Even the smallest members of the family can enjoy the theatre. Enjoy our picks of the theatre, shows and 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 all the family
'Matilda' must be making its creators, playwright Dennis Kelly and comedian-songsmith Tim Minchin, a very pair of proud parents. Like the curly-haired little girl in the famous nursery rhyme, when it is good, it is very, very good. And it's even better when it's horrid.
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. For a global blockbuster, 'The Lion King's absolute theatricality is astonishing. It's perfect for a musical, allowing both distinct flavours and an eclectic carnival spirit.
Theatre for children (5+)
London's children's theatre scene just wouldn't be the same without the Little Angel, the small but brilliant puppet theatre in north London. This is a revival of the theatre's classic adaptation of the story by Brothers Grimm, directed by Norwich Puppet Theatre Artistic Director Joy Haynes. Briar Rose is the fair beauty of the tale who has to deal with the spell cast by a disgruntled fairy a long time ago. Expect, princesses and magic. Ages 3+.
Being an identical twin isn't all practical jokes and natty matching outfits. Jacqueline Wilson's kids' classic story 'Double Act' follows Ruby and Garnett, two very different kids who are struggling to make sense of their family's changing set-up. Vicky Ireland's stage version won plenty of fans when it first opened in 2003. Now it's back at the Polka Theatre, in a witty, dance-filled summer show that'll appeal to older kids. Ages seven-plus.
After delighting kids (and making grown-ups cry) with wistful kids' show 'The Paper Dolls', Peter Glanville is adapting another Julia Donaldson picture book. This time, it's the turn of 'The Everywhere Bear', which follows the titular teddy on his adventures using rhyme, puppets and new songs. Ages three-to-six.
This swashbuckling family show will fill the hidden gardens of St Paul's Church, in Covent Garden. Iris Theatre's gender-swapped adaptation of Dumas's novel follows plucky young d'Artagnan as she fights to become the first female musketeer. Sword fights, masked balls and and adventure ensue. Paul-Ryan Carberry directs.
Abney Park is one of London's most atmospheric, tangled woodland spaces. It's hosting an outdoor promenade version of 'The Wizard of Oz' this July, which will use the park as the inspiration of a new spin on L. Frank Baum's tale of Dorothy and the gang's battles with witches and flying monkeys. Written and directed Paul Linghorn, for Pandemonium Productions.
Disney is making strong headways into the world of theatre at the moment: 'Frozen' on Broadway follows the National Theatre's dark puppetry take on 'Pinnochio'. But their involvement with indie immersive theatre mongers The Vaults is still a bit of a surprise. This tech-heavy show is using binaural sound and 3D projections to bring the the bonkers world of 1941 movie 'Fantasia' to life - think dancing mushrooms, duelling wizards, and lashings of classical music-inspired cartoon flights of fancy. 'Sounds and Sorcery' is likely to be a visually impressive intro to classical music for kids (albeit one with a hefty price tag) giving eight famous pieces the immersive treatment. And judging by the production artwork, it might well remind adults of a queasy psychedelic experience they had in a field at Glasto. Something for everyone, all courtesy of the mouse.