Join the festivities in Derby this Christmas

Group shot of the Jack and the Beanstalk cast

Jack and the Beanstalk cast

Thu 25 Oct 2018

Derby is set for another Christmas festive spectacular this year, with seasonal fun for everyone over the festive season.

Derby LIVE and Derby-based producers Little Wolf Entertainment will be uniting once again to stage the giant, star-studded, family pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk at Derby Arena, as the Guildhall Theatre hosts family roarsome Christmas adventure The Dinosaur Who Came For Christmas. Markeaton Park’s Craft Village will become a hub for the ever-popular Family Festivities. Derby LIVE will be staging the traditional Christmas Lights Switch-On event on the Market Place and parade through the City. Whilst the Cathedral Quarter Christmas Ice Rink and Christmas Arts & Craft Fair are returning to the Market Place for another season.

Following on from last year’s award winning production of Beauty and the Beast, this year’s dazzling star-studded, family pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk at Derby Arena will feature Blue singer, West End performer and Hollyoaks actor Duncan James and winner of the Best Male Baddie award Lawrence Boothman.

This story takes place in the little village of Dappy Darley on the Derwent, home to our hero Jack (Duncan James), his brother Simon (Richard Brindley) and his Mum, Dame Trott (Derby’s own Morgan Brind). The villagers are living in fear because an enormous giant, known to all as Giant Bogey (Tim Phelps) keeps threatening them and taking all their money.

The King (Craig Armstrong) has to raise the taxes because the village is so poor, Dame Trott has to sell her cow, called Pat to raise some money. She sends Jack off to take the cow to the market.

On the way he meets the giant’s assistant (Lawrence Boothman), but Jack doesn’t realise who he is. When the giant’s assistant offers Jack some gold for the cow, Jack thinks he’s got a really good deal but actually the assistant tricks him and sends him away with a bag of beans instead of gold. When he gets home Dame Trott is furious and flushes the beans down the toilet.

During the night a well-meaning apprentice fairy (Lizzie Wofford) casts a spell on the beans and an enormous beanstalk grows right out of the toilet all the way up to the sky. In the morning they realise that the King’s daughter Jill (Bethan Nash) is missing and must be up the beanstalk. Jack climbs the beanstalk to try and get her back, closely followed by his friends.

At the top of the beanstalk is the giant’s castle. Jack finds Jill and they try to escape but the giant wakes up. Jack sends everyone back down the beanstalk to safety whilst he faces the giant alone.

Who knows what will happen next? Will Jack defeat the giant? Will he get all the villager’s stuff back? Will everything end happily ever after? And what’s to become of the beanstalk?

After last year’s spectacular production Beauty and the Beast won Best Staging and Set at the Great British Pantomime Awards, Derby LIVE and Little Wolf Entertainment return for 2018 with a new giant-sized production. Featuring marvellous moosic, cow-ntless costumes and an udderly ridiculous dame this brand new production promises to be Derby LIVE’s most spectacular panto yet.

Jack and the Beanstalk will be on stage at Derby Arena from Saturday 8 December 2018 until Saturday 5 January 2019, tickets priced from £11.50 with concessions, group, school and family tickets available.

The Dinosaur who came for Christmas

Buxton based Babbling Vagabonds will be returning to Derby LIVE’s Guildhall Theatre this Christmas, from Friday 7 – Sunday 30 December, with a fantastic new family show The Dinosaur Who Came For Christmas.

During one lonely Christmas holiday, a young boy called PJ is amazed to discover a very strange and unusually large egg in a cave behind a rubbish dump. He takes it home and to his great surprise, out hatches a baby dinosaur!

What to do? As the baby dino begins to grow so does the amount of trouble PJ gets into, thanks to his new best friend. With his Nana growing nosy, his parents starting to pry, and even his baby sister getting suspicious at the strange shenanigans going on in the house, PJ decides to move his marvellous monster. Sneaking his cheeky new pet away to his secret den, an abandoned shed in the neighbour’s garden, PJ thinks he’s solved the problem. However, as he discovers to his cost, he has in fact put his prehistoric pal into great peril. PJ’s nasty neighbour, the evil Miss Blunderbuss discovers the dinosaur and steals it away, wanting it as a trophy to hang on the wall of her ‘Big Game’ hunting lodge! 

PJ is forced to make friends with the village bully and together they hatch a daring rescue plan to save the dino pet before it’s too late! Will our heroes save the dinosaur? Will Miss Blunderbuss have her dino-trophy? Will Mum and Dad go ‘jurrassic’ when they find out what’s being going on?

Babbling Vagabonds conjure a roarsome Christmas story of mammoth proportions! Combining their customary mix of colourful characters, catchy tunes, cheeky puppets, and theatrical magic to make a festive treat for all the family. The Dinosaur Who Came For Christmas will be performed at Derby’s Guildhall Theatre from Friday 7 – Sunday 30 December, suitable for all ages. Tickets are priced at £8.75 - £12.25, with concessions, family tickets, school and group rates available. Tea Time Treat Shows are also available this year; tickets are priced at £8.75, which includes a ticket and healthy snacks for the kids. Tea time treat shows are at 4:30pm and will be happening on Wednesday 12, Thursday 13, Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 December.

An illustration of a family enjoying the festivities in the snow

Family Festivities at Markeaton Park will be returning for 2018 after last year’s jolly success. This year’s festivities are also a celebration to mark the completion of the park’s national lottery-funded restoration by the city council. For this season each weekend will be themed and it guarantees to be a fantastic Christmas experience for all the family.

On Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 December the first weekend of Family Festivities is Craft Fair Weekend. Those looking for that extra special Christmas present will find a unique assortment of locally made gifts. Browse the stalls at the Friends of Markeaton Park craft weekend, join in the Jingle Jog, and get in the festive mood with the Rock Choir and a brass band.

On Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 December it’s Family Workshop.Make time before the big day to meet up with friends and family and get creative. With lots of family activities to make special memories, this weekend’s workshops will include card making, Jumping Clay, wreath making and much more.

Throughout the festivities families will have the opportunity to meet festive characters on the elf trail, listen to carols, explore the family walks and reindeer trail, and enjoy seasonal food served in The Orangery café and in the Craft Village. Family Festivities at Markeaton Park will have it all.

Events will be taking place over two December weekends, Craft Fair Weekend Sat 1 – Sun 2 Dec and Family Workshop Weekend Sat 8 – Sun 9 Dec. Some activities will be free and others will incur a charge.

Illustration of families skating on the ice rink at Christmas

Derby’s Market Place will be hosting the ever-popular, purpose-built Cathedral Quarter Christmas Ice Rink this winter, made of real ice. Adults and children alike of all abilities can whizz around the rink in 50-minute sessions, running hourly, with skate hire included.

Whether out with a group of friends, spending time as a family or looking for an activity for a work Christmas party, a spin on the Cathedral Quarter Christmas Ice Rink will be a fabulous festive treat. During this period the Market Place will also feature other attractions such as live music, food and Christmas gift fairs.

The Cathedral Quarter Christmas Ice Rink at the Market Place will take place from Friday 30 November 2018 until Sunday 6 January 2019 and tickets to skate are priced from £6 – £9 with concessions available.

No one will want to miss the Christmas Lights Switch-On sponsored by Smooth on Saturday 17 November. Family and friends can join the festive parade and then enjoy a variety of entertainment on the Market Place stage, leading up to the big switch-on event around 6pm.