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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.

Twirlywoos Live, Underbelly Festival, 2019
© Pamela Raith
By Time Out London Theatre |
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It's never to early to introduce kids to the magic of theatre, and London's bursting with shows that'll delight junior audiences. There are gentle puppet shows for babies and toddlers. Rainbow bright, song-stuffed adventures for young kids. Smart dramas that are sure to hold teenagers rapt. And spectacular musicals that'll get the whole family on side.

Our kids’ theatre page contains information for 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

Theatre, Musicals

Aladdin

icon-location-pin Prince Edward Theatre, Soho
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They don’t really have pantomimes in the US, which may explain why the creatives behind this hit Broadway adaptation of Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ made a pantomime, probably without realising…

Time Out says
Theatre, Drama

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

icon-location-pin Apollo Shaftesbury, Shaftesbury Avenue
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Watch out, tired revivals: there’s a new kid in town. Inspired by a 2011 BBC documentary about a teenager who wanted to be a drag queen, the show follows 16-year-old Jamie on his journey to be himself. And it's cool and energetic enough to thrill both secondary school kids and their parents.

Time Out says
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Theatre, Outdoor theatres

Hunchback of Notre Dame

icon-location-pin St Paul's Church, Covent Garden, Covent Garden
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This outdoor family show will bring Victor Hugo's hunchback story to life, in the pretty gardens of Covent Garden's Actors Church…

Theatre, West End

The Lion King

icon-location-pin Lyceum Theatre, Covent Garden
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The posters have been plastered around the London Underground for years – long enough for this show to become the most successful musical of all time – but nothing prepares you for the sheer impact of 'The Lion King's opening sequence…

Time Out says
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Theatre, Musicals

Matilda the Musical

icon-location-pin Cambridge Theatre, Seven Dials
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'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…

Time Out says
Peter Pan, National Theatre
© Steve Tanner
Theatre, Children's

Peter Pan

icon-location-pin Troubadour White City Theatre, White City
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Sally Cookson's rabble-rousing take on 'Peter Pan' mixes pop songs and scrappy, scenery climbing dance routines with all the warmth and magic of her source material. It's playing Troubadour White City Theatre after premiering at the National Theatre in 2016.

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Dance, Hip hop

Tales of the Turntable

icon-location-pin Southbank Centre, South Bank
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Hip-hop masters ZooNation are back with another family-friendly dance show, and this time it's a time-bending musical adventure…

See more recommended family shows

Theatre for older children

Kids, Drama

Brainiac Live!

icon-location-pin Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road
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Unless you’re hoping your kids grow up to have a career in blowing stuff up and electrocuting people, it’s probably worth stating from the off that ‘Brainiac Live!’ isn’t really an educational show…

Time Out says
Theatre, Children's

The Falcon's Malteaser

icon-location-pin The Vaults, Waterloo
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A box of malty chocolates sets off a thrilling chain of events in Anthony Horowitz's detective novel for kids, 'The Falcon's Malteser'…

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Theatre, Children's

Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear - The Musical!

icon-location-pin National Theatre, South Bank
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This new kids' musical from the NT follows a large bear called Padlock, a horrible old man called Mr Gum, and a nine-year-old girl who's determined to foil his plans…

The Worst Witch, 2019
© Manuel Harlan
Theatre, Musicals

The Worst Witch

icon-location-pin Vaudeville Theatre, Strand
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The Vaudeville Theatre is setting its (witches) cap at the summer holiday crowds with this family musical, based on Jill Murphy's bestselling books - and it should be considerably easier to get tickets to than its West End neighbour 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'…

See more kids theatre recommendations

Theatre for babies, pre-schoolers and younger children

'Aliens Love Underpants'
Stuart Slavicky
Theatre, Drama

Aliens Love Underpants

icon-location-pin Troubadour White City Theatre, White City
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Forget crop-circles and abductions – according to ‘Aliens Love Underpants’, extraterrestrials travel to us from lightyears away solely to steal our precious undergarments…

Time Out says
Dinosaur World Live, Regent's Park Theatre
© Robert Day
Theatre, Children's

Dinosaur World Live

icon-location-pin Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, Wembley
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This puppet-based dino romp is thin but lots of fun.

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Theatre, Children's

The Gruffalo

icon-location-pin Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue
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Tall Stories’ stage version of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s classic kids’ picturebook ‘The Gruffalo’ is now something of a classic itself. First performed in 2001, it’s only a couple of years younger than the book, and is rarely off the UK stage, whether that’s on a national tour or settling in for its frequent West End runs…

Time Out says
Twirlywoos Live, Underbelly Festival, 2019
© Pamela Raith
Theatre, Children's

Twirlywoos

icon-location-pin Underbelly Festival, South Bank
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CBeebies fans rejoice, the deliciously surreal telly show for toddlers is coming to Underbelly Festival this summer. 'Twirlywoos' will use primary-coloured puppets to bring Great BigHoo, Toodloo, Chickedy and Chic to life…

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Theatre, Children's

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

icon-location-pin Troubadour White City Theatre, White City
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This kaleidoscopic hour-long adaption of four of Eric Carle’s classic children’s stories is a pure, kid-quelling joy. The titular chow-lusting larva doesn’t appear until the final quarter – the big diva – but there’s plenty of colourful puppets, dancing and music to entrance youngsters until then.

Where Is Peter Rabbit? 2019
© Steven Barber
Theatre, Children's

Where is Peter Rabbit?

icon-location-pin Haymarket Theatre Royal, Leicester Square
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The banterfication of Beatrix Potter’s beloved children’s characters via the James Corden film and the noisy CBeebies show is probably not extended to this puppet driven kids’s musical…

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Zog
© Helen Maybanks
Theatre, Children's

Zog

icon-location-pin Cadogan Hall, Belgravia
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Where would kids theatre be without Julia Donaldson? 'Zog' is the latest of her picture books to get the big stage treatment…

See more of the best London shows for little ones

New theatre this month

Blues in the Night, Kiln Theatre, 2019
© Matt Humphrey
Theatre

Top 10 theatre openings this month

London's theatre calendars are flooded with acclaimed shows, big names and hotshot directors, and there's no way anyone can see them all. As a starting point, the Time Out theatre team have picked ten shows opening in London this month that you won't regret booking for.

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...

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