Six Unmissable Shows in Leeds this Christmas

7th November 2022

During the festive season we all love to get together with friends, family and loved ones to see a show and enjoy some glitz and cheer. And in Leeds we’re spoilt for choice with four fabulous theatres where you can catch traditional classics and new favourites. And not just theatres, Leeds Minster is also hosting shows by candlelight for those keen to try out a new experience with friends and family this Christmas. Read on for our round up of the top six unmissable shows in Leeds this season.


For some Christmas isn’t Christmas without the annual visit to see The Nutcracker. And this year’s sumptuous show put from Northern Ballet will not disappoint either afficianados of this well-loved Christmas classic nor those who are experiencing it for the very first time. And what better setting than the beautiful Leeds Grand Theatre? A theatre that truly lives up to its name!

The Nutcracker awakens childlike imagination in us all. Share in Clara’s adventures as she is swept away by her Nutcracker Prince into an enchanting winter wonderland, complete with dancing snowflakes, the notorious Mouse King and of course the Sugar Plum Fairy in the ultimate festive entertainment.

Accompanied with a live performance by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia features some of the most well-known and well-loved pieces of classical music by Tchaikovsky.


Leeds Playhouse has a national reputation for producing award-winning and ground breaking theatre shows from original work as well as new adaptations. So we cannot wait to see what they do with Roald Dahl’s heart-warming classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Opening on the 18th November, this show is sure to be a hit with all ages. It’s the golden ticket!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical is a delicious reinvention of the successful West End and Broadway show, which takes it to mouth-watering new heights, featuring a selection of songs from the classic 1970s film, as well as some brand new tunes guaranteed to have you dancing in your seats. Take a journey choc-full of fantastical treats to dazzle your senses for a festive adventure more satisfying than a Whipple-Scrumptious Fudge Mallow Delight.


  • 3. Cinderella 25th Nov 2022– 8th Jan 2023. Carriageworks Theatre.

Carriageworks Theatre’s annual pantomime is always a family favourite and a not-so well-kept secret for those more local to Leeds. This years’ hilarious family pantomime follows the struggles of Cinderella against her two stepsisters as they strive to win Prince Charming’s hand in marriage. With the help of Buttons and her Fairy Godmother, will Cinderella’s dreams come true?

Combining fairy-tale enchantment with side-splitting comedy, this pantomime is produced by the award-winning LIDOS community theatre company


City Varieties’ Rock and Roll Panto is a very different format to the traditional Christmas pantomime. This now hugely popular festive treat mixes traditional elements of audience participation and corny gags with a jukebox full of classic rock anthems and chart-toppers, all performed live on stage by an ultra-talented cast of actor-musicians.

This year Dick Whittington has been given the Rock and Roll treatment, from the pen of Peter Rowe and features a stomping soundtrack with music from Meatloaf, Cher, The Kinks, Billy Joel and The Police to name but a few.


For families with younger children to entertain this Christmas, Leeds Playhouse are also showing a theatre adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s delightful book Stick Man, which follows the misadventures of Stick Man as he tries to get back to the family tree after a morning jog goes wrong!

This award-winning production, from the team behind Zog and the Flying DoctorsZogTiddler and other Terrific Tales, and Tabby McTat features a trio of top actors and is packed full of puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves. 


For one night only enjoy the beauty of Leeds Minster by candlelight and a live performance of songs from all your favourite Christmas Films. All-female string ensemble String Fusion will play songs from Home Alone, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Holiday, the Snowman, Love Actually, Frozen, White Christmas and many more.

This is a unique one-off experience not-to-be-missed.