Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella – New Adventures

Forget everything you thought you knew about Cinderella; the fairy tale is entirely reborn in this version, set in London during the blitz and choreographed by Matthew Bourne – whose ground-breaking company is celebrating its 30th anniversary. To the stirring Prokofiev score and against a backdrop of magnificent sets, the dancers tell the captivating story of a young woman who escapes her cruel family for a fleeting romance with a dashing young airman. The result is a feast for the eyes that will also touch your heart. From 9th December at Sadler’s Wells


Winnie-the Pooh; Exploring a Classic

There are few better loved characters in children’s literature than Winnie-the-Pooh, and this celebration of the lovable bear charts how AA Mine’s enduring stories have captivated the world for almost a century. Around 230 exhibits will include drawings by the book’s original illustrator EH Shepard, a 1929 recording of Milne reading Winnie-the-Pooh stories, and full-scale immersion versions of Poohsticks Bridge and Eeyore’s House. Meanwhile, fashion items and ceramics featuring the characters show how far Milne’s vision has spread. From 9th December at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Abba: Super Troupers

For dancing queens – and kings – the Southbank Centre is the place to go for a joyful journey back in time to the heyday of Swedish supergroup Abba, whose perfect pop tunes remain an irresistible dance-floor draw. A 60-minute interactive exhibition at Royal Festival Hall (nearest Tube: Waterloo, naturally) features glitzy costumes, instruments and even an entire hotel room, giving you a flavour of what life was like for a ‘70s superstars. From 14th December at Royal Festival Hall


Mary Stuart

The toss of a coin decides who will be imprisoned and executed, and who will survive the rule. That’s the uniquely dramatic moment that opens each performance of Friedrich Schiller’s classic play. Only when Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams arrive on stage do they find out whether they will play Elizabeth I or the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots. Cue a tussle for power played out with the chilly elegance of a chess match until finally, inexorably, tragedy strikes. From 15th January at The Duke of York’s Theatre


It’s the timeless tale of the wooden puppet who wanted to be a real boy. Now Pinocchio is brought to the stage in a captivating new version written by Dennis Kelly (Matilda The Musical) and John Tiffany, director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Unsurprisingly, the magic of puppetry is a prominent feature, and the show also includes songs from the original Walt Disney film, including I’ve Got No Strings and When You Wish Upon a Star. With the audience swept along on a journey from Geppetto’s workshop via Pleasure Island to the bottom of the sea, it’s the perfect pre-Christmas treat for all the family. From 1st December at the National Theatre


Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Two years ago, Star Wars: The Force Awakens reinvigorated the mighty sci-fi saga with a bold new chapter that brought on a compelling cliffhanger, as young heroine Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) finally tracked down ageing Jedi knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). In the latest instalment (Episode VIII in the Star Wars pantheon), the story is given fresh impetus in the sure hands of innovative director Rian Johnson (Looper), with Rey poised to discover the truth about her past while simultaneously readying herself for a renewed battle with the dark forces of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren. For casual cinemagoers and dedicated fans alike, an out-of-this-world experience awaits. Opens in the UK on 14th December

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