BEST CHILDREN’S THEATRE IN LONDON THIS MAY
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 May, for toddlers, preschoolers, kids and teens from stunning open air productions to magical puppetry, much-loved characters including Hey Duggee, Winnie the Pooh, Mrs Doubtfire... and even an invisible man.
Hey Duggee Live Theatre Show
Squirrels, are you ready? Hey Duggee Live kicks off its first ever interactive UK theatre tour this May. Betty wants to make costumes, Happy wants to sing, Tag wants to make music, Norrie wants to dance, Roly wants jelly and they all want your sprogs to join them at the Clubhouse. There is so much to do, but luckily Duggee has his Theatre Badge. A-Woof!
Hey Duggee Theatre Show. UK Tour runs until Aug 23
Mrs Doubtfire Heads to the West End
Hellooooo London, dear! Everybody's favourite out-of-work actor and divorcee is heading to the West End this May.
Daniel loses custody of his kids during a messy divorce, so creates Scottish nanny alter ego, Euphegenia Doubtfire in a desperate bid to stay in their lives. As his new character takes on a life of her own, Mrs Doubtfire teaches Daniel more than he bargained about how to be a father.
Created by a transatlantic team of award-winning artists, this warm-hearted, comedy musical comes to London following a sold-out run in Manchester.
Shaftesbury Theatre, 210 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8DP from 12 May
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
The Wolves in the Walls
Puppetry, songs and shadow-play combine to tell the story of Lucy, a little girl who warns her family that wolves are lurking inside the house.
Her family don’t listen, resulting in the wolves evicting them and forcing Lucy and her parents to live at the bottom of the garden. Lucy gathers her courage to begin her battle against the wolves and win back their home, in this wonderfully spooky, charming and comedic production.
Little Angel Theatre, 14 Dagmar Passage, Islington, N1 2DN. 12 May - 23 July. Tickets from £8pp
Every Leaf a Hallelujah
Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri's new fairytale, Every Leaf A Hallelujah is performed at Regent Park’s dazzling Open Air Theatre - a fitting setting for this tale about a little girl who searches for a rare leaf in the forest, only to discover that nature is dying. Children aged 4+ and families are invited into an enchanted world of extraordinary, endangered trees in this powerful new production, adapted by Chinonyerem Odimba.
Regent Park Open Air Theatre, The Regent's Park, Inner Cir, London NW1 4NU. 22 May - 10 June. £10pp
The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man invites you to watch… nobody in this imaginative new production by Theater Artemis, creators of the ingenious, The Show in Which Hopefully Nothing Happens.
The audience is waiting, the stage is set, but where is the performer? This deliciously daft and surreal story shows how much fun you can have if nobody can see you, although the stage technician and musician are anxious to get it started. Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley St, London, SE1 2HZ. 28 May - 18 June. £25.50 pp. £17 concs.
The Everywhere Bear
Julia Donaldson’s story about the school teddy bear who falls from a backpack and embarks on his own adventure is brought to life with puppets, rhyme and new songs in this whimsical new show.
Bear is washed down a drain and whooshed out to sea, rescued by a fishing boat, loaded onto a lorry, carried off by a seagull... will he ever make it back to Class One?
Hopes are high for this production, following the theatre’s beautifully moving adaptation of Julia Donaldson's Paper Dolls.
Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1SB. 27 May - 13 August. Tickets from £14pp
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
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.