Theatre for all the family
Three theatres, three casts, one major disaster and seven Olivier Awards on, the National Theatre’s adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel about Christopher Boone, the teenage ‘mathematician with some behavioural difficulties’ remains a thing of unbridled wonder…
'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+)
Starring seven actors and 30 handmade animal puppets, this show brings Victorian naturalist Charles Darwin's story to life. Aged 22, he set out on the HMS Beagle, and encountered flora and fauna that led him to discover the theory of evolution. Unfolding in a specially created theatre space at the heart of the Natural History Museum, this is a whimsical look at a landmark moment in scientific history. 'The Wider Earth' is the handiwork of David Morton (creative director of Aussie company Dead Puppet Society) and comes to the Natural History Museum after premiering in Queensland in 2016. Ages 10-plus.
This music festival-inspired take on Shakespeare's comedy is aimed at older kids and teens. An onstage band will soundtrack the story of a girl searching for lost twin brother in a world where nothing is quite as it seems. Anna Girvan directs. Ages 10-plus.
Theatre for young children (0-4)
A Unicorn Theatre long-runner, Sarah Argent and Kevin Lewis's ‘Baby Show’ is one of London's rare regular theatre experiences for the very young. A light and sound-based sensory experience for ages six-to-18-months, it tends to be very popular and advance booking is advised.
A curious little owl explores the night skies in Little Angel Theatre's new show for toddlers. It's an adaptation of a Tim Hopgood picture book, and the follow-up to last year's hit 'WOW! Said the Owl'. Puppets and gentle storytelling create a gentle story of about the wonders of the forest after dark. Ages two-to-five.
Oily Cart make some of the best shows for young kids around, so it's great to see their hippy hoppy musical for tots making a comeback. This multi-sensory, interactive performance introduces under-fives to the world of hip-hop by telling the story of a lost baby's journey to find her mum.
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