You’re off on holidays for Christmas. The kids (if you have any, obviously), are screaming. Or maybe you just need a night out. Bad.

Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year, mostly because of the pressure of feeling like we have to have a good time.

With children off and extended holidays to spend with your nearest and dearest, we strongly recommend these spectacular shows at The Lyric Theatre. Sure to please both audiences, we’re sure Little Red is the family fun frazzled parents will need at Christmas, whilst Christmas Eve Can Kill You will give you a much needed laugh…

1. Little Red Riding Hood & The Big Bad Wolf

The Lyric Theatre, Dec – Jan 3,  Tues – Sun 1:30pm, 4:30pm, £9-18

Everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood, right?

But who has ever thought about the real events behind the story? Where Red’s dear old Granny lived, for instance, and whether the Big Bad Wolf was really killed by the Woodsman… Certainly not the ramshackle troupe of travelling actors who roll into a town in the middle of nowhere one day to perform their take on the story.

Nothing seems to be going right for them, but they have no idea just had bad things are about to get. The stage is set, the moon is full, and the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf is about to get very interesting…

Written by award-winning Derek O’Connor, directed by Cahoots NI’s artistic director Paul Bosco Mc Eneaney with music by Irish Musical Comedy Awards winner Ursula Burns, the cast of Little Red Riding Hood & The Big Bad Wolf includes Roisin Gallagher, Charlotte McCurry and Christina Nelson.

We’re hearing fantastic reviews from pleased audiences, so make sure you don’t miss the family show everybody’s been raving about this Christmas.

2. Christmas Eve Can Kill You

The Lyric Theatre, Nov – Jan 16, Regular tickets – £22.50, Concessions £10 (Students, Unemployed, Under 20s & Over 65s – except Fri & Sat evening)

Extended until Jan 16 due to phenomenal demand, the latest offering of Marie Jones at the Lyric will have you laughing unlike you ever have before.

“Y’see Christmas Eve, it’s like instead of watching a soap where people are acting out real life, this is real life acting out a soap, y’know what I mean?”

Belfast 1992 – no Agreement, no Assembly, and no Accommodation at the Inn or anywhere else… Meet Mackers – a Belfast cabbie who’d rather work Christmas Eve than suffer the celebrations. Half the city needs to be somewhere else – trouble is, not everyone’s in the mood for a merry Christmas, and those who are full of the festive spirit are, well, full of the festive spirit.

They’re all out tonight, from a superstitious Santa with a sackful of Poitín, to Mr Dunne who’s struggling to make it out of the pub to get the turkey home to his wife. Throw in a cheating husband, an abandoned Granny, some serious shoppers, an upper class English actor who may be the world’s most unlikely choice to play a paramilitary leader, and a squaddie who just wants to go home to his girlfriend, and you have all the ingredients for an unforgettable Belfast Christmas Eve.

Directed by the talented Dan Gordon, the cast are truly outstanding. Stand-outs include the hilarious Tara Lynne O’Neil and Katie Tumelty (who we loved in Fly Me To The Moon). As well as Dan Gordon – whose performance within his multiple roles had our sides splitting with laughter.

Christmas Eve Can Kill You is definitely our top tip for the must-see show of the season if you’re looking for some great light-hearted entertainment (with the signature takeaway Marie Jones meaningful message). This is one you can take virtually anyone from your mum, grandparents, mates or dates and you’re gauranteed they will have a good time.

To find out more info or to book your tickets, check out  lyrictheatre.co.uk.

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