Those wanting an alternative to the Christmas panto, need look no further because Oxford is absolutely bursting with fantastic Christmas shows.

Start with screenwriter and playwright Mike Bartlett’s Snowflake, which depicts a father waiting for his daughter to come for Christmas for the first time in three years.

“It is funny but it’s a proper play,” Mike promises. “There’s a father-daughter rift, and a fight. The question is can they reconcile for Christmas? My job is to put myself in their shoes. You just need to find the right story to tell.” Not to be missed.

Snowflake, Old Fire Station, until December 22. 01865 263990 or

Alby the Penguin Saves Christmas is aimed at 3-6 year-olds and is full of music and puppetry. It features the special snow-white penguin Alby who, after being cast out of his group, finds himself wandering the South Pole all alone.

Alby comes across a list of gifts that Father Christmas seems to have left behind in the snow and, to make sure Christmas goes off without a hitch, he must get the list back to its owner.

Alby the Penguin Saves Christmas is at the BT Studio until January 5. University of Oxford’s Fiona Jones will be giving a talk about Antarctica on Dec 18. 01865 305305.

Heralding the festive season at The North Wall this year, is Creation’s Peter Pan, with a percentage of all ticket sales going to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Tinkerbell is a man, Hook is female, and the theatre is transformed into a cabaret-style space. The cast are joined by five local child performers from Creation’s Drama Clubs.

Peter Pan runs until January 5.

When The Story Museum approached Tristan Pate to concoct a one-man show, he devised Wish which is full of magic, music, song and stories, for a family audience. Based on the traditional tale of the Pedlar of Swaffham – a humble man has a dream about seeking his fortune on London Bridge and sets out to make his dream come true.

Wish is at Oxford Castle Quarter until January 6. 01865 807600 or

The Jersey Boys opens at The New Theatre for its Christmas run on Tuesday. The West End and Broadway musical tells the story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

The Jersey Boys is at the New Theatre until January 6. 0844 8713020 or

Last year, the Cornerstone in Didcot produced their first ever in-house Christmas show since the art centre’s inception in 2008.

This year the same creative team has turned their storytelling magic to the classic tale of The Pied Piper.

Written by Matt Borgatti and directed by Andrew Berry, it begins 100 years after the infamous visit of the Pied Piper to the village of Hamelin.

Cornerstone’s musical adventure is all about playing to your own tune. The world of the Pied Piper is vividly brought to life with new songs and music, performed live by the actor musicians, and supported by a young ensemble.

A heart-warming production packed with brilliant songs, puppets, plot-twists and lots of festive fun.”

The Pied Piper runs at Didcot’s Cornerstone until Sunday, December 30.

01235 515144 or