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The Wider Earth at Natural History Museum (Photo: Prudence Upton)

The Wider Earth at Natural History Museum (Photo: Prudence Upton)

6 fantastic new family shows to see this year

Robin Johnson

By Robin Johnson First Published 24 January 2019, Last Updated 28 January 2019

It’s easy for all the adults to get swept up in the swathes of new London musicals and plays to see in 2019, but there’s theatre out there for everyone. So to add a bit of much-needed excitement into the year – a date for the diary which the whole family can look forward to – why not getting planning a family theatre trip to London’s Theatreland for the months to come?

Here are 6 new family shows for 2019 which we’re sure will get the whole crew buzzing in anticipation (at least until homework time).

And don’t forget about Kids Week in August!

Related Article: Warm up for 2019 with these new musicals’ cast recordings
2019 is undeniably the year of the London Musical. Get yourself fully prepared for a year of West End must-sees by listening to their cast recordings.

The Wind In The Willows

The Wind In The Willows at Polka Theatre

Now playing until 17 February; Polka Theatre

The Polka Theatre have a reputation for consistently producing some of the most enjoyable for-all-ages theatre in London – and The Wind In The Willows is certainly no exception.

Taking Kenneth Grahame’s beloved novel – you’ll probably already know the story of chaotic Mr Toad, wise old Badger, Ratty and Mole, and their adventures round Toad Hall – the Polka Theatre adds a sprinkle of its customary magic with music, songs, and joyous smiles abound. It’s a classic book in a spectacular new staging which everyone will enjoy.

The Wider Earth

The Wider Earth at Natural History Museum (Photo: Prudence Upton)

The Wider Earth at Natural History Museum (Photo: Prudence Upton)

Now playing until 24 February; Natural History Museum

The greatest discoveries come from thinking outside of the box – and The Wider Earth is all about a young, rebellious Charles Darwin who does just that. He’s off on the adventure of a lifetime on the HMS Beagle, travelling to the far side of the world, completely unaware that he’s about to change it.

Over 30 stunning hand-crafted puppets, amazing animations and a stirring cinematic score power this award-winning family show. It’s been performed around the world, and now plays at a site-specific theatre at the Natural History Museum, offering a perfect day out of learning for kids and adults alike.

My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty

English National Ballet's Sleeping Beauty

From 16 April; Peacock Theatre

There are few sights sweeter to the eye than a well-executed ballet, but it’s not an art form always associated with family-friendly entertainment. My First Ballet are out to change that misconception with several tweaks which help little ones get the most out of the show, too.

Sleeping Beauty will feature a narrator especially for young audience members, as well as shortened versions of Tchaikovsky’s iconic music. What’s more, the popular story will be told by second-year students of the English National Ballet School, guaranteeing a high-quality introduction to the world of ballet for all young ‘uns.

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium

From 27 June; London Palladium

Here’s a family show to get every generation dreaming again!

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is coming to the majesty of the London Palladium for a 50th anniversary production this summer – and you can be sure it’ll be packed out by young ones experiencing the delightful show for the first time, as well as those returning to it for another bout of joy.

Telling the well-known story of Jacob and his favourite son, Joseph, this multi-coloured masterpiece is a great introduction to musical theatre for young families – provided you can stop the parents from joining in with “Any Dream Will Do”, that is!

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo at the Lyric Theatre

The Gruffalo

From 3 July; Lyric Theatre

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s stories are a constant source of joy for London’s family theatre scene. The duo have penned the likes of Room On The Broom, Stick Man and The Gruffalo’s Child, consistent seasonal family favourites. Undoubtedly one of their biggest hits, however, has been the live stage version of The Gruffalo – the classic book all about a very daring Mouse and its bold adventure into the dark, deep wood…

Songs, laughs, and monstrous fun – the West End treat that is The Gruffalo promises an hour of pure delight for all ages.

Mary Poppins

Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins) and Charlie Stemp (Bert) in Mary Poppins (Photo: Seamus Ryan)

From 23 October; Prince Edward Theatre

Practically perfect in every way, Mary Poppins is the stage musical based on the classic family film of the same name. The story of a remarkable Nanny, who restores order to the dysfunctional Banks family, is packed with unforgettable songs, eye-popping scenery and magical moments which’ll have parents and children’s jaws dropping throughout.

As sweet as a Spoonful Of Sugar, and as fun as a Jolly Holiday, this internationally award-winning musical is truly unmissable. You’ll be hooked quicker than you can say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”!

And some returning favourites…

Of course, there are a whole host of spectacular family-friendly plays and musicals on offer the whole year round.

From the awe-inspiring visuals of Agrabah in Disney’s Aladdin, to the majesty of the Serengeti in Disney’s The Lion King; from the guitar-thrashing rebellion that is School Of Rock The Musical, to the hilariously mischievous Matilda The Musical; and from the ABBA-hit-fuelled Mamma Mia!, to the suitable-for-all murder mystery of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, world-class family theatre is on offer every way you turn in Theatreland.

There are plenty more family-friendly shows around in 2019. To find out more, visit our London Theatre Tickets page.


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family theatre joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat mary poppins my first ballet sleeping beauty the gruffalo the wider earth wind in the willows

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