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The Best London Theatre For Kids This Easter

Keep your children stimulated and inspired this Easter break with London’s exciting theatre showings. This is the best London theatre for kids. 

The Easter break is a great chance to immerse your children in London’s cultural happenings to help spark their creativity and imaginations. With the variety of shows on offer in London, there’s plenty to choose from to suit your children’s interests. From Romeo & Juliet to Paddington™ in Concert, each feature great soundtracks that are bound to become the new household sing-a-longs, too.

We’ve curated the best London theatre for kids to see this Easter.

Bronco Billy

After an incredible reception and raving reviews in America, the esteemed Charing Cross Theatre in London is welcoming Bronco Billy this season: the new family-favourite comedy musical based on the Warner Bros. motion picture written by Dennis Hackin. The play is set in 1979 and follows the story of “romantic fast-drawing, trick-riding, disco-dancing Wild West roustabouts and their travelling show” as the group of performers navigate unexpected turns and new people, including Antoinette Lilly, a Manhattan heiress on the run. As well as a fun-packed plot, Bronco Billy boasts a prestigious cast too, each of whom have starred in some of the West End’s biggest productions to date, including Cabaret, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Mamma Mia! and more. Full of lively dancing, western music, and plenty of comedic moments, this upbeat show is bound to provide a fun afternoon out for the whole family.

The Choir of Man

The Olivier-nominated The Choir of Man has graced the world’s best stages with its singalong presence, each time with just as much success as the next. After three sell-out sessions at the Sydney Opera House plus sold-out European and US tours, the musical is back in London for its second year. Set in The Jungle, titled “the best pub in the world,” nine characters fuse big hits spanning older classics from Queen and Luther Vandross to modern pop including Sia, Adele, and Katy Perry for an uplifting performance. The Choir of Man is great for all ages and generations in the family and the performances are bound to sell-out quickly. Book your tickets while you can.

Paddington™ in Concert

The sweet tale of Paddington™ is a story that stands the test of time, and the latest production is proving it. A new screening of the award-winning Studiocanal film will be accompanied by the London Concert Orchestra and will tour London’s Royal Festival Hall this spring, before travelling to Brighton, Southend, Sheffield, Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Oxford this year. The Paddington™ in Concert will play Nick Urata’s calypso-infused score to add an extra musical depth to the film, helping to engage children’s senses while watching and bringing an added collaborative feel. All you need to pack are your marmalade sandwiches.

Six, The Musical

Recently, the musical Six celebrated 1,000 West End performances at The Vaudeville Theatre, an outstanding longevity for the musical theatre play. With 35 international awards under its belt (including two Tony Awards and five Olivier nominations) Six is a record breaking piece of musical theatre, and Easter is a great time to take your kids if you haven’t been already. The Broadway musical follows the stories of Henry VIII’s six wives in an informative but also unique, creative, and digestible way. The six wives compare their marriage with the Tudor king and how they were treated in a pop-concert format, before deciding it’s better for them to stick together, promoting the important values of community. Forget the archaic, this performance is full of neon lights, modern dancing and pop music, for a fun and alternative telling of history.

Image credit: Mark Senior

Zog and the Flying Doctors

Based on the book of the same name, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Zog and the Flying Doctors is back in theatres, touring the UK over the next few months. Zog is a very conscientious student who has become an air-ambulance, who with his ‘flying crew’ tends to magical creatures from sunburned mermaids to unicorns with too many horns. The fantastical tale based on the UK’s number one picture book (by the same authors as The Gruffalo) has already formed an animated film on the BBC and sold over 1.5 million copies since being published in 2016. The production starts this spring and continues over the summer months and, with very sweet characters and subject matter, is appropriate for children aged three and over.

Romeo & Juliet

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet meets a hip-hop makeover at Polka Theatre this spring. The well-adored tale of two star-crossed lovers is artistically rewritten through raps and rhythms – in collaboration with the team at Beats & Element who create modern-music adaptations of plays including Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster and High Rise State of Mind. Learn the dramatic twists and turns of Shakespeare’s tragic romantic tale to the backdrop of catchy tunes, designed for children to enjoy and also to remember and recite after the play too. The performance will take place in a great location, The Polka Theatre, south London’s internationally-reputed local children’s theatre featuring a playground, a garden, exhibitions spaces and a cafe – all you need for a great day out. Recommended for nine to 12+ year old children, this show is a great and interactive way to introduce young ones to an age-old classic.

Bear Snores On

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre kicks off its 92nd season with ‘Bear Snores On’, much earlier than usual – in March – a short play for children aged four-plus that will only run during the daytime. An adaptation of Karma Wilson’s picture book, with has music and lyrics by Harry Blake and a book by Katy Sechiari and actor Cush Jumbo, it begins on the lawn rather than the theatre stage, as it follows a mouse as it looks for somewhere to hide from the cold… and hits upon a cave with a large, furry occupant. Promising a magical journey for families and children, it invites them to witness the story of a snoozing bear and a tiny mouse seeking refuge from the winter chill, something British families may be all too familiar with.

The Lion Inside

“No matter your size, we all have a mouse and a lion inside.” With a beautiful message for kids, this is a heart-warming tale about confidence, self-esteem, and a shy little mouse who sets out on a journey to find his roar. In a dry dusty place where the sand sparkled gold, stood a mighty flat rock. And under that rock in a tiny house lived the littlest, quietest, meekest brown mouse. Fed up of being ignored and forgotten by the other animals, Mouse wishes he could roar like Lion. But, as he discovers, even the biggest, bossiest people are scared sometimes … and even the smallest creatures can have the heart of a lion!

Globe Theatre (c. David Jensen)

Playing Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet

Set in 2024, the Montagues and Capulets take on new roles as rival gangs rather than rival aristocratic families in The Globe’s new adaptation of the Shakespearean play, designed for school children. The show is fast-paced and only 90 minutes long, skipping lengthy monologues and Shakespearan antiquities to help keep the young audience engaged. As part of The Globe’s Events for Young People programme, the showings run alongside practical drama activities and games in line with school curriculums. However, the play sheds light on difficult subject matter from gang related violence, domestic violence, suicide, and uses stage blood, so is better suited to an audience of older children.  More information on the content can be found here.

Matilda the Musical

A classic that has just been given an extension in the West End showing that the story of this young girl with preternatural intellect and telekinetic powers has captivated audiences and they’ve still not had their fill. Based on Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s classic, this hilarious yet heartbreaking ensemble number immediately captures Dahl’s satirical spirit showcasing this strong and determined heroine with a vivid imagination. As entertaining for kids as it is for adults, this is one worth booking for Easter and beyond.

Image by Steve Gregson

The Everywhere Bear

Based on the delightful children’s book by Julia Donaldson (also the author of The Gruffalo) and children’s illustrator Rebecca Cobb, The Everywhere Bear tells the story of a beloved class mascot – a very cute and well-loved teddy bear – who is taken home by a different student in Class One every weekend and the different kinds of adventures he gets up to. This spring, A Little Angel Theatre, Polka Theatre and Royal & Derngate are collaborating to bring the tale to life through rhyme, original music scores and puppets. This very sweet stage adaptation is suitable for children aged one and above and runs for only 45 minutes to ensure children stay engaged.

Four Seasons

This production by Little Bulb, an award-winning children’s physical theatre touring company and the team behind Wolf Witch Giant Fairy in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, is an enchanting exploration of the seasons and how they transform the natural world around us.  The play follows a selection of magical gardeners who nurture beautiful flora and fauna on stage accompanied by music. Each performance is relaxed, meaning children and families can come and go if needed. There are also a series of audio described performances in the programme.

Lead image: C Reca Oakley as Anna of Cleves and the cast of SIX the Musical. Photography credit – Pamela Raith

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