Children's theatre in London

Keep the kids entertained at once of London's brilliant children's theatres

'Grandad Me and Teddy Too'

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 the Musical

4 out of 5 stars
Recommended

'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. 

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Cambridge Theatre , Covent Garden Until Sunday February 10 2019

The Hunting Of The Snark

A ragtag crew of adventurers set out to catch the mysterious Snark in this musical version of Lewis Carroll's famous nonsense poem. It opened in Cardiff last year, where it landed strong reviews for its up-to-date approach and quirky cast of puppets. 'The Hunting of the Snark' is adapted by playwright Annabel Wigoder from Lewis Carroll's poem. It also features an acoustic guitar soundtrack by Gareth Cooper, and is directed by Gemma Colclough. Suitable for the whole family.     

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Southbank Centre , South Bank Saturday May 26 2018 - Monday May 28 2018
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The Lion King

4 out of 5 stars

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. 

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Lyceum Theatre , Covent Garden Until Sunday September 30 2018
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Theatre for children (5+)

Dido

Marking an end to Purni Morell's stint at the helm of Unicorn Theatre, this ambitious work is a new opera for teenagers and adults. 'Dido' is a collaboration between the Unicorn and English National Opera.

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Unicorn Theatre , London Bridge Saturday May 11 2019 - Sunday June 2 2019

Michael Rosen's Chocolate Cake

A slice of delicious chocolate cake disappears in one of Michael Rosen's hilarious kids' poems, packed full of lip-smacking language. Peter Glanville and Barb Jungr have turned it into a musical for kids, their follow-up to hugely popular family adaptations 'We're All Going On A Bear Hunt' and 'How To Hide A Lion'. Ages four-plus

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Artsdepot , North Finchley Saturday June 2 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018
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Aliens Love Underpants

4 out of 5 stars

Forget crop-circles and abductions – according to ‘Aliens Love Underpants’, extraterrestrials travel to us from lightyears away solely to steal our precious undergarments. Adam Bampton-Smith’s adaptation of Claire Freedman’s bestselling children’s book tells the story of Timmy, a whimsical boy, whose dreams of becoming a spaceman come true when he journeys to Planet Janet...

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Underbelly Festival , South Bank Wednesday May 30 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018

Stories on a String

Inspired by the Amazon, this kids' show is alive with Brazilian stories and sounds. It's the story of city girl Jacina, who must journey through the rainforest to find her grandmother. Ages six-12.

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Little Angel Theatre , Islington Thursday May 31 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018
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Children Are Stinky

As the kiddie-baiting title amply demonstrates, Aussie circus group Circus Trick Tease like a joke. 'Children are Stinky' is a family comedy show that mixes zany humour and amazing feats of dare-devilry, including acrobatics, chair-balancing, and hula-hooping that'll put the most talented ten-year-old to shame.

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Underbelly Festival , South Bank Tuesday May 29 2018 - Saturday June 16 2018

Rufus Longbottom And The Space Rabbit

This magical show uses ingenious hi-tech gloves to tell the story of old gentleman who befriends a rather unusual space rabbit after she crashlands on his planet. It's staged by Filament Theatre, who've masterminded this offbeat adventure through a mysterious land. Ages six-plus

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Stratford Circus Arts Centre , Stratford Until Friday June 1 2018
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Cardboard Carnival

This imaginative visual show by Lempen Puppet Theatre creates a whole zoo's worth of animals from just cardboard. 'Cardboard Carnival' uses Camille Saint-Saëns' famous piece 'Carnival of the Animals' as the soundtrack for a simple, wordless piece of puppetry magic. Ages four to 10.

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Little Angel Theatre , Islington Wednesday June 6 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018
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Theatre for young children (0-4)

Baby Show

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.

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Unicorn Theatre , London Bridge Thursday July 12 2018 - Sunday July 22 2018

Twinkle Twinkle

This interactive show for toddlers takes its inspiration from the nursery rhyme to take kids on a journey through the stars. 'Twinkle Twinkle', created by Touched Theatre, uses music, light, and textures to keep pint-sized audiences rapt. Suitable for adults and kids aged between 18 months and three years.

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Artsdepot , North Finchley Wednesday May 30 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018
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Sensacional

4 out of 5 stars

A lot of light- and sound-based theatre for the very young tends to be difficult to distinguish from the sort of ‘sensory’ stuff you’d find down your local playgroup.But ‘Sensacional’, a show for 18-month to three-year-olds, is something a bit more special. 

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Unicorn Theatre , London Bridge Until Sunday July 1 2018

Not Now, Bernard

David McKee's much-loved picture book is the story of a boy who's found a monster in the garden, but his parents are too busy to listen to him. The Unicorn's stage version of 'Not Now, Bernard' is directed by Sarah Argent ('Baby Show', 'Seesaw'). Ages three-plus. 

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Unicorn Theatre , London Bridge Sunday May 27 2018 - Sunday July 1 2018
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Comments

7 comments
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

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

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

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