The Best Shows in Edinburgh this Christmas

11 November 2021

For many of us, a trip to see a live show over the Christmas period is a must. While shows were stopped in 2020, the good news is that this year, things are back with a bang!

From the traditional side-splitting pantomime and the beauty of ballet, to the top-tapping delight of live music, there’s a packed line-up of shows to choose from in Edinburgh & the Lothians this Christmas.

We’ve rounded up a list of the some of these top-notch shows – guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit.

Sleeping Beauty

He's behind you! Allan Stewart, Grant Stott and Jordan Young and the rest of the King's panto team are back in the family favourite, Sleeping Beauty

As always, expect magical scenery, outlandish costumes and hilarious slapstick comedy.

Saturday 27 November 2021 to Sunday 16 January 2022.

King's Theatre, 2 Leven St, Edinburgh, EH3 9LQ


Scottish Ballet's The Nutcracker

With choreography by Scottish Ballet founder Peter Darrell and live music by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, Scottish Ballet's The Nutcracker is the ultimate Christmas treat.

Follow the enchanting story of Clara who embarks on a magical Christmas Eve adventure, complete with a handsome Prince, a Rat King and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Wednesday 1 to Friday 31 December 2021.

The Festival Theatre, 13-29 Nicolson St, Edinburgh, EH8 9FT


The Muppet Christmas Carol - Film With Live Orchestra

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A post shared by Usher Hall (@usherhall)

Kermit the Frog, Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat and Miss Piggy perform the classic Charles Dickens holiday tale, The Muppet Christmas Carol - Film With Live Orchestra, complete with a delightful musical score by The Novello Orchestra conducted by David Mahoney.

Definitely not bah humbug!

Thursday 2 December 2021.

The Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2EA


White Christmas

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones you used to know, then be sure to book your tickets for Irving Berlin's classic musical, White Christmas, showing at the Edinburgh Playhouse.

An enduring romantic comedy, it’ll warm up the coldest of cold winter nights.

Tuesday 14 Dec 2021 - Sunday 2 Jan 2022.

Edinburgh Playhouse, 18-22 Greenside Place, Edinburgh EH1 3AA


Christmas Dinner

Lesley really isn’t interested in celebrating Christmas this year, but can a group of festive spirits rekindle her festive cheer?

Join The Lyceum and Catherine Wheels Theatre Company for Christmas Dinner and discover the magic of Christmas in this family festive fun show.

Monday 6 December 2021 to Sunday 2 January 2022.

The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, 30b Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX


Christmas with Il Divo

Performing festive classics as well as some of their much-loved greatest hits, Christmas with Il Divo sees the popular classical cross-over group spreading a little festive cheer this year.

Sunday 12 December 2021.

The Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2EA


RSNO Christmas Concert featuring The Snowman

The Snowman Credit RSNO

(Image Credit: Royal Scottish National Orchestra )

Narrated by Hugh Dennis, Raymond Brigg’s enchanting Christmas favourite story The Snowman, will be shown on the big screen and accompanied by The Royal Scottish National Orchestra as the Usher Hall host The RSNO Christmas Concert featuring The Snowman. 

A family classic, it’ll melt your heart.

Sunday 19 December 2021.

The Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2EA


Phil Cunningham's Christmas Songbook

Phil Cunningham Credit Sean Purser

(Image Credit: Sean Purser)

Featuring stories and a feast of both modern and traditional Christmas music, Phil Cunningham's Christmas Songbook returns to The Queen’s Hall this December.

Featuring some of the country’s finest folk musicians, including Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, John McCusker, Kris Drever, Ian Carr, Kevin McGuire and special guest, Brass Band, this is a special performance that should not be missed.

Monday 20 to Tuesday 21 December 2021.

The Queen’s Hall, 85-89 Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JG


Vivaldi's Four Seasons at Christmas

St Giles Cathedral Evening Shot Lloyd

Set against the backdrop of the stunning medieval St Giles' Cathedral, Vivaldi's Four Seasons at Christmas sees the musicians of the Piccadilly Sinfonietta perform a festive programme of classical favourites including Vivaldi’s epic Four Seasons.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

St Giles’ Cathedral, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1RE


There are also a number of show-stopping performances to look forward to that are taking place outwith Edinburgh, including:

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers have fast become a global phenomenon, rocking far flung shores from Bangkok to New York and everywhere in between this December you can catch them at Dunfermline’s Alhambra Theatre.

The classic Red Hot Chilli Pipers sound – a fusion of traditional pipe tunes and contemporary anthems – will see guests treated to a mix of well-known tunes, including Queen’s We Will Rock You, AC/DC’s Thunderstruck and the traditional Flower of Scotland and The Hills of Argyll.

Thursday 30 December 2021.

Alhambra Theatre, 35 Canmore Street, Dunfermline, Fife, KY12 7NX


Bairns in the Wood

Join Martin and Martin Theatre company and Howden Park Centre in Livingston for their 2021 Christmas cracker, Bairns in the Wood.

Can twins Brodie and Bryony find their way out of the woods? Find out in this upbeat festive panto.

Friday 3 to Tuesday 28 December 2021.

Howden Park Centre, Howden, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 6AE


Hansel and Gretel The Pantomime

Hansel And Gretel At The Brunton

Theatre-goers in Musselburgh are in for a treat this Christmas, as the Brunton Theatre hosts the traditional tale of Hansel and Gretel in full pantomime style.

With fun for all ages, prepare to be entertained with songs, comedy and audience participation!

Tuesday 7 to Friday 31 December 2021.

The Brunton, Ladywell Way, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6AA


Looking for more Christmas events that are happening in Edinburgh this year – find more in our What’s On Guide >