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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.

Zog
© Helen Maybanks 'Zog' plays Cadogan Hall in Summer 2019
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.

London boasts quite a few dedicated kids' theatres, including Little Angel Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, and Polka Theatre. But we've got the goss on loads more child-friendly shows across the capital. Here are our 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 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

Theatre, Drama

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

icon-location-pin Apollo Shaftesbury, Piccadilly Circus
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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
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, Covent Garden
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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
See more recommended family shows

Theatre for children (5+)

Kids, Performance

Shakespearience!

icon-location-pin Underbelly Festival, South Bank
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This Shakespeare show for kids romps through the plots of 'Macbeth', 'Twelfth Night' and 'Romeo and Juliet' in just an hour. With abundant audience interaction and bags of silliness, it's an accessible intro to the bard's plays. Ages five-plus.

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Theatre, Children's

The Showstoppers’ Kids Show

icon-location-pin Underbelly Festival, South Bank
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This boisterous kids' show is the little sister of improv hit musical 'Showstoppers'. The performers use suggestions from the audience to power a completely improvised, song-filled hour of very silly musical fun. 

Theatre, Children's

The Slightly Annoying Elephant

icon-location-pin Little Angel Theatre, Islington
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Bestselling kids' author David Walliams' elephant story is getting the Little Angel treatment this summer - the theatre's seasoned crew of puppeteers will bring this quirky animal tale to life. 'The Slightly Annoying Elephant' follows a boy who adopts a zoo animal, but quickly discovers that cohabiting with a pachyderm is harder than he thought. This production is directed at Samantha Lane, and aimed at kids aged three-to-eight. 

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Theatre, Children's

Suffrajitsu

icon-location-pin Little Angel Theatre, Islington
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This punchy take on feminist history follows Annie, a young factory worker who's fighting for her right to vote. The mash-up title 'Suffrajitsu' is a reference to the surprising fact that real-life suffragettes used the martial art jiu-jitsu to resist arrest. Author Ruthie Boycott-Garnett and director Esther Ferry-Kennington will use a quirky blend of illustrated puppets and music to bring the story of the battle for votes for women to life, complete with the odd comic-style 'Ka-pow!'.

See more kids theatre recommendations

Theatre for young children (0-4)

Baby Show, Unicorn Theatre
© Helen Murray
Theatre, Children's

Baby Show

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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.

Zog
© Helen Maybanks
Theatre, Children's

Zog

icon-location-pin Cadogan Hall, Brompton
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Where would kids theatre be without Julia Donaldson? Stage versions of works like 'Tabby McTat' and 'The Gruffalo' are already school holiday staples, so it's no surprise that her dragon story 'Zog' is the latest of her picture books to get the big stage treatment. Its hero Zog is a big, clumsy beast who's doing his best to ace dragon school when Princess Pearl scoops him up for a new adventure. This stage show has an impressive team behind it, including Kneehigh's artistic directors Mike Shepherd at the helm, and songs by Johnny Flynn. It stops in at Cadogan Hall for August 2019, following a national tour. 

See more of the best London shows for little ones

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