Guide to the best shows to book for the summer holidays
It's that time of year again - the summer holidays are just around the corner! If you and your family fancy a trip to the theatre, we've rounded up some of the best entertainment on offer in London throughout July and August.
David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny
For most, a night with your grandparents might seem like a boring prospect, but Ben’s night takes a turn as his granny takes him on the adventure of a lifetime. This summer, his Gangsta Granny rides into the West End following a UK tour. If you’ve ever read a David Walliams book (such as Demon Dentist, Billionaire Boy or Ratburger), you’ll be familiar with his hilarious characters. You may also remember the BBC film of Gangsta Granny which aired during Christmas 2013, so why not experience Neal Foster’s live action adaptation for yourself.
Gangsta Granny tickets are available now. Suitable for ages 5+.
The musical is an adaptation of the classic poem by Lewis Carroll (the author of Alice in Wonderland). Climb aboard the ship join the quest to find the mystical Snark (if anybody can figure out what it actually looks like). This joyful show is a musical comedy adventure suitable for all ages. It features a cast of five up-beat actors, life-like puppets, fantastical creatures and the silliest humour in town.
The Hunting of the Snark tickets are available now. Suitable for ages 4+.
Since it opened in six years ago, Matilda has gone on to be a worldwide hit. Tim Minchin took the classic Roald Dahl novel and added his signature joyful tunes to tell the story of the six-year-old girl who is smarter than anyone could possibly imagine. But she has to battle her parents (who would rather sit her down in front of the telly than let her read her favourite books) and her evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull if she is to truly fulfill her full potential.
Matilda tickets are on sale now. Suitable for ages 6+.
This new production has just opened at the London Palladium, and takes the classic story about the rich amphibian Mr Toad. As spring hits Toad Hall, Mr Toad (played by Rufus Hound) forms a new obsession with race cars, and Rat, Mole and Mrs Otter are caught up in the mayhem that ensues. This new musical comedy has a book by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) and has catchy songs by writing team George Stiles & Anthony Drewe.
The Wind in the Willows tickets are available now. Suitable for ages 6+.
Join Annie, a poor orphaned child, who is handpicked by the wealthy Daddy Warbucks to spend Christmas at the family home. Good job, too – it means she’ll be free of the awful orphanage caretaker Miss Hannigan (played by comedian Miranda Hart). Annie features well-known numbers such as "It’s a Hard Knock Life" and "Tomorrow" as the spiteful Hannigan tries to get her back to the orphanage for a life of misery.
Annie tickets are on sale now. Suitable for ages 5+.
Menier Chocolate Factory
Step into the life of Adrian Mole: he has to deal with his dysfunctional parents, thankless elders and the school bully on a daily basis. It’s a lot to handle for a 13-and-three-quarters year-old. The arrival of his new classmate Pandora, a girl he immediately falls for, only makes things more complicated as his best mate Nigel snatches her away. Follow Adrian as he attempts to win the heart of Pandora as he escapes his horrid family life.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole tickets are on sale now. Suitable for ages 12+.
Lonely toymaker Geppetto spends his evening carving away at his latest puppet, Pinocchio. One day, the puppet springs to into action, but he yearns to be a real boy. The story sees him stumbles from one disaster to another as he learns what he needs to do to become a real boy. With the use of impressive stage puppetry, this traditional Italian story magically comes to life on stage.
The Adventures of Pinocchio tickets are now on sale. Suitable for all ages.
New London Theatre
If you’d prefer something a bit louder, then get down to School of Rock. Dewey Finn takes a job as a substitute teacher, and moulds his new class of 5th graders into fully-fledged rockers unbeknownst to the school’s principal or the kids' parents. The child cast of the musical won an Olivier Award earlier this year for their work playing live instruments on stage every night. So if you like your musicals with added guitar shredding and drum fills, this is the one for you.
Things don’t always play out the way you want them to, especially if you’re the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society. They’re staging a 1920s murder mystery, but the clumsy actors do much worse than simply fluffing their lines. Watch the group as they stumble their way through scene after scene, just to try and make it to the final curtain. And if you enjoy it, check out The Comedy About a Bank Robbery which runs at the Criterion.
The Play That Goes Wrong tickets are available now. Suitable for ages 8+.
The barmy Horrible Histories team return with the most exciting history lesson around. Learn why the romans are so revolting and what made the Victorians vomit, with all the gory details from history left in. You’ll find out whether you could survive the vicious Viking period, hold your own in World War One, or party along with the Puritans. You’ll be having too much fun to realise this is a history lesson in disguise!
Horrible Histories tickets are on sale now. Suitable for ages 5+.