Family shows in London

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

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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

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • 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. Both as tough as a miner's fist after a Friday night booze-up and as soaringly sensitive as one of Tchaikovsky's swans, it's a gritty story of hope that works its magic by defying sentimentality and slaying

  1. Victoria Palace Theatre 126 Victoria Street, SW1E 5EA
  2. Thu Jul 10 - Sat May 16
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The Elephantom

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

This review is from 'The Elephantom's Christmas run at the National Theatre; it'll be is back for summer, playing daytime shows around fellow NT smash 'War Horse'. We'll have a new review up in early July. ‘Oh my god... that ghost elephant is such a dick,’ I exclaimed, in delight, as the National Theatre’s gloriously unsentimental new kids’ show continued to work its puppet charms. Adapted by Shed boss Ben Power from Ross Collins’s children’s book, ‘The

  1. New London Theatre Drury Lane, WC2B 5PQ
  2. Until Sat Sep 6
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The Energy Show

A fun, madcap show featuring students from the future Annabella and Phil who have to race to prove their knowledge of energy through live experiments. Watch flaming methane bubbles, Van de Graff generator and hydrogen filled rockets.  This should make science fun.

  1. Science Museum Exhibition Rd, SW7 2DD
  2. Tue Jul 22 - Sun Aug 3
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Kids Week

Don't miss free children's tickets to over 30 shows in London, including some of the big West End runners, as part of the Kids Week. Don't be fooled: it's not a week, it's a whole month and kids go free when you buy a full price adult ticket.

Visit out Kids Week page for more information.

  1. Various
  2. Aug 1 - 31

The Lion King

  • Rated as: 4/5

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. 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

  1. Lyceum Theatre 21 Wellington St, WC2E 7RQ
  2. Thu Jul 10 - Sun Jul 20
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Lionboy

  • Rated as: 3/5

Revered experimental theatre company Complicite knows no boundaries when it comes to the subjects of its shows – only last year it had a massive hit at the Barbican with a stage version of Mikhail Bulgakov’s so-called unstageable novel ‘The Master and Margarita’. But in doing its first ever kids’ show, ‘Lionboy’, Complicte has imposed boundaries on itself, and the results are a little uneven. Marcelo Dos Santos might have been better served adapting just the first

  1. Tricycle 269 Kilburn High Rd, NW6 7JR
  2. Wed Dec 17 - Sat Jan 10
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The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe

Battles, talking lions, royal children and faraway lands: what's not to like about CS Lewis's classic Narnia tales? Here the second in the series, and probably the most famous, is adapted by Theresa Heskins for this production at the Rose Theatre over Christmas. An army of young actors make up the cast alongside professional actors, all directed by Ciaran McConville. Tumbling through an old dusty wardrobe, the Pevensie children discover a world like no other.  

  1. Rose Theatre Kingston 24-26 High St, Kingston, KT1 1HL
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sun Jan 4
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The Merry Wives of Windsor

Touring open-air theatre company Principal has made a name for itself as a company that can deliver the goods when it comes to a summer night of Shakespeare outside. This year's offering is the Bard's jolly mad comedy featuring that drunk, but loveable oaf Falstaff. A cast of 17 actor/musicians perform the show which must surely be enjoyed with a picnic.

  1. Coram's Fields 93 Guilford St, WC1N 1DN
  2. Thu Jul 17 - Sat Aug 2
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Matilda the Musical

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

'My mummy says I'm a miracle,' lisps a pampered mini-me at a purgatorial kiddies' birthday party at the outset of this delicious, treacly-dark family show. The obnoxious ma and pa of its titular, gifted, pint-sized heroine are not, of course, quite so doting. But 'Matilda' must be making its creators, playwright Dennis Kelly and comedian-songsmith Tim Minchin, a very pair of proud parents. Opening to rave reviews in Stratford-upon Avon before transferring to the West End in 2011

  1. Cambridge Theatre Earlham St, WC2H 9HU
  2. Thu Jul 10 - Sun May 24
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Romeo and Juliet

How lovely to be sipping tea en plein air at Lauderdale House while you watch one of the Bard's much-loved romantic tragedies. This year Shooting Stars theatre company return to Lauderdale to kick-start the venue's open-air summer offering. Their version of the story of the star-crossed lovers is as stripped down and as accessible as you could get.

  1. Lauderdale House Highgate Hill, Waterlow Park, Highgate, N6 5HG
  2. Tue Jul 29 - Fri Aug 8
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Twelfth Night

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

A hugely fun all-ages production of Shakespeare's mistaken identity comedy

  1. Regent's Park Open Air Theatre Inner Circle, Regent's Park, NW1 4NR
  2. Fri Jul 11 - Sat Jul 12
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The Ring Cycle Plays

  • Free

As part of the More London Free Festival at the Scoop, the venue's resident company Gods and Monsters Theatre undertake the epic task of staging Wagner's Ring Cycle. Phil Wilmott and Mervyn Millar devise the three pieces, which are adapted from the original librettos by Lisa Kuma. You can watch all of them in one full, gigantic, evening over four hours, from 'The Rhine Gold' at 6pm, 'The Valkyrie' at 7pm, 'Siegfried' at 8.30pm and 'Twilight of the Gods' at 9.30pm. The shows are

  1. The Scoop At More London The Queens Walk, SE1 2AA
  2. Wed Aug 6 - Sun Aug 31
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War Horse

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • 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. Its enormous success has negated the impact of Arts Council funding cuts on the NT, to the extent that the show has started to be singled out by some commentators as an example of 'safe' post-credit crunch programming. And, of

  1. New London Theatre Drury Lane, WC2B 5PQ
  2. Thu Jul 10 - Sat Feb 14
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The Wind in the Willows

  • Rated as: 4/5

This production of 'The Wind in the Willows' returns Christmas 2014. The Royal Opera House has a cunning plan… It’s brought back last year’s delightful dance theatre smash ‘The Wind in the Willows’ for a West End run. A bold move for a ballet? Not a bit of it: aside from the timeless appeal of Kenneth Grahame’s source book, the family show has been given a bit of celebrity firepower this time out. National treasure Tony Robinson has been coaxed back to the boards to

  1. Vaudeville Theatre 404 The Strand, WC2R 0NH
  2. Wed Nov 26 - Sat Jan 17
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Dog Don't Do Ballet, Little Angel Theatre

Dog Don't Do Ballet, Little Angel Theatre



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