Penguins, puppets and panto: Waterside announce festive line-up

Waterside Arts Centre in Sale will be embracing the Christmas season in style. They have just announced their December line-up and, with big names and festive fun in abundance, there promises to be something for everyone.

Children’s theatre company Pins & Needles bring their award-winning production of Mr Popper’s Penguins to the theatre from 27 November to 31 December. With original songs and performing penguin puppets, this adaptation of the classic children’s novel will bring frost-filled fun for all the family.

Heading the bill on 11 December is songwriting legend Chris Difford, best known as co-founder of the popular group Squeeze. He brings his Christmas Shopping show to Sale, where live music and anecdotes from his 45-year career will come in equal measure.

Fresh from Britain’s Got Talent, bargain-loving mum of five Barbara Nice is back for her annual festive shindig complete with raffle, tombola and mince pies galore. Barbara is, in fact, the comedy alter ego of Phoenix Nights star Janice Connolly, who played Holy Mary in Peter Kay’s sitcom.

There will be plenty more theatre treats throughout the month including an interactive sensory experience for babies, an improvised panto using only suggestions from the audience, and a unique musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

And the fun doesn’t stop when you leave the theatre, with a festive gift shop selling artwork, jewellery and crafts by local artists and makers open until 4 January. Waterside’s ‘Sup Bar will also be serving a range of festive treats including mulled wine and cider.

Meanwhile in the exhibition space, Manchester-based animation studio Cosgrove Hall, responsible for some of the most iconic children’s television of the last 50 years, will be displaying their Frame by Frame project. It showcases original costumes, puppets and production materials from such classics as The Wind in the Willows, Postman Pat and Noddy, and will be open until 4 January.

For full listings and tickets, visit