It’s that time of year… the nights are closing in, the leaves are turning brown, and the kids are running around the house bored because it’s half term.
If you’re struggling with things to keep them occupied then never fear, we’ve popped together a list of some of the fantastic matinee shows around London that you and your family can all enjoy. Some of them have even put on extra daytime performances especially for half term!
Matilda The Musical
While children who grew up reading the 1988 book and the watching the 1996 movie have left childhood long behind, the story still holds a special place in many people’s hearts. Tim Minchin’s musical adaptation of Matilda is written with love and warmth and a whole load of humour. With hilarious songs, mind-bending sets and an incredible child cast, you’ll all be trying to move the programme with your mind the whole way home.
Matilda The Musical has performances at the Cambridge Theatre on 2pm on Thursdays, 2.30pm on Saturdays and 3pm on Sundays. They’ve put on an extra half term performance at 2pm on Thursday 24 October, and suggest the show is suitable for children 6 and over.
The National Theatre’s globe-trotting production of War Horse has returned to London at the new Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. Featuring incredible puppets with movement so lifelike you’ll genuinely forget they’re not real, this production will totally transport you into another world. If you haven’t seen it yet, now is the perfect opportunity for the whole family – and it’s only on at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre until 23 November!
War Horse has daytime performances at 2pm on Saturdays and Thursdays and is suitable for children 10+.
A two-time winner of the Olivier Audience Award, Wicked is one of the most beloved musicals all over the world. The musical is set before the Wizard Of Oz, unfolding the untold story of an unlikely friendship between two girls at boarding school: the blonde, popular Glinda, and the misunderstood, shy, green Elphaba. With beautiful costumes and set design mixed in with impressive musical and dance numbers, Wicked is a colourful and exciting theatre experience for all ages.
Wicked is suitable for ages 7+ and has a matinee performance at the Apollo Victoria at 2.30pm every Wednesday and Sunday as well as an extra half term performance on Thursday 24 October.
Big The Musical
Big The Musical finishes at the Dominion Theatre on 2 November, so this is your last chance to see Jay McGuinness, Kimberly Walsh, Wendi Peters and Matthew Kelly dancing and singing their hearts out on stage together. A heartwarming story of a young boy who wishes he could be grown up and has to muddle through adult life when his wish comes true, Big The Musical will delight children and parents alike.
There are matinees of Big on Thursday and Saturday this week (23 & 26 Oct) and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday next week (29 & 31 Oct and 2 Nov). There is a minimum age of admission of 5.
School Of Rock – The Musical
Teach your kids to Stick It To The Man this half term with the rock-hit wonder School Of Rock – The Musical. With all the songs from the original film as well as 14 new original songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater, your whole family will be humming the tunes all the way home. Featuring incredible pint-sized musicians (all the kids play their own instruments) and Noel Sullivan as fake substitute teacher Dewey Finn your kids will be begging to learn the drums by the interval.
While the show is recommended for ages 5+, it does contain occasional strong language and may not be suitable for very young children. School Of Rock performs matinees at the Gillian Lynne Theatre on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm and Sundays at 3pm.