9 pantomimes you can see in and around Bristol this Christmas

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From village halls to the city's biggest theatres, there's a panto for everybody this year

With the spooky season over, Christmas is now just around the corner. And that means the return of one of the beloved British traditions - the good old pantomime.

The tradition is said to have originated from the Commedia dell’Arte in 16th-century Italy and featured improvisation, comedy costumes, audience participation, songs and music.

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It was also the first time women were introduced to the stage. Commedia characters began to appear on the London stage in early pantomimes in the early 18th-century.

And as pantomime evolved, more domestic stories and topical satire began to replace classical tales.

Filled with gender reversal roles, slapstick comedy, colourful costumes and audience participation, pantomimes are all part of Christmas for families and there are several taking place in the Bristol area.

Here are nine pantomimes taking place in and around Bristol and where to get tickets:

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Bristol Hippodrome

Peter Pan: The High-Flying Adventure is at the Bristol Hippodrome until December 31. Complete with jokes for the whole family, catchy songs, spectacular costumes and a cast starring Poirot actor David Suchet, Steps singer Fay Tozer and Bristol’s favourite, Andy Ford, returning for his 11th pantomime. Tickets start at £13 and can be bought here.

Redgrave Theatre

Rapunzel - A Tangled Tale is coming to Redgrave Theatre from December 15-29. The panto, organised by Polka Dot Pantomimes and the Redgrave Theatre, will have a BSL Signed performance on December 18 at 6pm and a ‘Relaxed Performance’ on December 27 at 11am. Tickets are priced at £18.50, £16.50 for concession and £64 for Family Tickets (two adults, two children) and can be booked here.

Theatre Royal Bath

Sleeping Beauty is at Theatre Royal Bath until January 7. EastEnders and West End star Neil McDermott will play Prince Vincent alongside Bath favourite Jon Monie as Lester the Jester, Nick Wilton as Dame Nanny Nora, Hollyoaks star Sarah Jane Buckley as Fairy Snowfall and Maisie Sellwood as Princess Rose. Tickets start at £9 and can be booked here.

The Playhouse, Weston-super-Mare

Dick Whittington is this year’s pantomime at The Playhouse in Weston-super-Mare, from December 8-31. Linda Lusardi stars as the villainous Queen Rat, Milkshake’s Derek Moran is the lovable rascal Idle Jack and Michael Goble will play Sarah the Cook. Tickets start at £22 and can be booked here.

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Blakehay Theatre, Weston-Super-Mare 

Jack and the Beanstalk is coming to Blakehay Theatre, Weston-Super-Mare, from December 8-23. Bowtie Productions promises "spectacular musical numbers, laugh-out-loud comedy and audience participation for the whole family to enjoy.” Tickets start at £15 and can be booked here.

Emersons Green Village Hall 

The Cinderella panto is coming to Emersons Green Village Hall on December 16. The Chaplin's Panto is suitable for children aged 3 to 12. Tickets are priced at £12 (plus £0.30 service fee) and can be bought here. Children under 18 months go free but would need to book a ticket (no seat is provided with this ticket).

Zion Bristol

Cinderella - A Pantomime by JDJP Productions is coming to Zion Bristol on January 7. There are two showings: one at midday and one at 3pm. Tickets cost £6 (plus £1.01 booking fee) and those under 18 months go free. Tickets can be booked here.

Bean Tree Cafe, Page Park, Staple Hill

Early Years Pantomime: Cinderella is coming to Bean Tree Cafe on December 9 and 10. The show lasts around 30 minutes and is targeted at ages 0 to 5. Tickets cost £4.50 (plus £0.50 booking fee) per person and under 1-year-olds go free. Tickets can be booked here.

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Strange Brew

(Big) Dick Whittington, the all drag, adult panto is coming to Strange Brew on December 21. It’s Bristol’s first all drag adult panto and features seven Bristol drag acts. Tickets cost £15 (plus £1.10 booking fee) and can be booked here.

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