It’s that time of the year again – Panto-time! All the year round adults and children alike wait for December. Some wait breathlessly to decorate their homes and halls with ivy, candles, flashing lights, tinsel and Christmas trees, others wait for the events which Christmas-time brings with it, while others still look forward to meeting with friends and family members on this joyous festivity. I admit that personally, one of the things I look forward to most during the month of December, is the Christmas Pantomime. This yearly fantastic display of talent combines song, acting, dancing, not to mention amazing costumes, as well as showcasing some amazing writing and production-techniques.

And what’s even more awesome – is that each year, there are actually a number of Christmas pantomimes to choose from, or if you are a real stage-lover, you can of course, attend them all! This December there will be a great number of stage productions, however three in particular seem to stand out.

The Malta Amateur Dramatic Club (MADC) will be producing Cinderella this year. Starting from the 22nd December to the 2nd of January 2018, Cinderella, starring Jean Pierre Busuttil, Michael Mangion, Isabel Warrington, Rachael Tedesco Triccas, and Sandie von Brockdorff among other prominent artists, will be directed by Chris Gatt and penned by Marilou Coppini, one of our local most well-known comic actors. Cinderella, a fairytale favourite for generations, is given a more modern and pertinent flavour in this rendition, where Maestro Paul Abela will be directing the orchestra and choreographer Francesco Nicodeme taking care of dancing. Tickets are selling at €10 with a reduced price for children between 3 and 11 years of age, while children aged 2 years and younger can enter for free. This Xmas Panto will be taking place at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’ Qali. For more information, please go to www.madc.com.mt/en/upcomingproductions/productions/57/cinderella.

Another unmissable Christmas Panto taking place this December will be Alice in Wonderland: A Traditional Christmas Pantomime, produced by the Masquerade Theatre Company. This phantasmagoric show will be taking place at Manoel Theatre in Valletta from the 23rd of December till the 7th of January 2018. Written by Malcolm Galea and directed by Anthony Bezzina, with Kris Spiteri taking care of musical direction, the production will star Jasmine Farrugia (Alice), Stephen Oliver (Mad Hatter), Joseph Zammit (White Rabbit), Chiara Hyzler (March Hare), Katherine Brown (Queen of Hearts), Daryl Ebejer (King of Hearts), and Mandy Randon (Cheshire Cat) amongst others. For more info visit www.masquerademalta.com/productions/alice-in-wonderland.

Last, but certainly not least, is the quirky unconventional and satiric extravaganza which is the season’s festive special Comedy Knights: 5how Me The Funny, powered by XFM. The hilarious comedy knights team, made up of Chris Dingli, Marc Cabourdin, Jo Caruana and Pia Zammit, amongst others, will be performing at the Salesians Theatre in Sliema. Amidst local and international commentaries, jabs, comic rants and spot-on satire, this is sure to be a night to remember! Make haste though, last year’s show was sold out in less than 48 hours after the tickets were available! The show will be on from the 26th of December until the 7th of January 2018. More information can be found on www.comedyknights.com.