Christmas in Full Swing at Christmas in Leicester Square

Underbelly LSQ Market © Leon Puplett
Underbelly LSQ Market © Leon Puplett

Christmas in Leicester Square is already in full swing in the heart of London and promises a stockingful of treats in the form of its picturesque European-style Christmas market, Santa’s Grotto, and world class programme of live entertainment for the whole family.

Briefs the legendary godfathers of ‘Boylesque’ are this year’s headliners with their first ever UK Christmas show, adding tinsel and jingle bells to the glitter-and-neon anarchy of their unique drag-cabaret-circus extravaganza Close Encounters. (until 3 Jan)

Families and lovers of a late-night afterparty fear not: Briefs will also be presenting festive editions of their acclaimed kids show Brat Kids Carnival (until 30 Dec) and their legendary club night Club Briefs (Fri-Sat until 29 Dec), before the biggest party of all…

On New Year’s Eve, there’s only one place to be in London for glamour, disco and circus. The New Year Extravaganza will feature guaranteed hilarity from the Briefs boys and some spectacular special guests. Feel the fantasy as we countdown in the capital at Club Briefs. (31st December 10.00pm)

Fellow Underbelly legends Frisky & Mannish will also be presenting their first ever Christmas show after a sold-out 10th anniversary special on the Southbank this summer, giving all your favourite Christmas songs a hilarious makeover in some of the most spectacularly festive costumes ever to grace the Spiegeltent. (17 December)

Other shows coming up this month include masters of their art House of Burlesque with The Burlesque Carol Concert (4 Dec) – a scintillating (and titillating) evening of dance, performance and Christmas singalong – and one of the breakout stars of the Edinburgh Fringe, the beautiful and statuesque (7ft to be precise) Drag Queen Gingzilla (11 Dec) with an exclusive Christmas special guaranteed to be a twisted yuletide treat.

For the kids, the incomparable Showstoppers are also back with their acclaimed Christmas Kids Show – a totally improvised musical for all the family: Batman meets Hermione Granger at the North Pole? Peppa Pig joins Father Christmas on his sleigh? Dora explores outer space with Captain Underpants and creates magical carols? Just shout it out and The Showstoppers will bring it to life in front of your eyes. (Selected dates 2-30 December)

Even if they’re too little for the theatre, tiny tots are still welcome in the Spiegeltent for Monski Mouse’s Christmas Baby Disco which gets parents, babies and younger kids alike bopping along to a special mix of Christmas classics and kids and dance favourites: the perfect place the perfect place for a first Christmas dance (17-19 December).

And then, of course, the man of the hour: Santa’s Grotto is open every day until Christmas Eve. This special North Pole experience will see Father Christmas himself regale kids with a special festive tale before hearing their Christmas wishes, having a photo with them, and giving them a special early Christmas present (until 24th December)

Winter Windows will also return – a unique exhibition in partnership with local schools which will see pupils design stained glass windows with the best being exhibited around the north and west perimeter of the Leicester Square site for thousands of passers-by to enjoy (until 5th January)

Surrounding all of this this amazing seasonal entertainment, London’s home of entertainment Leicester Square has been transformed into a wintery haven, with the beautiful European-style Christmas Market offering over 25 different stalls featuring a range of fascinating Christmas curios, sumptuous food and delicious drinks.

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