A History and Celebration of Pantomime

Join the V&A as they celebrate the farcical, the colourful and the hilarious on National Pantomime Day 2016. Curators, experts and special guests will explore the history and culture of a national institution.

V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL, Friday, December 16, 3pm to 5.30pm. Details: 020 79 422000

Enfield Independent:

Showcase Night

HeadSpace is a songwriting collaboration between Paula David: singer, poet, storyteller, author, and Nigel Mear: guitarist, singer-songwriter. HeadSpace have developed their own distinctive style with a soulful collection of original guitar based songs. Welcome return for Corragh playing lively Irish dance tunes and songs on flute, fiddle, mandolin & guitars. Influences include the Dubliners, Christy Moore and the Pogues, guaranteed to get your feet tapping!

RAFA Club, 295 Cranbook Road, Ilford, IG1 4UA, Friday, December 16, 7.45pm. Details: 07917 050490

Here be Dragons

A night of grown-up fairytale, folktale, myth and rumour. From the celestial abodes of the gods; the wild landscapes of avenging heroes; to the audacious journeys of Jack the fortune seeker- the mythic world can be mapped as clearly as our own... But what happens in these epic geographies when you dare to stray from the path? Three fabulous storytellers go off-map, navigate uncharted waters cross into mysterious other worlds and get more than a little bit lost.

The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB, Friday, December 16, 7pm. Details: 01937 546546

Larry Berkovitz & Zak Barrett Xmas Jazz

As played to wildly enthusiastic audiences, the hugely successful Xmas Jazz Night returns once again with a special programme designed to get you in the festive mood. Larry and Zak are back with members of the much acclaimed em@il special and the same two stunning and unique guests – the renowned multi-instrumentalist Adam Mader on everything and the amazing Andy Frost on drums and voice percussion.

Chelmsford City Theatres, Fairfield Road, Chelmsford, CM1 1JG, Friday, December 16, and Saturday, December 17, 3pm and 8pm. Details: 01245 606505

Enfield Independent: Ye Olde Rose & Crown pub in Hoe Street

Fundraising Benefit Gig

Fundraising Benefit Gig for homeless charity Crisis, with Graham Larkbey & the Escape Committee plus Steve Rushton. An evening of Maximum Pub Rock in aid of a thoroughly good cause, which provides both food and shelter at Christmas and also helps homeless people with longer-term support and assistance.

Ye Olde Rose & Crown, 53-55 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 5ER, Saturday, December 17, 9pm to 12am. Details: crisis.org.uk

Inky Cuttlefish Winter Warmer

Brass band, Christmas carols, face painting, Secret Santa, performances and creative kids activities.

Gnome House, 7 Blackhorse Lane, E17 6DS, Saturday, December 17, 11am to 4pm. Details: gnomehouse.org.uk

Ginvent Pop-Up

For one weekend only, we will be decking the halls with boughs of holly and playing host to a pop-up Gin Bar, which will serve all 24 Ginvent gins alongside masterclasses and tasting sessions. We’ll be doing speed tastings, cocktail slurping and a ’12 Days of Christmas’ Ginvent Odyssey, chucking quite a bit of booze your way for a very wallet-friendly price. ‘Tis the season, after all…

The Vinyl Factory, 18 Marshall Street, Soho, Friday, December 16, Saturday, December 17, and Sunday, December 18. Details: 020 7025 1385

Jazz Duo

Finola Glacken and Alexander Smith, a jazz duo from Leytonstone who play everything from smooth jazz to bawdy swing tunes – with a few crowd-pleasing pop classics thrown in for good measure.

Luna Lounge, 7 Church Lane, Leytonstone, E11 1HG, Sunday, December 18, 7.30pm. Details: 07904 525639

Enfield Independent: The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

Pre-recorded from the Bolshoi Ballet, Moscow. On Christmas Eve, Marie’s wooden nutcracker doll is transformed into a beautiful prince who takes her on a magical journey. Before they leave, they must confront the Mouse King, whose army is threatening Marie… Christmas would not be complete without the enchanting tale of young Marie and her nutcracker prince! Danced by the Bolshoi’s principals, Russian ballet master Yuri Grigorovich’s staging of E. T. A. Hoffmann’s fairy tale will transport children and adults alike to a world of magic and wonder for the holiday season.

Chelmsford City Theatres, Fairfield Road, Chelmsford, CM1 1JG, Sunday, December 18, 3pm. Details: 01245 606505

Carols by Candlelight

In an evocative candlelit setting, the internationally renowned Locrian Ensemble with star soprano Jill Washington usher in the festive season with familiar carols, favourites like White Christmas and Walking In The Air as well as songs from Handel’s Messiah and seasonal surprises.

Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, RM11 1QT, Sunday, December 18, 4pm. Details: 01708 443333

Enfield Independent: Carols for the City

Victoria and Albert’s Christmas Carol

Queen Victoria’s habit of talking about her late husband Albert as if he were in the next room takes a surprising turn when she finds herself transported back to December, 1843, ready to re-live the magic of her favourite time of year. Join the V&A for a special promenade performance through the British Galleries, featuring festive stories, carols and dancing.

V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL, until Friday, December 23. Details: 020 79 422000

Beyond the Waterfall

Bompas & Parr are set to transform part of Westfield London this Christmas by creating the ultimate grotto for grown-ups. Beyond the Waterfall will take shoppers on a fantastical journey across an undersea lagoon to a mythical land, culminating in a cocktail bar staffed by mythical creatures. Set deep in the heart of Westfield London's luxury precinct, The Village, the journey will evoke the emotions and joy of the holiday season while creating a feeling of unbridled escapism woven from a mix of mythology, fairytales and science fiction.

Westfield London, Ariel Way, Shepherds Bush, W12 7GF, until Friday, December 23. Details: bompasandparr.com