The summer holidays are nearly here. But no need to worry about how to keep the kids occupied – London’s theatres have plenty going on. Here’s our guide to this season’s best family-friendly shows in and around the West End.
What the Ladybird Heard
Based on the book by The Gruffalo creator Julia Donaldson, the Lyric Theatre’s What the Ladybird Heard is a fun farmyard adventure, with live music, puppets and plenty of laughs.
Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales
Four more of Donaldson’s stories are brought to life in the Leicester Square Theatre’s Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales. From the people behind Stick Man Live, you can expect more of the imagination, humour and catchy tunes that made that show such a hit.
Horrible Histories – More Best of Barmy Britain
Returning to the Garrick Theatre, Horrible Histories continues to delight and disgust kids (while… shhh… teaching them about history). Expect even more gruesome historic facts here, from the Revolting Romans through to the Frightful First World War
David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny
The Horrible Histories team have also adapted another hilarious children’s story for the Garrick’s stage this summer. David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny is a visit to granny’s house, like no other.
School of Rock
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes might not be the first names you’d think of for a show about rock music. But they know how to craft a crowd-pleaser, and the New London Theatre’s School of Rock is definitely that. And it stars a band of amazingly talented musical youngsters.
Wind in the Willows
Julian Fellowes has also adapted Kenneth Grahame’s beloved Wind in the Willows for the stage this summer. The new musical runs at the iconic , and features Rufus Hound as Mr Toad.
The Underbelly Festival. The Southbank’s Underbelly Festival has an excellent line-up of family-friendly shows. Comedy Club 4 Kids features big name standup comedians performing sets for kids aged 6 and over. Younger kids will love Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall, a funky party for under-fives.
Around the World in 80 Days/ We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Chelsea’s historic Cadogan Hall has a brilliant double-bill. Around the World in 80 Days brings the globe-trotting adventures of Phileas Fogg to life. And for littler ones, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is an interactive adaptation of Michael Rosen’s book, perfect for ages 3 and up.
Oliver Twist created for everyone aged six and over
Warm days are great for a trip to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. This year’s season includes a new family-friendly adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. It’s an ideal introduction to both a classic story and a unique theatre.
Like Oliver Twist, Annie is the story of a plucky young orphan. However, Annie also features catchy numbers like Tomorrow, Miranda Hart’s West End debut, and a really cute dog.