Make the most of Christmas present with a slew of cracking alternative dramas
David Sedaris - doncha just love him? Anyone who has read his Santaland Diaries - a collection of writings about his weird, wonderfully and decidedly camp life in New York - will already have secured a ticket to C21's Christmas production.
The Santaland Diaries tells of Sedaris' time working in Macy's department store as one of Santa's little helpers.
Dressed as Crumpet the Elf, he endures the worst that Macy's winter wonderland can throw at him - pushy parents, cloying children and a Father Christmas who's often a little worse for wear. Jingle Bell Hell probably sums it up.
But the good news is that Crumpet and his merry little friends are heading our way, to the Old Museum Arts Centre, to spread some of their festive good cheer.
Stephen Beggs will be wearing the heavy mantle of Crumpet for this Christmas cracker, which runs from next Tuesday through to Saturday. It'll be a ho, ho show, believe me.
And on the subject of subversive seasonal shows, the Lyric Theatre's production of What The Reindeer Saw is already up and running.
Santa Claus the 14th has just taken over the family business, but all is not well at the North Pole. The Toymakers and General Elves Union are threatening to down their little tools over a dispute about mince pies and the lack thereof.
Rudolf has broken his fourth metatarsal bone and his agent says he might not come through a late fitness test. The sledge is having gearbox problems and Mrs Claus' biological clock is ticking.
The pressure gets to Santa, so he turns off the mobile and goes to play cards with his boyhood friends, the reindeers.
Will the elves agree to arbitration? Will Santa be able to drive the 'Windbreaker WRX' whilst consuming 4.5 billion glasses of whiskey? Can Mrs Claus talk him into the broom cupboard for 10 minutes?
The show's creators and performers, , tell us that it's all based on a true story. You might want to check it out. On at the Lyric until January 3.
Now, what are you doing tomorrow? Maybe you fancy a bit of lantern making at Belfast City Hall? That should put you in the right frame of mind for the Beat Initiative's fabulous Winter Carnival, which starts in East Belfast at 6.20pm with a parade of light, and meanders its way to the city centre, where it meets the main Pirates Carnival parade at the City Hall.
Then at 7.15pm the Good Ship Carnival sets sail along Donegall Place, accompanied by pirates, ships, dragons and spectators.
It's on to Custom House, where there's a feast of entertainment, including drummers and fireworks. Just the thing to keep the winter chills at bay.
Finally, if you prefer your entertainment indoors, head round the corner to OMAC, where Tinderbox's excellent Girls and Dolls is on stage tonight and tomorrow.
The story of how two young girls spend one forgettable summer will linger in your memory long after you leave the theatre. Highly recommended.