Christmas theatre is all about pantos. Oh yes it is. Oh not it’s not. Every city in Ireland, and most towns with a venue, will stage some sort of pantomime during the festive season. It is a form of theatre that has never waned in popularity. Most will be sell-outs and need no promotion here.

However, for those of us who may be a little too old for panto (oh yes I am!), there are lots of alternatives, and this week I am taking a look at some of these. One in particular is a must-see. A Christmas Carol opens this week at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, and Jack Thorne’s retelling of the timeless classic features some of the greatest names to tread the boards in Ireland.