Christmas is traditionally a time when theatres across the land present an annual pantomime and this year is no exception. Many of these pantomimes feature actors from the world of musical theatre – they may not always be headlining in their respective shows, but they are certainly out there displaying their craft during what is always a fun time of year. Amongst the headliners, look out for John Barrowman in Robinson Crusoe with The Krankies at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow (until 7 Jan). Gary Wilmot (fresh from Radio Times at the Watermill Newbury) is in Cinderella at the Richmond Theatre (until 15 Jan). Shane Richie is in Aladdin at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend on Sea (until 31 Dec). Grease and Dirty Dancing star Ray Quinn is in Cinderella with Jimmy Cricket at the Civic Darlington (until 15 Jan). And Chicago and recent Tell Me On A Sunday star Claire Sweeney is in Jack in the Beanstalk at the Plaza Stockport (until 8 Jan).

The Hackney Empire’s panto Cinderella (until 8 Jan) stars a plethora of West End names including Joanna Riding (who has been in two short-lived West End musicals this year, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Lend Me A Tenor), Sophia Ragvelas, Matt Dempsey and Sophie Louise Dann. Milton Keynes’ Aladdin (until 15 Jan) is also chock-a-block full of musical favourites, starring Gareth Gates (soon to be seen in a new touring production of Hair), John Barr (fresh from Ragtime at the Landor) and Andrew C Wadsworth. Further south, Rosemary Ashe is in Cinderella alongside Julian Clary and Keith Harris at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth (until 21 Jan), while Hairspray star Leanne Jones is in Beauty and the Beast at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, alongside Bernie Nolan (until 22 Jan).

Bonnie Langford returns to the UK having spent several years living stateside and appearing on Broadway in Chicago, in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Yvonne Arnaud in Guildford (until 8 Jan). Bonnie will then join the UK tour of Monty Pythen’s Spamalot – currently playing a Christmas season at the Theatre Royal Brighten (until 14 Jan) with Todd Carty and Jodie Prenger. Ms Prenger came to fame when she won the TV search for a girl to play Nancy in the West End production of Oliver, and this year’s panto season sees many former Nancy, Maria and Joseph hopefuls take to the boards. Sarah Lark, who ended up understudying Nancy in the West End production, appears alongside Patsy Kensit in Snow White at the Churchill Bromley (until 8 Jan). Maria runner-up Helena Blackman (recently seen in Noel and Gertie in London) is in Snow White at the Palace, Redditch (until 31 Dec). Joseph runner-up Keith Jack – taking a break from playing Joseph on UK tour – is in Sleeping Beauty at the Kings Glasgow (until 8 Jan). Fellow Joseph hopeful and experienced musical theatre star Daniel Boys (who did great work in Ordinary Days this year) is in Peter Pan at the Mayflower, Southampton alongside Priscilla star Ben Richards (until 14 Jan). Lewis Bradley appears with Wicked star Katie Rowley Jones in Cinderella at the Arts Cambridge (until 15 Jan). Antony Hansen is in Aladdin at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon (until 2 Jan) and Rob McVeigh is in Aladdin with Bernie Clifton at the Palace, Newark (until 31 Dec).

Elsewhere, Rebecca Lock and Wicked’s Shona White star in Sleeping Beauty at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham (until 15 Jan). Sweeney Todd’s Lucy May Barker (about to return to the West End when the Chichester production transfers to the Adelphi in March) is in Aladdin at Venue Cymru, Llandudno (until 31 Dec). Recent Road Show actor David Bedella is in Robinson Crusoe alongside Christopher Biggins at the New Theatre, Cardiff (until 22 Jan). Phantom star Nicky Adams is in Cinderella with the Chuckle Brothers at the New Theatre, Hull (until 8 Jan). Sister Mary cabaret star Tim McArthur is in Sleeping Beauty at the Courtyard Hereford (until 7 Jan). Former Martin Guerre star Stephen Weller appears in Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmonds (until 15 Jan). And Grease star Matthew Goodgame appears alongside Brian Conley in Cinderella at the Birmingham Hippodrome (until 29 Jan).

Away from the world of pantomime, there are several major musical productions of note. First and foremost of these is the major revival of the Sondheim musical Company at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield (until 7 Jan). Daniel Evans – a Sondheim veteran from the Donmar’s Merrily to the Menier’s Sunday in the Park with George stars as Bobby, with Anna Jane Casey, Samantha Spiro and Francesca Annis also in the cast. Family favourite Annie is being given another outing at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds (until 21 Jan) with a cast including Duncan Preston and Verity Rushworth (the latter fresh from the tour of The Sound of Music). Paul Kerryson’s production of 42nd Street is playing at the Curve in Leicester (until 14 Jan) with Ria Jones and Tim Flavin. Liverpool has White Christmas with Aled Jones and Singin in the Rain star Adam Cooper (soon to transfer into town at the Palace Theatre) leading the cast (until 29 Dec). At the Menier Chocolate Factory, a rare revival of Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin is currently playing (until 25 Feb) starring Harry Hepple, Ian Kelsey, Matt Rawle and Frances Ruffelle. New musical The Little Prince, with music and lyrics by Nicholas Lloyd Webber and James D Reid is premiered at the Lyric, Belfast (until 15 Jan) with former Love Never Dies star Niamh Perry. There really is something for everyone across the country – and no excuse to miss a seasonal theatrical treat!