Dubai and Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

Hello! This month, as we would expect it to, will add a festive family touch to the theater and dance program. December will have something to offer to young and old, families and singles.

Artforall will be screening Christmas classics: “Nutcracker” and “Snowman” production – by prominent companies. The Courtyard Playhouse will offer Christmas themed improv theatre for children and adults, and Theatre by QE2 will invite families to a live The Beauty and the Beast performance. Those not in Christmas mood will be able to enjoy theatre works on stage – such as Midsummer Night Dream at The Junction – and live theater screenings by National Theatre in London (NOTE – these performances are available only through a membership to the program. But it is very easy to become a member – and it is definitely worth it! All information on the relevant website). Dance lovers will have a rare chance to go through a visual hip-hop history – an exhibition which will open in December at Manarat al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi.

Whatever you choose – a live performance, screening or exhibition, the Christmas theme or not, comedy or improv, theatre or dance – we hope it will bring you joy. And remember to let us know how you enjoyed it. We want to hear from you!

Explore the program for the month of December in the calendar order below.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT IMPROV’: MAESTRO | Improv theatre 
DECEMBER 2, 9 & 16, 8.00pm | The Courtyard Playhouse | Booking required | Free entrance, donations expected

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

Fast-paced, unpredictable, and hilarious.

Ten of Dubai’s virtuoso actors converge for a night of scenes, songs and games based on audience suggestions. You score the players on a scale of 1 to 5, and after each round, the players with the lowest scores are eliminated.

When only one remains then Maestro is crowned!

IMPROVISED KIDS’ STORYTIME: THE MYSTERY OF THE TOILET MONSTER | Improv theatre for children
DECEMBER 4, 11 & 18, 11.30am & 1.30pm | The Courtyard Playhouse | Exclusive to members*

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

There’s something stirring in the toilet… and it’s not a toilet brush. When an unhappy Daddy tells the silly policemen that he’s lost his little boy in the toilet, their investigation takes our heroes all the way to the Toilet Monster’s stinky lair. An improvised and interactive adventure with games, toilet roll, dancing and lots and lots of imaginative fun!

For children 4-11 years old. A new and imaginative story every time that will have your children talking all week. Interactive fun for the whole family!

*To gain access to Improvised Kids Storytime, you have to purchase a membership. More information on the website.

NT LIVE SCREENING: A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE | Theatre 
DECEMBER 4, 11 & 18 11.30 & 13.30 | The Courtyard Playhouse | Exclusive to members*

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

Following its smash-hit original broadcast, the Young Vic’s ‘magnetic, electrifying, astonishingly bold’ production of A View from the Bridge returns to cinemas due to audience demand.

This stunning production of Miller’s tragic masterpiece won a trio of 2014 Olivier Awards including Best Revival, Best Actor for Mark Strong (The Imitation Game; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) and Best Director for Ivo van Hove.

The great Arthur Miller confronts the American dream in this dark and passionate tale. In Brooklyn, longshoreman Eddie Carbone welcomes his Sicilian cousins to the land of freedom. But when one of them falls for his beautiful niece, they discover that freedom comes at a price. Eddie’s jealous mistrust exposes a deep, unspeakable secret – one that drives him to commit the ultimate betrayal.

★★★★★ “One of the most powerful productions of a Miller play I have ever seen” Daily Telegraph

Watch the trailer HERE

*To gain access to NT Live screenings, you need to purchase the membership. More information on the website. 

The Snowman | Screening | Family, Age 2+
FROM DECEMBER 11, 11.00am| The Theatre | Tickets: from 45 AED

*Photo courtesy of The Theatre at Mall of the Emirates.

Art For All is delighted to announce a special festive screening of the on-stage production The Snowman, at The Theatre, Mall of the Emirates.

The classic tale about a little boy called James, and his magical encounter with a snowman on Christmas Eve, which was adapted from the 1978 book by Raymond Briggs, and brought to the big screen by director Dianne Jackson, continues to delight audiences – and now has a brand new format stage-to-screen format.

Originally performed at The Peacock Theatre in London, the show has music and lyrics by Howard Blake, including Walking in the Air, choreography by Robert North and is directed by the award-winning theatre genius, Bill Alexander.

Ruari Murchison’s enchanting design combined with Tim Mitchell’s spectacular lighting, The Snowman Live on Stage continues to enchant audiences with a captivating mix of dance, live music, storytelling, spectacle and magic.

When a young boy’s snowman comes to life on Christmas Eve, the two set off on a night-time quest for adventure. They meet Father Christmas, dancing penguins, reindeer and crowds of The Snowman’s friends, but will they escape evil Jack Frost and get back home for Christmas morning?

This enchanting live show has thrilled audiences throughout the world since first appearing on stage over twenty years ago. Be a part of the magic.

SUNDAY NIGHT COMEDY: THEATRESPORTS – SANTA VS ELVES | Improv theatre 
DECEMBER 11 & 12, 7.00pm | The Courtyard Playhouse | Booking required | Free entrance, donations expected

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

Fast-paced, unpredictable, and hilarious.

A thrilling battle between teams of the best improvisers in Al Quoz 1. Watch as they pit their acting skills against one another in a bid to win the coveted Theatresports trophy.

The #1 improvisational theatre showdown scored by a panel of judges.

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by H72 PRODUCTIONS | Comedy theatre
DECEMBER 11-12, 17 -19, 7.30pm; 19, 2.00pm | The Junction | Tickets: 60 – 100 AED

*Photo courtesy of The Junction.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies. It tells the hilarious tale of four young people and a group of actors who get lost in the woods one fateful night, and the magical fairies who help them find laughter, love and light — all whilst creating total and utter pandemonium!

Directed by Lydia Medeiros.

SUNDAY NIGHT COMEDY: THIS IS IMPRO | Improv theatre 
DECEMBER 13, 8.00pm | The Courtyard Playhouse | Booking required | Free entrance, donations expected 

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

This is Impro is an evening of scenes, stories and narrative improvisation influenced by our audience’s suggestions and featuring our most experienced performers.

MONDAY NIGHT THEATRE: QUARANTINED – THE IMPROVISED SOAP OPERA | Improv theatre 
DECEMBER 14 & 21, 8.00pm | The Courtyard Playhouse | booking required | free entrance, donations expected

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

The intrigue …the drama… the suspense…the Courtyard Playhouse presents Quarantined: The Improvised Soap Opera.

Get lost in the imaginary world of everyday life in pandemic era Dubai, where cabin fever, suspicion, and social distancing contends with camaraderie and true love in lockdown.

Week by week, cliffhanger by cliffhanger, come and find out what happens behind the closed doors of quarantine.

This title performance will be preceded by ‘Salman and Rushdi do Improv’. Will they do a mystery? An action movie? A love story? All of it combined into one? Witness the two make it all up based on audience suggestions and interaction.

CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop by MAS x SOLE| Photography exhibition
DECEMBER 15 ONWARDS, 10.00AM-8.00pm | Manarat Al Saadiyat | Tickets: 30 AED

*Photo courtesy of SOLE Digital.

Showing outside of the United States for the first time, CONTACT HIGH takes visitors through four decades of photographs, albums, magazine covers and memorabilia that document Hip-Hop culture. Specifically curated for Abu Dhabi, the exhibition features over 200 images by 60+ photographers including; Janette Beckman, Barron Claiborne and Jorge Peniche. Photographs are displayed alongside original contact sheets. The contact sheets give an intimate look into the photographer’s journey during the shoot, and an unrivalled insight into the personality of the subject in front of the camera, often capturing a softer or more humorous side of the Hip-Hop artist that is rarely seen by the public. The images include some of Hip-Hop’s biggest names: Kanye West, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Megan Thee Stallion, MF Doom, Cardi B, A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator, Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, and the legendary Notorious B.I.G.

Watch the trailer HERE.

Beauty & The Beast​ | Family show
DECEMBER 16 – 27, 11.00am & 3.00pm | Theatre by QE2 | Tickets: from 108 AED

*Photo courtesy of Theatre by QE2.

Based on the 18th century French fairy tale La Belle et la Bete, the story is still as popular and morally relevant today……as punishment for his selfish actions, a handsome young prince is transformed into a monstrous beast by a mysterious enchantress. If he can learn to love someone and earn their love in return, the curse will be lifted. Enter a young bookworm, known lovingly as Beauty who stumbles upon the castle and is taken prisoner by the Beast whilst searching for her father. With help from the Beast’s servants, themselves cursed to be household items, Beauty comes to appreciate and love the Beast whilst all the while evading an arrogant admirer who wants to kill the beast and marry Beauty himself!

But don’t worry – as with all family shows – there’s a happy ending (and we are hoping we will have another Award nominated production!)

NT LIVE SCREENING: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY | Theatre 
DECEMBER 18, 7.00pm | The Courtyard Playhouse | Exclusive to members*

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

The Lehman Trilogy by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power directed by Sam Mendes

The story of a family and a company that changed the world, told in three parts on a single evening. Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes (Skyfall, The Ferryman) directs Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles who play the Lehman Brothers, their sons and grandsons.

On a cold September morning in 1844 a young man from Bavaria stands on a New York dockside. Dreaming of a new life in the new world. He is joined by his two brothers and an American epic begins. 163 years later, the firm they establish – Lehman Brothers – spectacularly collapses into bankruptcy and triggers the largest financial crisis in history.

This critically acclaimed and five-time Olivier Award nominated play features stunning set design from Es Devlin (NT Live: Hamlet) and will be broadcast live from London’s West End as part of National Theatre Live’s 10th Birthday season

*To gain access to NT Live screenings, you need to purchase the membership. More information on the website.

Santa and the lost gift | Interactive theatre for family 
DECEMBER 18 – 19, 11.00am & 3.00pm | The Theatre | Tickets: from 85 AED

*Photo courtesy of ADWAR.

Christmas family show full of songs, dance and interactions. A comedy that revolves around saving Christmas by finding the lost gift and making all children happy in addition to understanding that no one is worthless and that everyone matters and has a role to play.

THE NUTCRACKER BY THE ROYAL BALLET | Ballet for family 
DECEMBER 23, 8.00pm | The Theatre | Tickets: from 75 AED

*Photo courtesy of The Theatre at Mall of the Emirates.

Experience the magic of the world’s most festive ballet. Get into the spirit of the season by booking tickets to an exclusive screening of The Nutcracker presented by The Royal Ballet. More seasonal than mince pies and Santa, The Theatre will host the Special Screening of the classic “The Nutcracker” ballet performance recorded live at The Royal Opera House. This children’s story is beautifully showcased by the Royal Ballet with exquisite dancing, beautiful sets and Tchaikovsky’s timeless score performed by a live orchestra.

Fêtez la danse avec L’Opéra National de Paris | Ballet for family 
DECEMBER 28, 8.00pm | The Theatre | Tickets: from 60 AED

*Photo courtesy of The Theatre at Mall of the Emirates.

Experience the magic of ‘celebrate the dance’. This stunning screening of France’s leading ballet troupes, performing with the National Opera of Paris, can only be seen on December 28th at 8 pm, at The Theatre, Mall Of The Emirates.  Directed by Musical direction: Frédéric Laroque / Kevin Rhodes. With the Stars, the First Dancers, the Corps de Ballet and the students of the Dance School, Orchester De L’opéra National De Paris.

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