BEST CHILDREN’S THEATRE IN LONDON THIS APRIL
Top 10 Kids' Plays and Musicals
Whether your sprogs like to shake their tiny jazz hands, sing along to their favourite show tunes, ponder fun-sized existential dilemmas or see their most loved stories and characters brought to life through the magic of theatre, London has you covered.
We've cherry-picked the capital's top ten theatre picks this April, for toddlers, preschoolers, kids and teens from immersive adventures with radish-pilfering bunnies to honey-seeking bears, troll-thwarting goats, superworms, icy princesses and achingly cool circuses.
Winnie the Pooh the Musical
Entertainment juggernauts, Disney and Rockerfeller Productions have created this theatrical lovechild, which has already bagged five-star reviews in New York and Chicago.
Life-sized Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and Kanga puppets hit the London stage this Spring for a musical honey quest with Christopher Robin. AA Milne’s original songs have had the Sherman Brothers' treatment, for a Grammy-winning score, introducing the next generation to the much-loved inhabitants of The Hundred Acre Wood. This engaging,, 65-minute show is aimed at children from 3+ and is already proving to be a sweet and sticky hit. Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London, W6 9NB. Until 29 May. Tickets from £29.50
Peter Rabbit Easter Adventure
Following the success of last summer's Blenheim Palace show - read our review here - Peter Rabbit is hopping back for another adventure, this time in the heart of London’s Covent Garden Piazza. From 21 March to 16 April Beatrix Potter’s world is being brought to life through puppetry and immersive performance in a brand-new show, where children are invited to become the stars of the Peter Rabbit Easter Adventure, joining Beatrix Potter and friends to rescue Jemima Puddle-Duck from the dastardly Mr McGregor. During the 50-minute outdoor experience, children will search for secret notes, maps, and other clues and meet Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and a few surprise encounters along the way in Histrionic Productions’ latest experience. Additional activities include Mr McGregor’s Obstacle Course for thrill-seeking children who want to test their driving skills in a mini ROVER for ages four and above. Families will also have the opportunity to clamber onto Mr McGregor’s tractor and have a souvenir photograph taken with the radish-pilfering bunny himself. Peter Rabbit Easter Adventure, Chestnut Bakery, 24 Floral Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DS. 21 March - 16th April (Closed 11 April and all Mondays except Easter Monday 10 April)
Three Billy Goats Gruff at Unicorn Theatre
Your bellies might be exploding with Cadbury orbs this Easter, but spare a thought for Baby, Middle and Big, three goats who are hungry for more grass. Take your children on their musical adventure at this beautiful children’s theatre as they hatch a plan to cross the bridge to the lush green grass on the other side... and outwit the pesky troll who guards it.
Featuring music and lyrics by the Olivier award-winning Stiles and Drewe (Mary Poppins, Honk!), this magical fairytale production is the perfect first musical for 3-7 year olds. Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley St, London SE1 2HZ. 12-23 April
Directed by Michael Grandage, Frozen: The Musical arrived from Broadway to the West End in 2021, where it has melted the hearts of wannabe Elsas and Arandelle-hardened parents ever since. It has music and lyrics for new and old songs by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez – who created the songs for the film, which have greater magic in their live performance - as well as beautiful choreography, incredible stage magic, illusion and dazzling sets recreating a fairytale Scandinavia. Read our full review HERE Frozen the Musical, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine St, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5JF. Until 15 October
Humans 2.0 at The Southbank
The London premiere of contemporary circus show Humans 2.0 will run at the Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall (12-16 April). For ages 8+, this show is presented by Circa Contemporary Circus, leaders in the new wave of contemporary Australian circus. Humans 2.0 showcases the mechanics - and beauty - of acrobatics. With a minimalist set, it is the acrobats who become the swings and climbing frames, with human towers and hand-to-hand acrobatics. Physical limits are pushed to the extreme and themes that shine through are trust and teamwork. Created by circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz, the unique new production blends theatre, circus and dance to ask if we can ever find a perfect balance, or is adapting to constant change the only way forward? Queen Elizabeth Hall. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX. 12 –15 Apr, 7.30pm & Sun 16 Apr, 3pm. £18 – £30
Superworm Trail at Kew Gardens
This Easter at Kew Gardens, explore the world of Superworm to see how plants and animals work together as a team, with all the heroes from the best-selling book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
Kew Gardens, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE. 1 – 16 April. Show included with entry ticket.
Little Belle is feeling down at her grandad’s wake, so she slips into the basement, where she discovers his old, dusty instruments - The Instrumentals. They are pure funk, and they teach Belle to ‘get down’ in a whole new way. Combining Little Angel Theatre’s trademark mix of clever puppetry, music and comedy, this fun, musical adventure is aimed at 4-11 year olds and celebrates love, laughter, life and memories. Little Angel Theatre, 14 Dagmar Passage, London N1 2DN Until 16 April
Marty and the Party
There’s a party. It’s sure to be arty. There’ll be giggles and nibbles and the dress code is ‘smartly’. Everybody has their dance moves at the ready – Fox is doing the foxtrot, Flamingo is doing the flamenco. But what about Marty? Join Marty as they discover what makes their heart dance, making new friends on the way. Milk Presents and Derby Theatre create this charming and cheeky story aimed at 2-6 year olds. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. 7-8 April. Adult £12. Child £9.
The Lion King
Now in its 24th year at London's Lyceum Theatre, Disney’s award-winning musical, The Lion King explodes with colour, special effects and enchanting music. Recommended for ages six onwards, it follows the powerful story of Simba as he journeys from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands. The musical behemoth by visionary director Julie Taymor features a stonking 232 puppets and has earned its crown as King of the theatrical jungle. Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington St, London WC2E 7RQ. Until 18 June
Matilda the Musical
Matilda is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by Roald Dahl. Adapted by Dennis Kelly with original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical tells the story of a gifted girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and sharp mind, bravely takes a stand against home and school bullies to change her destiny.
Winner of more than 100 international awards, including 24 for Best Musical, this extraordinary little girl has been delighting West End audiences and defeating Trunchbulls for more than a decade.
Matilda the Musical. Cambridge Theatre, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9HU. Aimed at audiences 6+. Tickets from £20.