Christmas Show The Theatre


Once upon a time …. 

A host of colourful characters need to finish their story in time for Christmas.  How will Cinders get to her next ball? Will Humpty Dumpty ever pull himself together and will they all live happily ever after?

Join us for an hour of super songs, festive fun and loads of laughter with CBeebies' Chris Jarvis ,  CBBC presenters Naomi Wilkinson and Ed Petrie and a talented cast of singers and dancers.   The perfect Christmas treat for the whole family where anything could happen!  It’s Christmas at Lighthouse (with just a smidgen of pantomime)

A new story is about to begin…


Happy Ever After is written and directed by CBeebies favourite Chris Jarvis.  Specially made for this year only, it’s a one-hour Christmas show for a socially distanced audience featuring a mix of pantomime and children’s storybook characters. 

Naomi Wilkinson has her own show on CBBC, Naomi’s Nightmares of Nature and since 2012 has co-presented Marrying Mum and Dad with her Happy Ever After co-star Ed. Parents and children alike will also know Naomi from co-presenting Live ‘n’ Deadly with Steve Backshall, as well as from spells on Milkshake, CITV and PBS Kids.

Actor comedian Ed Petrie made his panto debut at Lighthouse in 2011 playing Buttons in Cinderella and returned in 2014 as the dashing hero of Robin Hood. Ed was nominated for a BAFTA in the Best Children’s Presenter category in 2008 and collected the BAFTA for Best Children’s Channel when it was won by CBBC. As well as Marrying Mum and Dad, Ed fronts the CBBC show All Over the Place.


Price: All tickets are £12.50 (incl. booking fee) and come with a FREE ice-cream

Running Time: Approx. 1 hr with no interval

Age guidance: Festive fun for all the family from 3-103.

This performance is sold on a socially-distanced basis.. Our booking system has been updated to allow you to sit next to your friends and family while ensuring a safe distance between customers. When you look at the seating plan to book your tickets for this show, you will notice that there are gaps between available seats, but you will be able to enjoy the show with your bubble. To make sure that social distancing is adhered to across the auditorium, you will only be able to book all of the seats within a ‘bubble’. If you have any access needs, please get in touch with us on 01202 280000.

Please make sure your booking is for your household/social bubble only, in line with current guidance on the rule of 6.





Keeping you Safe

We want to ensure that your visit will be as memorable and enjoyable as always. When you arrive, you’ll notice some extra safety and social distancing measures are in place. Things might change over the next few months too, so we recommend checking our website and your emails to make sure you’re as up to date as possible when planning your visit.

Our booking system has been updated to allow you to sit next to your friends and family while ensuring a safe distance between customers. We currently accommodate single, pairs and for some events groups of four.  As we learn more and as the ticketing technology develops we hope to offer more flexibility on seating. We would encourage you to book in advance to help maintain the correct social distancing measures. 

Our café, foyer and performance spaces are ventilated using fresh air drawn in from the outside. Air is not recycled The theatre has a dedicated, independent ventilation unit that only serves that space. Extraction fans in the ceiling lift air away whilst fresh air is pumped in. The unit pushes through 8 litres of fresh air per second  per person.

Doors will open 60 minutes before a performance and will remain open until the start. We have made sure your seat is socially distanced. If you have any concerns please let a member of staff know. 

Thank you for wearing a face covering to protect yourself and those around you. All customers are required to wear a face covering during their visit, although you are able to remove this to eat and drink. 

The following groups are exempt and won't need to wear face coverings:

  • Children under 11
  • People unable to wear face coverings because of an illness or    a physical or learning disability
  • Carer's/ companions providing assistance to someone whorelies on lip reading to communicate
  • People who feel that wearing a face covering would cause them severe distress
  • We recommend customers who are exempt please let the member of staff serving them know. 

Customers will be asked to wait to be seated and complete the track and trace information and then place this in the box provided. These details will be retained for 21 days in line with current legislation. Full table service will be provided. We have spaced out seats and tables to ensure plenty of space and ask that you do not move any furniture

If customers choose to leave the auditorium during a show, with reduced capacity and the allocated seating system, customers passing other groups in the same row outside of their group should be minimal and therefore extremely low risk.

A little space goes a long way so please stay safe and keep your distance from anyone outside your bubble. Physically distanced seating has been set up so that you and those in your booking are seated apart from others in our performance spaces. In the foyers and other public areas please wear a face covering and maintain social distancing at all times. 

Our already high cleaning standards will be enhanced by a new cleaning protocol that covers all areas of the building. We will be disinfecting all areas of the building at regular intervals throughout the day and evening to help keep you safe. All our venue seating, foyers and carpets will undergo a weekly ‘fogging’ treatment to quickly and effectively disinfect surfaces and surroundings, providing protection for up to 30 days. All the toilets at Lighthouse will be cleaned frequently and the frequency of checks will be increased. 

For the safety of our customers and staff, wherever possible we are encouraging contactless or card payments – the safest way to pay. We have added screens at all our payment points, where social distancing cannot be maintained. 

All our team have received training so that they are able to confidently work with our new protocols, to look after themselves and you, our customers. PPE is provided to employees where the risk assessment has deemed it necessary. Our team are on hand to offer assistance to customers.



Chris Jarvis interview

Chris Jarvis couldn’t be happier to be spending his Christmas in Poole, on stage at Lighthouse starring in and directing Happy Ever After, the show he wrote in response to being unable to do panto this year. 

“I think of Dorset as home so to be able to put on this very special show at Lighthouse, working with the amazingly talented team there and our lighting designer James Smith, who’s not only a genius but is from Poole as well, is just a real joy this Christmas,” says the CBeebies presenter who starred in Dick Whittington at Lighthouse two years ago. 

Happy Ever After is a one-hour Christmas show featuring a host of familiar friends from pantomime who reveal what happened to them after their panto story ends. How will Cinders get to her next ball? Will Humpty Dumpty pull himself together again? Can they all live happily ever after? 

“The story is told with the same texture as panto with comedy and songs, but it’s a fixed set and essentially a one-act play so the magic comes from the phenomenal skills of James Smith our lighting designer. His skill means the production values are high, but our ticket price makes us accessible to as many people as possible. 

“We are acutely aware that people have had a rotten year and that coming back to a theatre to shout and scream and boo and hiss and have things thrown around might not be what they want at this time. So, we have lots of characters people will know from panto like Cinderella, Jack, Genie, Fairy Godmother and I’ll be dressed as Buttons and we’ll tell the story of what happens to those characters after their panto story. We find out that with the exception of one or two problems everyone is living happy ever after.” 

There’s a strong emphasis on Christmas in the show, but with lots of in-jokes, corny puns and slapstick humour, as well as the familiar cast of characters, Happy Ever After clearly has its roots in pantomime. 

“It’s all about happiness, positivity and family and togetherness,” says Chris. “The thing is, pantomime has to feature certain elements and we have taken the view that physically they are not possible to do this year and remain safe. So people can come to Happy Ever after and sit in their bubbles with spaces around them and be entertained by a Christmas show – we want people to be relaxed and comfortable enough to enjoy themselves, have a laugh and join in with Sleigh Bells and Frosty and a medley of Christmas songs.”  

Chris wasn’t planning to do a pantomime this year, but when he found himself available he developed the idea he had for a children’s show and created Happy Ever After. 

“Lighthouse makes shows but they like to involve people from outside as well, which is where James and I came in. It has been a terrific learning experience – the conversations we’ve had about what’s possible in terms of lighting special effects have lasted for hours, writing the script has been relatively straightforward,” he explains with characteristic modesty. 

“I have spoken with so people in my industry whose world has literally been wiped away by the pandemic – not only performers, but the crew, writers, people with production houses and venues, they are absolutely desperate. There’s no doubt that performers have a need to perform, it’s what keeps us going so to be able to do this show is a blessing. We’re able to offer a live show to share with the community and the people of Poole and beyond are able to support Lighthouse by buying a ticket that will help it keep going.” 

Chris is well aware of the way Poole audiences come together to help in difficult times. In the wake of the terrible Boxing Day tsunami in 2005 he joined Brian Cant in Pantomime Relief to raise money for the Red Cross Tsunami Earthquake Appeal with the stars of Beauty and the Beast (Poole), Jack and the Beanstalk (Bournemouth) and Peter Pan (Southampton), performing shows at Lighthouse and Bournemouth Pavilion. 

We combined the panto companies and put on a revue that raised £25,000. We were meant to do one show at 10pm after the two panto performances, but due to a communication error (missing out the “pm”) we ended up doing another at 10am! Quite how we all got through four performances – because we still had the pantos to do – I really don’t know, but it was awesome to play a part and the audience support was absolutely incredible. 

“And just like that show, whatever happens this year is going to make it a very special one that we’ll remember for years to come, the way people are coming together to make things happen. It’s good for our mental health and wellbeing and with Happy Ever After we’re starting something now that means we can look forward to coming back stronger than ever next year.” 

Ticket Information

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please call us on 01202 280000

Please be reassured that ticket holders will be contacted directly, and we ask that customers do not call or email Lighthouse.

Fantastic for families