KIDS WEEK IN LONDON
With the school summer holidays well underway, it’s a great opportunity to indulge the children in some culture. London is full of establishments that can help you with this and a love of theatre is a wonderful pastime to encourage in your offspring. All of this makes Kids Week an event not to be missed.
Something of a misnomer, Kids Week actually stretches from 1 to 31 August and is aimed at getting more young people involved in theatre. There’s a packed schedule of performances, activities and special events, so you are bound to find something that will appeal to your little ones.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Michael Rosen’s book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, has been a family favourite for years, but it’s even better on the stage. Your kids will love the lively retelling of this classic story, set to an uplifting score, as it is performed at Cadogan Hall. Wade through squelchy mud, cross a splashy river and venture through tall grass with your family of heroes chanting “We’re not scared!”
Perfect for under-fives.
The Hunting of the Snark
What’s a snark, you may ask? Well, that’s something that people have been asking since Lewis Carroll had his famous nonsense poem published in 1876. Now, you and your family can find out at the Vaudeville Theatre, as you go in search of this improbable creature alongside a ragtag bunch of adventurers. Expect fun, music and more than a little bit of silliness.
Designed for children up to age ten, big kids are likely to enjoy it too.
What the Ladybird Heard
If your children are among the legions of fans on Julia Donaldson’s books, then you will want to book tickets for the latest production at the Lyric Theatre. Set in a farmyard, it’s the smallest of creatures that has the biggest task in trying to overcome the dastardly deeds of two robbers. What the Ladybird Heard is a fun tale with subtle yet important life lessons that will resonate with the whole audience.
Great for younger kids.
The main stage of the Polka Theatre is the perfect setting for your family to follow the adventures of Arrietty and her fellow borrowers. Puppetry, music and the search for a new home are what drive this timeless tale adapted from the Mary Norton book. Take your young adventurers along to see how the action unfolds.
Older children – five to 11 years old – will get the most out of this production.
Fantastic Mr Fox
There’s something about this classic story by Roald Dahl that never fails to delight the whole family. You will find yourself sympathising with Mr Fox, emphasising with his wife and laughing at the pure incompetence of farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean, as the kids are enchanted by the lovable rogue. Fantastic Mr Fox at the Lyric Hammersmith is a charming and colourful production you will immediately want to see again.
Take young teenagers to see this show.
For something entirely different, treat your dance fans to a 21st-century take on the Jungle Book. Relocated to the urban jungle, Bagheera is a graffiti artist, Baloo a bin man and the wolves a skateboarding crew. Incredible street dancers and performers with stunning circus skills work together to make this show at the Underbelly Festival Southbank really special.
Perfect for teenagers.
The Play That Goes Wrong
A good chuckle is a great way to unite families and The Play That Goes Wrong offers up belly laughs by the bucketload. It’s being staged at the Duchess Theatre and is a take on the classic 1920s murder mystery, but as the name suggests, includes all sorts of shenanigans from the accident-prone cast. With the awards stacking up, this is a must-see if your family loves comedy.
With a running time of over two hours, be sure your kids have the patience to enjoy this rip-roaring ride. Best for over-eights.
Ever wondered what The Wizard of Oz would be like told from the perspective of the witches? Well, this is the premise of the highly successful Wicked, which is currently playing at the Apollo Victoria. Complete with themes of good versus evil, love rivalry and challenging a corrupt government, Wicked has enough complexity to keep your whole family interested. Add in the huge musical numbers and it’s a show that will live long in the memory.
Older children and fans of The Wizard of Oz will be captivated.
Image credit: Andresr via iStock