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The Flying Bath, Little Angel, 2019
© Ellie Kurttz

Children's theatre in London - the best shows for kids of all ages

From tiny tots to older kids, we've got your next family theatre trip covered

Andrzej Lukowski
Edited by
Andrzej Lukowski
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It's never to early to introduce kids to the magic of theatre: there are literally shows for babies. But if your kids are a bit older than that, don’t worry: London's bursting with shows that'll delight junior audiences of all sorts. There are gentle puppet shows for toddlers. Bright and shiny, song-stuffed adventures for young kids. Smart dramas that are sure to hold teenagers rapt. And spectacular musicals that are perfect for the whole family (or just adults looking for a great night out)

Our kids’ theatre page normally contains information for all the main children’s shows running in London theatres this month and next month, and is broken down into three categories.

Theatre for all the family is suitable for any age, including adults without children.

Theatre for older children is specifically aimed at school-age children and teenagers.

Theatre for babies, pre-schoolers and younger children does what the title suggests, and also includes shows suitable for younger school-age children.

Theatre for all the family

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  • Things to do
  • Festivals
  • South Bank

Yes, nobody – apart from possibly children – looks forward to the February half-term, but at least it’s invariably blessed with the Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival…

The Lion King
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Covent Garden

Nothing prepares you for the sheer impact of 'The Lion King's opening sequence…

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Matilda the Musical
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Seven Dials

Matthew Warchus's RSC production of Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin’s Roald Dahl adaptation remains a treat.

Six the Musical
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Strand

This short musical romp through the (after)lives of Henry VIII’s six wives is perfect for adults and secondary school kids alike.

Theatre for primary school children and older

  • Theatre
  • Children's
  • Wimbledon

Polka Theatre’s first big kids’ show of 2023 is an action-packed stage version of the Jack and the Beanstalk story that pulls the yarn out of the world of pantomime and into the realm of do-derring romp. Peter Glanville and Barb Jungr adapt the story with songs, for ages four to eight.

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Theatre for babies and pre-schoolers

  • Theatre
  • Children's
  • Tower Bridge

Anansi the trickster spider went global a long time ago. But Justin Audibert’s inaugural production in charge of the Unicorn takes folklore’s most famous arachnid right back to his roots.

  • Theatre
  • Children's
  • Canonbury
Sometimes it seems like picturebook writer extraordinaire Julia Donaldson and her rotating cast of illustrator collaborators must provide the source material for about 50 percent of all kids’ theatre. And why not? 
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  • Theatre
  • Children's

In Sarah Argent's revamped show for kids, Mia is excited that her beloved granddad is coming to visit from the other side of the world. Audiences are invited to bring their own teddies along in this show aimed at ages two-to-five

 

We're Going on a Bear Hunt
  • Theatre
  • Children's

Michael Rosen’s rhythmic tale about a family which goes looking for bears is addictively popular with tots is very nicely adapted here by a sweet-throated troupe of Little Angel puppeteers, in whose hands it’s become a charming, slightly alarming Saturday dad disaster story with additional folk songs.

New theatre this month

Encore

See the brightest stars on stage with Time Out

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