December’s crowded social calendar gives plenty of opportunities for young talent to break through and this applies in both the arts and other spheres of entertainment. Youth choirs, ballet dancers and emerging football talent all get their chance to shine at Christmas because of the sheer number of events happening in the Capital. So, if your favourite West End production features an understudy, go ahead and give youth a chance.

Carols at the Royal Albert Hall – Royal Albert Hall
Carols at the Royal Albert Hall – Royal Albert Hall
The gilded rotunda of the Royal Albert Hall is a wonderful setting for a grand Christmas sing song and enthusiastic crowds will be gathering there to celebrate the Yuletide season in style. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be doing most of the heavy lifting but will be assisted by the Royal Choral Society, the National Youth Choir and the band of the Coldstream Guards.

The programme will include many traditional carols and some new arrangements but the atmosphere will be one of warmth and community. A new version of that most atmospheric of holiday songs, “Silent Night” will be premiered on the night. Arranged by James Bond composer David Arnold, it will undoubtedly use the venue and assembled musicians to its best advantage.

https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/events/2018/carols-at-the-royal-albert-hall/

English National Ballet: Nutcracker – The Coliseum
English National Ballet: Nutcracker – The Coliseum
This timeless tale of toys coming to life on Christmas Eve is one of the must-see productions of London’s crowded dance calendar. The English National Ballet are past masters at staging this production and will once again be illuminating Tchaikovsky’s immortal score with some of the most iconic moves in ballet. The delicate central figure of Clara will be danced by ENB rising star Rina Kanehara.

She will be paired with the dashing Fernando Carratala Coloma whose chiselled features and athleticism are tailor-made for the part of the Nutcracker Doll who accompanies our heroine to magical lands. The second act is a non-stop procession of breathless set pieces and scintillating duets that have propelled many promising young performers towards the road to stardom.

https://londoncoliseum.org/whats-on/nutcracker-2018/

Festive Fayre – Hampton Court
Festive Fayre - Hampton Court
The place where that well-known epicurean and serial husband, Henry VIII used to hold his mammoth banquets seems to be a fitting venue for a Christmas food and drink extravaganza. Over the Christmas season, Hampton Court Palace tends to look less formal and more like a medieval meeting place – full of hustle, bustle and good cheer.

The food festival takes place in the grounds, giving the stalls plenty of room for extra decorations and seating. Aside from an excellent selection of artisan produce, there will be demonstrations and talks from high-profile chefs like Angela Hartnett and Chris Bavin. Live bands and carol singing will be on rotation at the historic palace bandstand pavilion.

https://www.hrpfoodfestivals.com/festive-fayre

Arsenal v Tottenham – Emirates Stadium
Arsenal v Tottenham – Emirates Stadium
The two North London rivals are neck and neck in the Premiership and fans will expect this League Cup clash to be a tight and tense affair. The result won’t affect the main title race and it may be tempting for both managers to field some youngsters but with England skipper, Harry Kane looking to break goalscoring records it would be hard to keep him off the pitch.

Arsenal have hit a consistent vein of form and in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang they now have a proven striker to go with their inventive approach play. Spurs will look to start hard and fast, so as to disrupt their opponent’s midfield so the tussle between England prodigy Dele Alli and the relatively inexperienced Arsenal back four will be key.

https://www.arsenal.com/tickets/arsenal/2018-Dec-02/tottenham-hotspur

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