Our Favourite Places' festive theatres highlights

Panto. Dazzling dance. Glittery comedy cabarets. And the return of Crucible Christmas musical. It can only be December in Sheffield theatreland.

To discover more shows in Sheffield, check out the Theatre Picks by Our Favourite Places.

Each year, around Christmas and New Year, the Crucible wows audiences with a musical. And for 2022, it’s a musical very close to Sheffield’s heart. Standing at the Sky’s Edge (10 December–21 January) is set in the city’s Park Hill estate, written by Sheffield-born Chris Bush, and features music by our own Richard Hawley.

Performers on stage in Standing At The Sky's Edge.

Kids are in for some treats this season. Jack Frost and the Search for Winter is coming to the Playhouse within the Crucible. Written by Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho, it tells the story of a mischievous boy with a magic frozen touch. And the Tin Man invites you to join them on their quest to find their heart in an enchanting dance show at the Drama Studio.

Three performers on stage in the show Tin Man.

It’s panto time. Oh, no it isn’t. Oh yes, it is! At the Lyceum, it’s the turn of Jack and the Beanstalk, complete with hilarious banter, outrageous costumes and stars of stage, screen and soaps (2 December–3 January). Manor Operatic Society present one of the biggest amateur pantos in the country, with Cinderella at Sheffield City Hall (27 December–8 January). Footsteps performing art school present traditional panto family faves at the Library Theatre in 12 Days of Christmas! on 9–11 December. Over at The Montgomery, Aladdin will ride us into 2023 on his magic carpet (13–21 January). And strictly for ages 18+, adult pantomime Hey, Fiddle Diddle brings a unique, colourful take on fairy tales to the Drama Studio at the University of Sheffield (16–27 December).

A promo picture of the cast for Jack & The Beanstalk.

Stages across the city are coming to life with cabaret this season. Two of the best-loved comedy queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme, call at Sheffield City Hall on their Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Show tour (18 November). The surrealist comedy gang at Fish Pie Cabaret bring their special festive edition to the Steel Cauldron on 3 December. Yorkshire’s own Glitterbomb Dancers take over the Drama Studio on the 20th with their queer cabaret take on The Nutcracker, fantastically titled Cracked Nuts: Camper Than Christmas. Hosted by the RuPaul’s Drag Race UK winner Lawrence Chaney, Shantay You Sleigh brings a glittery spectacle to Network on the 21st. And at Yellow Arch on the 23rd, Ivy Alexxander is taking on the role of Santa, delivering the gift of A Camp as Christmas Extravaganza featuring some of Yorkshire’s best drag artists.

Cabaret performers posing in front of a red theatre curtain.

Warm your heart with A Christmas Carol, as Chapterhouse Theatre Company perform Dickens’ tale in the magical surroundings of Sheffield Cathedral for three dates in late November and early December. A Vicar of Dibley Christmas will bring to life your favourite characters from the TV show at the Library Theatre, with am-dram group the Denys Edwards Players (30 November–2 December).

If you could do with a break from all things festive, Strictly Ballroom: The Musical will waltz into Sheffield City Hall on 8–13 December. Based on Baz Luhrmann’s feel-good hit 1992 film and directed by Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood, it stars former Strictly pro Kevin Clifton and Eastenders' Maisie Smith. The amateur production of One Man Two Guvnors at the Lantern Theatre in Nether Edge (12–17 December) should get you laughing, too. Or there’s the musical Sanctuary, inspired by the stories of two asylum seekers in Sheffield. Presented by Spectrum Theatre, a local group with a mix of autistic and non-autistic members, it comes to the Library Theatre on 13–15 December.

The poster for the musical Sanctuary with two rainbow coloured figures protecting three smaller silhouette figures.