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Top children's theatre shows this summer

Our critics’ guide to the best kids’ shows taking place over the summer holidays 2019

© Alastair Muir 'Monstersaurus'
By Time Out London Theatre |

When school's out for summer, London's theatres come alive with rambunctuous kids' shows of every flavour. Summer 2019's line-up is full of theatre, puppet shows and musicals to appeal to children of every age, whether it's at mega West End venues or at specialist local theatres like the Little Angel or the Unicorn.

This year, younger kids are well-catered for with omnipresent (but nonetheless very good) Julia Donaldson adaptations like 'The Gruffalo' and 'Zog', plus the odd live CBeebies show like 'Twirlywoos'. Older kids will be enchanted by stagings of favourite books, like 'The Worst Witch' or 'The Falcon's Malteser'. Or get them interested in something new; this summer's theatre shows also include an animal-filled Benjamin Britten opera for kids, boisterous comedy shows, musicals for teenagers, and a smart retelling of Aesop's ancient fables.

The summer hols are also a great time to make for the West End; perk up a rainy day with a family-friendly musical like 'Matilda' or thrill your resident Harry Potter fan(s) with a trip to 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'. Prices can add up, so the best way to get cheap theatre tickets is through 'Kids Week'; the West End's annual family discounting scheme means under-16s go free with adults for the whole of August (at participating shows only). Full info here. Or if you want an even bigger bargain, make for free family outdoor theatre shows at The Scoop, Greenwich Fair, or River Stage. 

RECOMMENDED: Our guide to the summer holidays in London

The best kids' shows to see this summer

Peter Pan, National Theatre
© Steve Tanner
Theatre, Children's

Peter Pan

icon-location-pin Troubadour White City Theatre, White City

Sally Cookson's gloriously confident adaptation of 'Peter Pan' is back for Summer after landing warm reviews at its premiere at the National Theatre. It's told with love and bursting with whimsical touches and scrappy lost boy energy.

Time Out says

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