5 pantos in Ireland to see with the family this Christmas

Catching a pantomime during the festive season is an Irish tradition. To get into the spirit, we’ve rounded up our five most anticipated pantos in Ireland this Christmas.

5 pantos in Ireland to see with the family this Christmas

Visiting the theatre each Christmas to see a pantomime is a pastime enjoyed by many in Ireland. For those unfamiliar with the tradition, a pantomime (panto for short) usually retells a fairy tale or classic story and includes songs, dances, jokes (for both kids and adults), exaggerated characters, and audience participation.

Due to their popularity, a wide number of festive pantomimes are held all across Ireland annually – and we have the lowdown on those that are a must-see this season in the Emerald Isle’s two capital cities: Dublin (capital of the Republic of Ireland) and Belfast (capital of Northern Ireland).

Here are the top five pantos in Ireland to see with the family this Christmas. Many of them run till January, so there’s still time to get tickets!

5. Aladdin (Dublin) – the ultimate Arabian adventure

5 pantos in Ireland to see with the family this Christmas include Aladdin in Dublin
Credit: www.gaietytheatre.ie (Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)

Having hosted the annual Christmas panto since 1873, winter shows at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin have become something of a family tradition.

Starring audience favourites Joe Conlan and Nicholas Grennell, and with debut performances by West End stars Julian Capolei and Suzie Seweify, this year’s show is fun for all the family. So grab your magic carpet and come along for the ride!  

When: Sunday 24 November 2019 – Sunday 19 January 2020 at various times

Address: Gaiety Theatre, South King St, Dublin 2, Ireland

Cost: from €19.50

Event link: HERE

4. The Three Musketeers (Dublin) – a show ‘for all!’

5 pantos in Ireland to see with the family this Christmas include The Three Musketeers in Dublin
Credit: @thehelixdublin / Instagram

This Christmas, TheatreworX is returning to the Helix Theatre with their brilliantly witty new show, The Three Musketeers. This adaptation of the well-known Alexandre Dumas tale features a comical script and hosts a cast of fan favourites including Aidan Mannion, Colin Hughes, and Chris Corroon – plus more.

Suitable for all, The Three Musketeers is, we believe, one of the top pantos in Ireland to see with the family this Christmas! (A sensory-friendly show is available on Wednesday 18 December at 7pm).   

When: Friday 22 November 2019 – Sunday 19 January 2020 at various times

Address: The Helix, Dublin City University, 630 Collins Ave Ext, Whitehall, Dublin, Ireland

Cost: from €17.50

Event link: HERE

3. Cinderella (Dublin) – a true classic!

5 pantos in Ireland to see with the family this Christmas include Cinderella in Dublin
Credit: @olympiatheatre / Twitter

With the tagline, ‘The Story of Cinders and her Fella,’ this year’s show at the Olympia Theatre is sure to have you laughing from beginning to end! Taking on the beloved fairy-tale is an all-star line-up including Ryan Andrews, James Patrice, Zoe Talbot and Al Foran – to name but a few.

The wide variety of performers hailing from the stage, screen, and social media is sure to entice all members of the family to join in the fun!

When: Friday 20 December 2019 – Saturday 4 January 2020 at various times

Address: The Olympia Theatre, 72 Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 K135, Ireland

Cost: Individual from €17.50 / Family tickets from €86

Event link: HERE

2. The Frozen Princess (Belfast) – the ideal snow-themed adventure!

The Frozen Princess pantomime is playing in Belfast
Credit: www.waterfront.co.uk

Pantomimes at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast are family favourites, and with the show being helmed by the same team as the previous performances of Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast, this year is set to be no different!

Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Snow Queen, this year’s performance of The Frozen Princess features the talents of Catriona McFeely, Eimear Barr and Marty Maguire – among others.

And with its lovable characters, catchy tunes, stunning costumes and incredible set design, The Frozen Princess is high on our list of the top pantos in Ireland to see with the family this Christmas!

(The special performances offered include a relaxed performance on Sunday 22 December at 1pm and a Dementia-friendly performance on Monday 30 December at 1pm).

When: Tuesday 26 November 2019 – Tuesday 31 December 2019 at various times

Address: Waterfront Hall, 2 Lanyon Pl, Belfast BT1 3WH

Cost: from £16.50 / Family tickets from £66

Event link: HERE

1. Beauty and the Beast (Belfast) – for a tale as old as time

Beauty and the Beast will run at the Grand Opera House through January
Credit: @gohbelfast / Facebook

To top off our list, the historic Grand Opera House in Belfast is hosting one last production before it closes for restoration next year, and that production is their pantomime of the beloved fairy tale ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

This will be May McFettridge’s 30th season as the Queen of Belfast Pantomime, and she will be joined by stage and screen star Ben Richards (Footballers Wives, Holby City, Hollyoaks, and more) as well as Britain’s Got Talent favourite Mandy Muden. The whole show is sure to be magical.

When: Sat 30 November 2019 – Sun 12 January 2020 at various times

Address: Grand Opera House, 2-4 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2 7HR, United KingdomCost: £36.25 – £21.75

Event link: HERE

So there are our top five pantos in Ireland to see with the family this Christmas. Abandon this tradition? Oh no, you won’t! (Anyone who’s seen a panto will know that reference, and if you don’t know it, get thee to a theatre!)

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Rebekah Humphries is a writer and blogger hailing from Carrickfergus, County Antrim. Having graduated from The Open University with a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, she hopes to utilise her passion for writing to help showcase the best that Ireland has to offer. In her free time, you are likely to find her drinking tea with a book in hand, spending time with her black lab, or cheering on her local ice-hockey team, the Belfast Giants.