Ten best family theatre shows in London to see during the summer holidays
No one told stories better than Roald Dahl, but for all the brilliant characters he was able to imagine, Matilda is certainly many people's favourite. The story of a little girl with a gift and passion for knowledge was adapted into a musical by Australian comedian Tim Minchin, and it’s been impressing audiences around the world for the last eight years. It’s feel-good, it’s funny, and it’s bound to be the perfect start to your summer holidays.
At the Cambridge Theatre.
Matilda the Musical tickets are available now
School is officially out for summer, but class is still in session for the School of Rock. Wannabe rock star Dewey Finn poses as a substitute teacher and trains a group of private school kids to become the rock band he’s always dreamed of. The real stars of the show are the child cast who perform face-melting guitar licks and thumping drum solos every night. You will leave the theatre wanting to be a rock star, we guarantee it.
At the Gillian Lynne Theatre.
School of Rock tickets are available now.
If you’re looking for something for your younger little ones, head to the Piccadilly Theatre where one of Britain’s most beloved children’s books is celebrating its 10th year on stage. Sophie and her mother have planned a lovely afternoon of afternoon tea, but they did not realise how much big tigers love tea, too! This magical show is full of fun, songs and chaos to let the little ones’ imaginations run wild.
Piccadilly Theatre, 13th July to 9th September.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea tickets are available now.
We might all know David Walliams as one of the more friendly judges on Britain’s Got Talent, but not only is he a hilarious comedian, he’s also pretty good at writing children’s stories with a number of them making their way to the stage here in London. You might have already heard of Gangsta Granny - the hilarious book was also made into a film and screened at Christmas in 2013. This stage version tells the story of a young boy called Ben who hates spending Friday nights with his granny, until he finds out about her secret life as an international jewel thief.
Harold Pinter Theatre, 15th to 26th August.
Gangsta Granny tickets are available now.
From the creators of The Play That Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Mischief Theatre have had London in stitches since their first West End play in 2012. This hilarious play sees an escaped convict and his questionable acquaintances attempt to steal a prized jewel. It’s safe to say things don’t quite work out as planned.
At the Criterion Theatre
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery tickets are available now.
This epic interactive family show asks you to put on your explorers cap, grab your compass and get ready to discover some of Earth’s most extraordinary creatures. Explore pre-historic worlds and discover your favourite dinosaurs, from the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the Triceratops and many more, and in the wonderful setting of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, from 14th August to 9th September.
Dinosaur World Live tickets are available now.
Nowadays, Disney films are all about animated musicals and live-action remakes of classic animated musicals, which is all well and good, but this summer the Vaults will play host to a new immersive music experience inspired by one of the classic Disney films: Fantasia. Walt Disney’s 1940 magical masterpiece was set to eight pieces of classical music, and now in the immersive Vaults venue in Waterloo, Disney have recreated this wonderful world to explore, with the help of a soundtrack provided on headphones throughout your journey.
Vaults, until 30th September.
Sounds and Sorcery tickets are available now.
Or, if you fancy your Disney a little more traditional, The Lion King has been inspiring audiences of all generations in the West End for almost 20 years now. The classic story is brought to life on stage in a spectacle of a performance that includes giant life-sized puppets, and a score full of earworms like “Circle of Life”, “Hakuna Matata” and “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”.
At the Lyceum Theatre.
The Lion King tickets are available now.
This absolute classic West End musical invites you to step into the world of Oz and join Elphaba, before she became the Wicked Witch of the West. It’s the kind of show that has people returning again and again, so if you still haven’t seen one of London’s biggest musicals yet, this is the summer to change that. And if you have, maybe it’s time you gave it another visit?
At the Apollo Victoria.
Wicked tickets are available now.
The Scarecrows' Wedding
Together, Betty and Harry are really good scare crows, in that they scare away a lot of crows from their farm. They’re a great team and both love each other very much, so decide to get married, but the farmer introduces a new scare crow to the farm, the smooth-talking Reginald, who tried to steal Betty away from Harry. Will Reginald ruin their special day? (We hope not!)
Leicester Square Theatre, from 21st July to 2nd September.