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Family shows in London

Keep the whole clan captivated with one of these family-friendly London shows

Just because you're planning your theatre trip with the little ones in mind doesn't mean you have to spend the evening trying not to nod off. You'll all be on the edge of your red velvet seats during these wonderful family-friendly London shows. Looking for something more age-specific? Try our theatre for young children or kids theatre pages instead.

Theatre for all the family

Billy Elliot the Musical

Critics' choice

Current cast features Harris Beattie, Harrison Dowzel, Redmand Rance and Kaine Ward as Billy. Six years after it first stamped, swore, and pirouetted into audiences' hearts, 'Billy Elliot the Musical' continues to mark itself out as one of the best nights in town.

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Victoria Palace Theatre , St James's Park Until Saturday December 17 2016

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Critics' choice

Jonathan Slinger replaces Alex Jennings as Willy Wonka from May 4 2015. A luminous roller-coaster ride of colour, spectacle and fantastical happenings, Sam Mendes’s stage version of Roald Dahl’s adored children’s book is still as entertaining as ever, two years and a couple of casts down the line. And though a lot of that comes down to the show’s garishly-hued stage tricks, it’s also due to the main attraction.

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Theatre Royal Drury Lane , Covent Garden Until Saturday December 3 2016

The Lion King

The posters have been plastered around the London Underground for 12 years – long enough for this show to rack up 5,000 performances – but nothing prepares you for the sheer impact of 'The Lion King's opening sequence.

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Lyceum Theatre , Covent Garden Saturday November 28 2015 - Sunday July 3 2016

The Railway Children

Critics' choice

It was a big smash hit when Mike Kenney adapted E Nesbit’s much-loved children’s book ‘The Railway Children’ and Damian Cruden staged it actually on a platform at Waterloo in 2011. Now it returns, to a specially built 1,000 seater theatre built behind King’s Cross station (Google has loaned the area to the show for the run). Railway tracks and platforms will be created specially for the production, which tells of a group of children who move from London to a cottage in the country with their mother after their father is mysteriously taken away. 'Downton Abbey's Jeremy Swift will play kindly railwayman Mr Perks.

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King's Cross Theatre , King's Cross Until Sunday April 10 2016

War Horse

Critics' choice

Five years on, the National Theatre's 'War Horse' has become ubiquitous. The toast of the West End and Broadway, as I write this it's sold out at the New London Theatre for the next two months – by contrast, you can book to see 'Matilda' next week.

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New London Theatre , Covent Garden Saturday November 28 2015 - Saturday March 19 2016


Jennifer DiNola is currently starring as Elphaba and Savannah Stevenson as Glinda. See official website for current full cast list. The film world continues its love affair with werewolves, vampires and all things 'Twilight'.

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Apollo Victoria , Victoria Saturday November 28 2015 - Saturday November 5 2016
Find more theatre for children in London