If you’re in Johannesburg for the December holidays, let me make a plea — on behalf of your children, as well as on behalf of vacation-sacrificing theatre makers: keep the trips to the mall to a minimum, and save your money for tickets to watch the family fare being served up on the city’s stages.

There’s the annual pantomime at Joburg Theatre (this year it’s Jack and the Beanstalk), and next door at the Peoples Theatre Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will keep flying until Christmas. Down the road in Braamfontein there are two more options at the National Children’s Theatre: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or The Cat in the Hat. Across Nelson Mandela Bridge in Newtown, the Market Theatre has brought back John Kani and Barney Simon’s Christmas musical The Lion and the Lamb. ..

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