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West End kids

Need to fill a rainy day? No kidding! Check out our pick of the best kids’ theatre in the capital.

Heading to London, me hearties? Yup, me too. A few hours’ in Harvey Nicks followed by cocktails at 5 Hertford Street and then… Woah, stop there girl! I’ve got kids in tow, which means trying to be perky in museums, stuffing up on burgers and ice-cream (see nosh ideas here) and then, phew, a sit down in the dark. Although there won’t be much sleep with these belters to get through – you’ll be toe-tapping and singing along before you know it. Check out our pick of the 20 best kids’ theatre in town this summer.

Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for Kids Week 2017 – kids go free at loads of shows across the capital during August.

Annie, Piccadilly Theatre

Heads up on this one – tickets are going fast so book yours now to see comedy megastar Miranda Hart high kicking, falling over and passing out as Miss Hannigan. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some legwarmers to put on… anniewestend.com

Adventures in Wonderland, The Vaults at Waterloo

This is a truly magical show, pushing the boundaries of children’s theatre. Tumble down the rabbit hole in a theatrical adventure like no other, with more to explore than ever before. Meet some of Wonderland’s famous and curious inhabitants, take tea at the biggest un-birthday party with the maddest of Hatters, let the Cheshire Cat take you hither or thither or join the underground movement to rise against the fearsome Queen of Hearts. What a ride! alice-underground.com

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, Cadogan Hall

Direct from a smash-hit West End season and international tour, Michael Rosen’s award-winning book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is brought vividly and noisily to the stage in director Sally Cookson’s fun-filled adaptation set to Benji Bower’s versatile lively score. Join our intrepid family of adventurers and their musical dog on their quest to find a bear; as they wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud. Expect catchy songs, interactive scenes and plenty of hands-on adventure. cadoganhall.com

What the Ladybird Heard, Lyric Theatre

Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ much-loved children’s book comes to life, bringing farmyard fun to the West End. A glittering tale packed full of fun, What the Ladybird Heard follows two crafty robbers, one very small ladybird and all of her farmyard friends… whattheladybirdheardlive.co.uk

The Adventures of Pinocchio, Ambassadors Theatre

Carved out of wood by the lonely toymaker Geppetto, Pinocchio tumbles from one disastrous situation to another in search of adventure—only to discover that, in the end, all he really needs is an unselfish heart and the love of his father. Based on Carlo Collodi’s classic tale, this family musical illuminates the bond between parents and children in a magical performance that is sure to enchant audiences of all ages. ambassadorstheatre

Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox, Lyric Hammersmith

Back by popular demand, this brand new musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox is family fun at its finest. A juicy tale of greed, pride and the power of friendship, a dahlicious theatrical feast with live music and songs and gloriumptious designs. A wondercrump treat for the whole family. lyric.co.uk

Around the World in 80 Days, Cadogan Hall

The mysterious and fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg wagers his life’s fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. Join Fogg and his loyal valet, Passepartout, as they voyage from the misty alleys of Victorian London to the exotic subcontinent and the Wild West in a race against the clock. An ensemble cast of eight play over 125 characters in an imaginative and physically inventive high-spirited escapade including six trains, five boats, four fights, three dances, two circus acts and an elephant. 80dayslive.com

Matilda The Musical, Cambridge Theatre

Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, Matilda revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny. uk.matildathemusical.com

The Borrowers, Polka Theatre

Arietty has lived her whole life deep beneath the floorboards, dreaming of the great outdoors. When her father Pod brings her upstairs to learn the tricks of borrowing, Arietty meets a human boy. But their friendship risks everything and the ‘human beans’ soon discover the borrowers’ secret world. polkatheatre.com

Gangsta Granny, Garrick Theatre

Ben is once again staying with his granny on a boring Friday night. Ben expects the same old grizzly cabbage soup, cabbage pie and cabbage cake – but what he doesn’t realise is that this groovy Granny has her very own secret. Soon, Fridays become more exciting than he could ever image, as he embarks on night-time adventures with his very own Gangsta Granny! garricktheatre.org

Half a Sixpence, Noel Coward Theatre

The smash-hit musical goes out with a Flash, Bang, Wallop after extending for the final time. Winner of 3 WhatsOnStage Awards 2017 including Best Actor in a Musical (Charlie Stemp), this award winning musical contains one of ‘the top 10 ecstatic musical showstoppers of the last 70 years which spreads delirium from the stage into the auditorium’ and ‘has the key quality any musical needs: a moment of pure ecstacy’ (Michael Billington, The Guardian). halfasixpence.co.uk

The Hunting of the Snark, Vaudeville Theatre

The impossible voyage of an improbable crew to hunt an imaginary creature is brought magically to life in a sparkling musical comedy adventure for 4 to 94 year olds. snarkthemusical.com

Oliver Twist Created For Everyone Aged Six And Over, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Discover the original story of Victorian London’s most famous child with Oliver Twist created for everyone aged six and over. It will have you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. openairtheatre.com

Wind in the Willows, London Palladium

Join Ratty, Badger, Mole and the impulsive Toad as they embark on a series of riotous adventures spiralling from Toad’s insatiable need for speed. Featuring eye-poppingly beautiful design, exuberant choreography and a gloriously British score, The Wind in the Willows brings comedy, heart and thrills to the Palladium. windinthewillowsthemusical.com

Disney’s Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre

Breathtaking sets, mind-blowing special effects, over 350 lavish costumes and a fabulous cast and orchestra bring the magic of Disney’s Aladdin to life on the West End stage. Featuring all the songs from the classic Academy Award®-winning film including ‘Friend Like Me’, ‘A Whole New World’ and ‘Arabian Nights’, prepare to experience the unmissable ‘theatrical magic’ (Daily Telegraph) that is Aladdin. aladdinthemusical.co.uk

Jungle Book, Underbelly Festival Southbank

Spectacular street-dance and breathtaking circus combine to bring Kipling’s classic tale crashing into the 21st Century. Fresh from its international tour, award winning Metta Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Jungle Book returns to the Underbelly Festival by popular demand to delight the whole family. underbellyfestival.com

The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 – The Musical, Menier Chocolate Factory

With dysfunctional parents, ungrateful elders, a growing debt to school bully Barry Kent and an unruly pimple on his chin, life is hard for a misunderstood intellectual who is only 13 3/4… To top it off, when new girl Pandora joins the class and captures his heart, his best friend Nigel steals hers. Can Adrian win her love and escape from his chaotic family life? menierchocolatefactory.com

Children are Stinky, The Spiegeltent

After a 5 star total sell-out Edinburgh Fringe sensation, you’d better book your tickets in advance…High calibre circus, a rocking soundtrack and genuine belly laughs have propelled the Australian acrobatic duo to a non-stop multi award winning world tour. Expect daredevil stunts, incredible acrobatics, lighting fast hula hoops, loads of laughs and mischievous fun, leaving adults and children with their jaws on the floor hooting for more. underbellyfestival.com

The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Criterion Theatre

A priceless diamond has been entrusted to the city bank, but in a town where everyone’s a crook and even security guards can’t be trusted, what could possibly go wrong? Delivering swag loads of laughter, Ocean’s Eleven meets the Marx Brothers in this dynamite new comedy. thecomedyaboutabankrobbery.com

The Little Beasts, The Other Palace

This dark and imaginatively comic musical follows a selfish little girl who runs away from home and discovers a magical menagerie filled with animals that used to be children before their naughtiness brought them to untimely ends. When the menagerie’s menacing proprietor tasks her to choose one animal to set free, she must decide which one, if any, has learned its lesson. But things are not what they seem, and is any child truly naughty? A musical for aged 7+ with magical and innovative puppetry. theotherpalace.co.uk 

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