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Tis’ the season to be (extra) CAMP and (extra) QUEER, so before you go booking tickets to see Jeanette Krankie or Ann Widdecombe make a tit of themselves dancing to S Club 7 in a panto in zone 6, check out Jason Reid’s ultimate guide to the scene’s top seasonal shows across the capital. From adult panto, to spoken word, via avant garde, there’s something for everyone out there…


Charming Dick

Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, SE11 5HY 

2nd Dec – 7th Jan, £15

The renowned RVT panto returns for a ninth year, this time round starring cabaret favourites Topsie Redfern, Vinegar Strokes and 2010 Eurovision star Martin Fitch. Filled with all the elements you’d want from a traditional panto, including sing-alongs that will have you channelling your inner diva, as well as smatterings of smut and dark humour. And Prince Charming is GORGEOUS!


David Hoyle: Wholly Night

Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, 42 – 46 Pollard Row, 2E 6NB 

9th Dec, £10/£12

Cabaret avalanche and queer performance legend David Hoyle offers up an unmissable party spectacular, with guests Son Of a Tutu and Sarah Bodalbhai, live art, DJ’s and all the trimmings. Hoyle’s insightful genius will ensure you never see Christmas the same way again.


A Very Polari Christmas

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX 

7th Dec, £5

Marking the end of Paul Burston’s Polari National Tour of 2015, this seasonal slice of spoken word and live music will be headlined by award-winning author Paul Bailey with readings from Andrea Stuart, VG Lee and Paulo Varjack, and music courtesy of Marcus Reeves. And festive sparkle aplenty!


Two Brewers, 114 Clapham High Street, SW4 6LY 

3rd Dec – 30th Dec,  £15

Taking a break from world domination and writing steamy novels, Myra DuBois heads up this ‘about time’ tale of lesbian love and adventure, alongside London Cabaret award winner Holestar and celebrated performance artist Harry Clayton-Wright. Expect quick wit and camp-as-Christmas musical numbers in this South London pub panto.


Tinderella! Cinders Slips It In

Above the Stag Theatre, Arch 17, Miles Street, SW8 1RZ 

02 Dec – 16 Jan, £12 – £50

It wouldn’t be Christmas without Above The Stag Theatre doing unspeakable things to a fairytale favourite. This year the award-winning team take on the queen of all romances with Tinderella! Cinders Slips It In. Set in the Eastern European kingdom of Slutvia, which has been banned from Eurovision for behavioural reasons, we tell the story of a social-climbing slave boy and a prince whose balls are the envy of the world. Expect songs, cross-dressing and big laughs.


The Velma Celli Xmas Show

The Theatre Cafe, 66 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6LX

16th Dec, £27.50 – £33.00

West End Wendy, Velma Celli (Cats, Fame, Chicago and most recently Rent) and her super-talented friends gather at the legendary Theatre Cafe for a seriously fabulous musical evening. There’s something for everyone in this festive cabaret revue. And sweet Oz fear not the stagey ones out there, Velma has informed us that there will be a whopping spoon full of show tunes thrown in for good measure!


Kitten in Heels

LOST Theatre, 208 Wandsworth Road , SW8 2JU

10 – 12 & 18 – 20 Dec, £17.50

Celebrate fifteen years of strictly adult fun with the cast of the Excess All Areas pantomime populated by some of cabaret’s finest performers offering an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza of silly. This year’s offering is billed as ‘Puss in Boots with a dash of Dick’. And with the fabulously exuberant Paul L Martin as Dame Choo, what’s not to love?


A Christmas Night at the Musicals

The Glory, 282 Kingsland Road, E2 8AS

9th Dec – 19th Dec, £10 – £20

Star of Olivier Award wining ‘La Soiree’, Le Gateaux Chocolat and The Glory’s very own alt-drag superstar, Jonny Woo, present their festive version of A Night at the Musicals. The Sound Of Music, The Wizard of Oz and of course, White Christmas all get the ‘Chocolat Woo’ treatment. Dressed to the nines with more tinsel than you can shake a Christmas Tree at, this show promises to be a feel-good seasonal celebration of all those things that give you that big gooey, warm Christmassy hug inside.

Christmas Crackers



Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX

15th – 30th Dec, £18 – £22.50

Such was the success of this chaotic caper through perverted pantoland last year, this year’s run has been moved to the main house. Lead by Miss Dusty ‘O’ as the batty yet glamours S’HoHo sex club owner Sofonda Cox, Dick! returns for a third consecutive year. Strap yourselves in for yet another camp and carnal romp.


Compton’s Christmas Extravaganza

51 – 53 Old Compton Street, W1D 6HN

10th Dec, Free Entry

The divine Mzz Kimberley, whose vocals are simply breathtaking, accompanied by Eric Robinson on the piano, have a spectacularly festive show on the cards right in the heart of Soho. The team at the Grand Dame of Soho will be supplying the fizz, mulled wine and mince pies to say thank you to everyone for joining them throughout 2015. Tasty Tim will keep you dancing though till the early hours in the downstairs bar.

Cocktails in London gay bar Ku Lounge

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