harrelson, Andy Serkis and Louisa Harland, do not miss the limited 8 week run of ULSTER AMERICAN which heads into the Riverside Studios from 4 December. The pitch-black comedy from award-winning playwright David Ireland follows an Oscar-winning American actor, an English director and a Northern Irish playwright who are about to begin rehearsals for a new play — one that could transform each of their careers. But when it turns out that they’re not on the same page, the night threatens to spiral out of control.

  • Playing at Riverside Studios
  • Booking until 27 January 2023

The Nutcracker

the nutcracker sadlers wellsThe Nutcracker

A hugely popular show for the festive season, the English National Ballet’s staple production of THE NUTCRACKER returns to the stage in December. Held in the magnificent London Coliseum, watch more than 100 dancers and musicians be brought together in this unforgettable show to see before Christmas. Tchaikovsky’s iconic score will stun and captivate audiences of all ages - this is not one to be missed.

  • Playing at London Coliseum
  • Booking until 7 January 2024

The Unfriend

the unfriend lee mackThe Unfriend promotional image

THE UNFRIEND heads back into London for a second limited run at the Wyndham’s Theatre. Brought to the stage by Chichester Festival Theatre, this riotous dark comedy from Steven Moffatt has been directed by Mark Gatiss. Reviewed by one of our customers as “Very entertaining, a.good night out”, THE UNFRIEND includes a great cast at its helm including award-winning comedian and actor Lee Mack.

  • Playing at Wyndham’s Theatre
  • Booking until 9 March 2024

Stranger Things: The First Shadow

stranger things the first shadow londonStranger Things: The First Shadow promotional image

A prequel to the hit Netflix TV Series and produced by Sonia Friedman’s production company along with Stephen Daldry and Netflix - STRANGER THINGS: THE FIRST SHADOW is heading to London’s Phoenix Theatre. Taking us to 1959, we reencounter Jim Hopper and Joyce Maldonado as they handle the shadows of their past.

  • Playing at Phoenix Theatre
  • Booking until 9 March 2024

Edward Scissorhands

matthew bourne edward scissorhandsMatthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands production image.

A dance production based on the unforgettable 1990 Tim Burton which starred Johnny Depp is heading to Sadlers Wells. Featuring the hauntingly beautiful music of Danny Elfman and Terry Davies, Matthew Bourne’s production returns to the stage for the first time since its premiere back in 2015. EDWARD SCISSORHANDS is a witty and bittersweet story of an incomplete boy who is left alone to discover a strange new world.

  • Playing at Sadlers Wells
  • Booking until 20 January 2024


diana eventim apolloDiana at the Eventim Apollo promotional image

Heading into the Eventim Apollo in London for one night only this December is DIANA in a new concert version of the Broadway show that got everyone here in London talking when it dropped on the popular streaming site, Netflix. Billed as “dazzling and devastating” look at the life of Princess Diana, but this time we’re handing her the mic and letting her tell her story. The concert features and incredible cast including Kerry Ellis, Maiya Quansah-Breed and Denise Welch.

  • Playing at Eventim Apollo
  • Booking until 4 December 2023

Peter Pan

peter pan london palladiumPeter Pan at the London Palladium.

The annual pantomime at the London Palladium is back this festive season and PETER PAN offers the biggest adventure..yet. With a whole host of big names heading into the production including Jennifer Saunders, Julian Clary, Gary Wilmot, as well as the return of Rob Madge - this is a must-see! London Palladium’s stage will be full of jaw-dropping special effects and stunning sets and costumes that will leave you in awe.

  • Playing at London Palladium
  • Booking until 14 January 2024

The Nutcracker: Adult Pantomime

the nutcracker adult pantomimeThe Nutcracker Adult Pantomime promotional image

If you’d like to watch a pantomime specifically for adults - we’ve got you covered with the addition of THE NUTCRACKER: ADULT PANTO at the Turbine Theatre. Centred around Carly who has had a terrible year: not only has her love rat ex ghosted her but her father died in a collision with a Just Stop Oil protest and now her Mum is insistent on still throwing their annual festive party. If you haven’t made plans for your staff Christmas party - book a ticket to this!

  • Playing at Turbine Theatre
  • Booking until 23 December

The Motive and The Cue

the motive and the cueThe Motive and The Cue promotional image

THE MOTIVE AND THE CUE is Jack Thorne’s new play and it's heading to the Noel Coward Theatre for a limited season. Co-produced with Neal Street Productions and director Sam Mendes, this play is a ‘new take on the making of Burton and Gielgud’s infamous 1964 version of Hamlet’. Audiences will gain a fresh perspective in how the well-known play came to light and why audiences still love coming to see it time after time.

  • Playing at Noel Coward Theatre
  • Booking until 23 March 2024

A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story

a christmas carol ghost storyA Christmas Carol A Ghost Story production image

One of the most popular novels read during the festive season is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Now you can see Mark Gatiss’ retelling of it in his production at the Alexandra Palace Theatre from 15 December. Its arrival in London follows a successful run in 2021 and has also recently been performing in Nottingham in November. A CHRISTMAS CAROL’s tale of Scrooge is one that will stick with you long after you’ve watched this production.

  • Playing at Alexandra Palace
  • Booking until 7 January 2024

The Gruffalo’s Child

the gruffalos childThe Gruffalo's Child artwork

We haven’t forgotten about the younger members of the audience in December with the arrival of an enchanting adaptation of a much-loved picture book heading to the Garrick Theatre. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s THE GRUFFALO’S CHILD comes to life with songs, laughs and scary fun everyone from 3 to 103 can enjoy.

  • Playing at Garrick Theatre
  • Booking until 7 January 2024

A Very Very Bad Cinderella

a very very bad cinderellaA Very Very Bad Cinderella promotional image

A brand new twist on the classic fairy tale heads to The Other Palace with the arrival of A VERY VERY BAD CINDERELLA written by Neil Hurst and Jodie Prenger. This is a musical parody that contains loads of songs lovingly ripped from the grasps of West End Wendy’s repertoire. A VERY VERY BAD CINDERELLA promises to be the naughtiest, stagey-est, panto-packed show in London.

  • Playing at The Other Palace
  • Booking until 7 January 2024

With 13 shows opening in London during the month of December, there’s plenty on offer for you to enjoy in the run up to Christmas. Enjoy your last dose of theatre before the end of the year, whether that’s a musical or one of these new shows.