An immersive Christmas dive bar will open deep underneath Waterloo this winter

’Tis the season to get immersive in London this Christmas.

Located just around the corner from the new, totally unaffiliated, immersive theatre show ‘Wishmas’, Humbug is a festive immersive drinking experience that bills itself as Santa’s favourite dive bar.

Unlike ‘Wishmas’, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland and the new ‘Kingdom of Winter’ over at the ExCel Centre, Humbug is very much an 18-plus, adults-only affair: it really is an actual bar, and the general idea is that you load up on seasonal cocktails, caterwaul along to a few carols, and maybe even hit the dancefloor.

There’s a bit more to it than that, though: the centrepiece of every session in the bar is a two-hour immersive theatre adventure revolving around a stressed-out Santa hitting the bottle hard at Humbug. Punters need to team up with Santa’s friends in order to coax him back to his usual jolly self and save Christmas… and if that sounds like a lot of work for a drink, our general experience of these sort of immersive drinking shows is that the theatre elements are quite unintimidating and often simply save you from having to think of small talk with whoever you’re with. Once the performance bit is wrapped up we’re promised DJs and dancing for another few hours (the complete experience is billed as four-to-five hours). 

Running until the new year, Humbug is the creation of Secret Speakeasy, a new collaboration between the co-founder of Backyard Cinema and one of the executive producers of Immersive Everywhere.

Tickets start from just £19.50, though inevitably you’ll be paying for your drinks on top of that. But yes, you do get to meet Santa, an experience no Christmas should be without, whatever your age.

Humbug is at Unit 9, Leake Street Arches, Waterloo, from Nov 15-Jan 6. Tickets are available now from the official website.

Immersive theatre shows in London.

The best new London theatre shows to book for in 2023 and 2024.