Top 10 Family Theatre Shows in London
Whether you’re looking to entertain the little ones or something the kids can enjoy with their grandparents, London is full of family-friendly theatre shows. Featuring some of the world’s most beloved musicals, there is something all ages will enjoy in the historic West End. Here, we round up the top 10.
The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre
School of Rock at the Gillian Lynne Theatre
Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre
Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre
Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre
The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery at the Criterion Theatre
Mamma Mia at the Novello Theatre
& Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre
Showstopper: The Improvised Musical at the Lyric Theatre
Based on the classic Disney film, Disney’s long-running and award-winning musical phenomenon continues to run in London after 20 years of success in the west end. With music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, which includes the memorable numbers “Circle of Life”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and “Hakuna Matata”, the Lyceum Theatre bursts into life as the production brings the Serengeti to the West End with actors dressing in giant puppets to portray the animals on stage. You’ll watch as Simba, the prince of Pride Lands who sets out to embrace his future role as the rightful king.
Suitable for ages 6+.
Book The Lion King tickets.
Cranking it all the way up to 11, the hilarious, hair-raising Jack Black musical has a band of rocking kids at its centre as a wannabe musician goes rogue to form a supergroup. Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote new music for the show, which sees lazy layabout Dewey Finn pose as a substitute teacher to make some extra money, but after hearing their classical music class, decides they would be the perfect bandmates to help him win the coveted Battle of the Bands competition. Although it still features some of the great originals from the film, with the cast of kids performing their instruments live on stage to numbers such as “Teacher’s Pet”.
Suitable for ages 5+.
Book School of Rock tickets.
Another Disney classic is set to hit the London stage once again as the world’s favourite nanny swoops into the West End. Based on PL Travers books, the prim-and-proper babysitter pays a visit to the dysfunctional Banks family to care for children Jane and Michael. With the help of her friend, jack-of-all-trades Bert, the nanny takes the children under her wing, while teaching them through songs such as the classic “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.
Children under the age of 3 will not be admitted.
Book Mary Poppins tickets.
A musical theatre staple in London, Wicked has been wowing audiences for over a decade capturing the imaginations of theatregoers from across the world. The musical, which is set as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, sees the story told from the perspective of the witches from Oz as friends Elphaba and Glinda embark on their education at Shiz University before they are forced into difficult, dark times. Known for its knock-out performances and showstopping number “Defying Gravity”, Wicked is a favourite among many young musical theatre fans across the world.
Suitable for ages 7+.
Book Wicked tickets.
Just the story of an ordinary little girl with the most extraordinary powers, Tim Minchin wrote a playful score for Roald Dahl’s magical Matilda. Telling the story of the bright young girl born to a neglectful family who find it weird she reads books rather than watch TV, Matilda hopes to find solace when she begins school for the first time. That is until she meets to horrible Ms Trunchbull, whose idea of discipline includes the terrifying Chokey. Join the Revolting Children in the West End for a riotous time.
Suitable for ages 6+.
A unique brand of British comedy, Mischief Theatre have been setting the agenda for hilarious plays. First conceived above a London pub, The Play That Goes Wrong is set in a dramatic society as they stage a murder mystery. However, predictably, things take a turn for the worst and the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society create a calamitous production of The Murder at Haversham Manor. Suitable for all ages from 9 to 99, this farcical production will have you belly-laughing out of the theatre.
Suitable for ages 8+.
And there’s plenty more where that came from. Fresh of the success of The Play That Goes Wrong, Mischief followed up with The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, which does exactly what it says on the tin. An escaped convict hatches a plan with a guard at the British Columbia Penitentiary to travel across America and steal a valuable diamond. However, with the help of some equally inept accomplices, this is an example of how best-laid plans often go awry.
Suitable for ages 11+.
One of the longest-running musicals in London, Mamma Mia takes the universal hits of Swedish outfit ABBA and sets them to a heart-warming story in a hugely fun production. Set on a Greek island where Sophie is preparing for her wedding, she invited the three men she believes could be her father to the ceremony, without her mother knowing. If you enjoyed either of the blockbuster films, you’ll love singing along with “Chiquitita”, “Dancing Queen” “Super Trouper”, “The Winner Takes It All” and more.
Suitable for ages 5+.
Book Mamma Mia tickets.
Shakespeare isn’t for everyone, but this modern musical takes some of the biggest hits of the century and imagines the future Juliet could have had if she decided not to join Romeo in death, and instead take control of her story. This empowering musical features songs from the likes of Ariana Grande, Jessie J, Adele, Britney Spears, and so many more.
Book & Juliet tickets.
Part of the magic of theatre is that no two performances are exactly the same, and that couldn’t be truer as it is with Showstopper. A talented troupe of improv actors take suggestions from the audience to create a new show right before your eyes. Come to the theatre with your wackiest ideas, and see them acted out by professional actors. This light-hearted show is full of fun, and you will leave knowing you’ve witnessed something no one will see the likes of again.
Suitable for ages 12+.