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London Spotlight: December 2010

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David Hasselhoff
(© Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
Not much new this festive month, although it is pantomime time, which means, of course, similar family entertainment. Stage and screen star David Hasselhoff portrays Captain Hook in Peter Pan, flying into the New Wimbledon (December 10-January 16).

You can also try The Night Before Christmas at the Ambassador (December 7-24), about a mischievous elf and his run-in with Santa Claus. Flyboy is Alone Again This Christmas at the Barbican (December 15-January 2), is chockablock with paper cut-outs and songs. In Beasts and Beauties at the Hampstead (December 12-31), eight European fairy tales are brought to the stage by Carol Ann Duffy and director Melly Still. Then there's Bagpuss, based on a TV series, at the Soho (December 9-January 9).

Get Santa! at the Royal Court's Jerwood Theatre Downstairs (December 1-January 15) is put together by Nick Powell and Anthony Neilson, with Neilson directing. Apparently, a prominent member of the cast is a teddy bear. The Nutcracker is at the London Coliseum, as choreographed by former primo ballerino Wayne Eagling. The Trafalgar Studios will house Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (December 21-January 8), adapted by Joanna Volinska and directed by Alistair Green. The Unicorn will show a new version of Beauty and the Beast (December 4-January 23).

More seasonal fare at the National's Lyttelton is a revival of Alan Ayckbourn's acerbic Season's Greetings, with a cast of bright things guided by the marvelous Marianne Elliott. Less seasonal but for all seasons is William Shakespeare's King Lear at the Donmar Warehouse (December 3-February 5). Company artistic director and never-miss helmer Michael Grandage puts Derek Jacobi, Ron Cook, Gina McKee and just-as-accomplished others through the Bard's tragic paces.

Hardly seasonal at all but undoubtedly worth greeting is George Feydeau's farce A Flea in Her Ear, as director Richard Eyre sees it. The cast at the Old Vic (December 4-March 5) includes Lisa Dillon, Tom Hollander and Jonathan Cake. Should be sexy as all get-out. J. M. Barrie's quality Quality Street can be viewed at the Finborough (December 1-22). Louise Hill directs, and her production is being billed as the first London revival in 60 years. New and maybe not aimed at children at all is Bea at the Soho (December 1-January 8). It's about parents and children, though, and written and directed by Mick Gordon.

What about sleighing to the Rose in Kingston for The Three Musketeers (through January 2). It's a musical with music by the clever George Stiles, lyrics by Paul Leigh, is directed by Francis Matthews and has Michael Pickering as D'Artagnan and CJ Johnson as Milady. Aladdin is at the Theatre Royal, Bath (December 16-January 23).

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