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Children's theatre in London

Keep the kids quiet with a bit of culture at one of London's family-friendly shows

'Grandad Me and Teddy Too'

Even the smallest members of the family enjoy the odd stage show. Here are the Time Out theatre team's recommendations for kids' theatre and which performances will suit the very little ones, the nearly big ones, and the grown ups too. If you're planning ahead for the school holidays, check out top 10 children's theatre shows this half-term and our 101 things to do in London with kids. Or for treats the whole family can enjoy, have a look at our favourite West End theatre shows.

Theatre for children (5+)

Emily Rising

This heartfelt story is firmly aimed at older children. Dan Rebellato's play explores ideas of growing up by telling the tale of a girl who realises, one morning, that her feet won't touch the ground. As she soars across London, she realises her world is changing. Ages 7-plus.

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Little Angel Theatre , Islington Until Sunday November 20 2016

Let's Fly

Beloved children's puppet theatre the Little Angel are teaming up with Goblin to present a soaring show for younger kids. Emily knows how to fly, and wants to take the whole audience with her on an adventure that swoops over rooftops and up to outer space. Suitable for children aged three to six.

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Little Angel Theatre , Islington Until Sunday November 20 2016

Roald Dahl And The Imagination Seekers

As the beloved author's centenary approaches, everyone's going doolally for all things Dahl. The Lyric is hosting an interactive kids' adventure that takes children on a journey through his best-loved stories, from the whimsy of 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory' to the gross-out horrors of 'The Twits'. Ages 7-11.

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Lyric Hammersmith , Hammersmith Thursday October 27 2016 - Friday October 28 2016

Mrs Armitage And The Big Wave

Surf's up! Gaga Theatre adapt Quentin Blake's story of a woman and her loyal dog Breakspear, who go to sea in search of the perfect wave. This show mixes live performance and digital projection to tell a wet and wild story of an unlikely friendship. Suitable for children aged four to seven, all ages welcome.

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Clapham Picturehouse , Clapham Saturday October 8 2016 - Thursday October 27 2016
See more kids theatre recommendations

Theatre for young children (0-4)

Let's Fly

Beloved children's puppet theatre the Little Angel are teaming up with Goblin to present a soaring show for younger kids. Emily knows how to fly, and wants to take the whole audience with her on an adventure that swoops over rooftops and up to outer space. Suitable for children aged three to six.

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Little Angel Theatre , Islington Until Sunday November 20 2016

Neverland

Immersive theatre has thus far been limited to fat-walleted grown-ups, but this new show for toddlers lets parents and children go on a theatre journey together. Tom Penn's performance is inspired by the dizzying world of Neverland in 'Peter Pan', and creates space to imagine and play together. Each ticket admits one adult, and one child aged one to three. 

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Battersea Arts Centre , Battersea Friday October 7 2016 - Sunday October 16 2016

Shake, Rattle And Roll

Birkbeck University's Baby Lab has helped develop this fun performance for babies with some real science underpinning it. Directed by Sarah Argent, it's an interactive sessions full of giggle-worthy physical dance, music and movement. Suitable for babies aged 6-18 months.

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Polka Theatre , South Wimbledon Until Sunday October 16 2016
See more of the best London shows for little ones

Theatre for all the family

The Lion King

The posters have been plastered around the London Underground for years – long enough for this show to become the most successful musical of all time – but nothing prepares you for the sheer impact of 'The Lion King's opening sequence. With the surge of 'Circle Of Life' reverberating through your chest, Julie Taymor's animal creations march on, species by species. Gazelles spring, birds swoop and an elephant and her child lumber through the stalls. It's a cacophonous cavalcade that genuinely stops you breathing.

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Lyceum Theatre , Covent Garden Until Sunday February 26 2017

The Railway Children

Recommended

E Nesbit’s book-turned-cult movie about three exceptionally well-mannered Edwardian children is essentially ‘Brief Encounter’ for families. But this lively version is more than just a ticket for the nostalgia express, thanks to some strong performances and a thrilling staging including a real 60-tonne steam engine.

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King's Cross Theatre , King's Cross Saturday October 1 2016 - Sunday January 8 2017
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Comments

6 comments
Lucy Limon
Lucy Limon

Which play does that top photo show, the one with the train steaming down the middle of the theatre?? That looks amazing. Thanks

Lucy Limon
Lucy Limon

Which play does that top photo show, the one with the train steaming down the middle of the theatre?? That looks amazing. Thanks

Andrzej
Andrzej

Re: Elaine: the smaller theatres tend to be represented more by the 'for children' and 'for young children' tabs at the top of the screen - if you click on them you'll see shows at the Little Angel et al, it's just that the genuinely 'family friendly' shows (ie anyone of any age could see them) tend to gravitate towards the West End while the specialist children's theatre tend to put on shows that are actively aimed at children only. Might rethink this one if it's not clear!

elaine turner
elaine turner

this sight is too west end based- what is needed is some information regarding small theatres that we can take our kids to without getting a new mortgage