[img]http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.20.3/59956?ns=guardian&pageName=Christmas+2009+going+out+guide%3A+panto%3AArticle%3A1305151&ch=Stage&c3=Guardian&c4=Panto+season%2CStage%2CTheatre%2CCulture+section%2CChristmas+%28Life+and+style%29%2CLife+and+style%2CFamily+%28Life+and+style%29&c6=Lyn+Gardner&c7=09-Nov-16&c8=1305151&c9=Article&c10=&c11=Stage&c13=&c25=&c30=content&h2=GU%2FStage%2FPanto+season[/img]It's behind you! Our guide to the best pantos on offer this Christmas
Tap-dancing pandas and a singing camel? It can only be the panto at London's Hackney Empire, which is undoubtedly the best in the capital. Hackney Empire, London E8 (01208 985 2424), from 28 November to 9 January.
York's Theatre Royal delivers good old-fashioned panto year after year under the guiding hand of Berwick Kaler, who is also an outstanding Dame. Theatre Royal, York (01904 623568), from 10 December to 30 January
Jack and the Beanstalk
London's Lyric Hammersmith is a newcomer to the panto trade – but this year's top-notch team of writers, including Richard Bean, should ensure that this is fee-fi-fo-fun. Lyric Hammersmith, London W6 (0871 221 1729), from 21 November to 9 January.
Beauty and the Beast
If you've been writing and directing the Nottingham Playhouse panto for 26 years, you must be doing something right. Kenneth Alan Taylor certainly is. Playhouse, Nottingham (0115 941 9419), from 27 November to 27 January.
Jack and the Beanstalk
The draw here is not just the show, but the venue. Bury St Edmunds's Theatre Royal? is a perfect panto environment providing intimacy, history and fun. From 4 December to 17 January. Box office: 01284 769505.
It's always a battle between Edinburgh and Glasgow for the Scottish panto crown. This one has Gerard Kelly reprising his role as a fabulous Wishee Washee. King's Theatre, Glasgow (0844 871 7648), from 4 December to 17 January.
Raiders of the Lost Ark meets some cool cats in an unusual take on a familiar story. Everyman, Liverpool (0151-709 4776), from 28 November to 23 January.
Baywatch star Pamela Anderson will make wishes come true as the genie. This casting is likely to be more for the dads than the kids, so expect double the innuendo. New Wimbledon, London SW19 (0844 871 7648), from 4 December to 10 January.
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Guardian: Christmas 2009 going out guide: panto
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