With plenty of free time on your hands over the Christmas break, there's not better excuse to pop down to your local London theatre.
For the adults 'In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play' is running at the new St James Theatre in Victoria till January 4th. Sarah Ruhl's witty and entertaining story about the discovery of the vibrator, set in late 19th Century New York State. The world is going through huge social change and electricity is starting to become common place. Dr Givings, a man of science, has created his own electrical device to treat female hysteria, by way of what turns out to be an orgasm.
Never crude and surprisingly touching this is a solid production of the three Tony Award nominated play. It's stunning cast bring out the scripts natural humour and warmth, Natalie Casey as Mrs Givings delivers a fine performance, Jason Hughes brings a sense of self and loving to Dr Givings and Edward Bennett is immensely watchable as Leo Irving, a strugglingly artist who needs a little inspiration and stimulation in his life.
While it's perhaps twenty minutes too long 'In The Next Room' avoids outstaying its welcome. It touches you in all the right places and the spellbinding cast captivate and titivate in equal measure.
Head further West to The Lyric in Hammersmith and all the family will be able to enjoy this years pantomime 'Jack And The Beanstalk.'
Their production of Cinderella last year caught me off guard, brought out my inner child and became one of my theatrical highlights of 2012. This years production sadly doesn't meet those highs but it is still classic pantomime at it's best. The locally themed updating of the story brings out some political humour yet writer Tom Wells and director Dan Herd manage to seamlessly blend it with traditional panto slapstick, shout backs, sing-a-longs and silliness.
Regular favourite Steven Webb returns and is better than ever keeping the panto flowing whilst being adored by adults and children alike, Nigel Richards as Fleshcreep and Joshua Tonks as Jill revel in their characters and can't help but make the entire audience embrace the fun of panto. The disappointing slosh scene aside there is a lot to love in this uplifting and wonderful pantomime that'll give you the chance to have a good shout and you'll leave smiling ear to ear. What more could you want at Christmas time?