Derby venues plan festive fun

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Derby LIVE has a varied festive programme that is perfect for all ages and aims to bring Christmas to life this December.

Derby LIVE and Paul Holman Associates will be staging the magical all-star cast, family pantomime Aladdin at Derby Arena.

The Market Place will be transformed for the festive season featuring the Ice Rink, Christmas Arts and Craft Fair and a host of live entertainment.

Derby will also be served a cracking festive treat The Potty Professor’s Christmas Miracle a fun packed show for the entire family, taking place at the Guildhall Theatre.

The Christmas festivities kick off on Saturday, November 14, with the Christmas Lights Switch-On sponsored by Capital FM.

Shoppers and families can join a festive parade and then enjoy a variety of entertainment on the Market Place stage, leading up to the big switch-on event around 6pm.

This year’s family pantomime Aladdin at Derby Arena features an all-star cast including Atomic Kitten’s Natasha Hamilton as Slave of the Ring, The Only Way is Essex star Dan Osborne as Genie and 5ive’s Ritchie Neville as Aladdin.

Follow loveable rogue Aladdin on his quest for hidden treasure as he tries to win the heart of the beautiful Princess Jasmine.

The cast also features Derby favourite Mike ‘Squeaky’ McClean as Wishee Washee and CBeebies’ Swashbuckle stars Richard David-Caine and Joseph Elliott as PCs Ping and Pong.

This action-packed story will have all your favourite pantomime characters, including the Genie of the Lamp, the Slave of the Ring, evil sorcerer Uncle Abanazar, Aladdin’s no-good brother Wishee Washee, and the ultimate pantomime dame, Widow Twankey.

With an all-star cast, fabulous new sets and costumes, hilarious slapstick comedy, high energy music and dance routines, and lots of audience participation, Aladdin will fulfil more than three wishes for Christmas 2015.

Aladdin runs from Monday, December 7 – Sunday, January 3, at Derby Arena, with tickets priced from £13.25 - £30.25, concessions, group, school and family tickets available.

The Potty Professor’s Christmas Miracle is a Derby LIVE co-production with Buxton-based theatre company Babbling Vagabonds and promises to be a fun-filled Christmas tale that will be enjoyed by everyone.

Sally is dreading the Christmas holidays.

She would rather stay at her fancy-pants boarding school thanks very much. Instead she has to spend it with her oddball Uncle, a potty professor with a passion for all things Christmassy... and Sally hates Christmas.

Charmed by her uncles’ crackpot creations and his sense of fun, Sally discovers that life needn’t be all ‘work, work, work’ and can be more ‘fun, fun, fun’.

But when bossy Aunt Agatha turns up on Christmas Eve and threatens to ruin everything Sally snaps into action to save the day... and Christmas.

The Potty Professor’s Christmas Miracle runs from December 10-29, with tickets priced from £10.75-£12.75, with concessions, group, school and family tickets available.

The Christmas Arts and Craft Fair will be open from Friday, November 27-Wednesday, December 23, on the Market Place and will also expand to stalls at The Spot at the weekends.

The fair will provide the perfect opportunity to find a unique gift for a loved one, hosting a range of independent crafters selling unique creations, from clothes to decorative items for the home, handmade soap and toys, country preserves and luxury chocolates.

Meanwhile, Derby Christmas Ice Rink is back for a fifth year.

Constructed from real ice, the open-air rink in the Market Place will be open to the public every day apart from Christmas Day and New Year’s Day - from November 27–January 5.

Tickets can be booked at the box office on 01332 255800 or you can go online at derbylive.co.uk