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Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

New shows in Kids Week

Eleni Cashell

By Eleni Cashell First Published 17 June 2019, Last Updated 1 August 2019

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Kids Week is a fantastic opportunity to take your kids to something brand-new that they’ve never seen before this summer. During the month of August, children aged 16 or under can watch a participating show for free, as long as tickets are available and they’re accompanied by a full-paying adult. Adults can also buy up to two extra children’s tickets at half price and there are no booking fees.

And if that wasn’t enough, many of these participating shows are also holding extra activities, including workshops, behind the scenes tours and exclusive Q&A sessions with the cast and crew.

This year, we’ve got loads of new shows in Kids Week, including musicals, something for the teenagers of the family and exploding microwaves. Yes, exploding microwaves.

Here’s a run-down of the new shows in Kids Week this year.

9 To 5 The Musical

Caroline Sheen, Amber Davies and Natalie McQueen in 9 To 5 The Musical

Age suitability: 12+

Dolly Parton’s legendary pop and country musical is clocking in at the Savoy Theatre, packing plenty of star power.

Based on the brilliant cult film, 9 To 5 The Musical follows Doralee (Natalie McQueen), Violet (Caroline Sheen) and Judy – three workmates who are constantly pushed to the edge by their sexist, narcissistic boss (played by Brian Conley).

But they’re about to turn the tables, pour themselves a cup of ambition, and dream up a scheme to bring him down and make the office as it should be… which all seems good, until the CEO unexpectedly arrives, and things begin to unravel.

 

Barber Shop Chronicles

Barber Shop Chronicles at the National Theatre

Age suitability: 12+

You’ve probably noticed when you go into a hairdressers/barber shop, there’s always lots of chit-chat going on. From latest holidays to family dramas, nothing is off topic when you’re having your hair cut.

In this show, you become a fly on the wall in barber shops across the globe, from London to Lagos, from Johannesburg to Kampala, listening in on both joyous and sad tales of the customers.

A combination of comedy, drama and intimacy, this heart-warming show has already had critically acclaimed runs at the National Theatre, the West Yorkshire Playhouse and a world tour.

And if your kids are aged between 13-16, you can also book an activity with this show, as the show’s Associate Director Leian John-Baptiste is running a practical introductory workshop. Your child will explore the production’s themes and improvise some of the scenes. Note: One parent/guardian per child/group of children must stay at the venue for the duration of this activity.

 

Brainiac Live

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Age suitability: 6+

Taking kids on an explosive journey through all things science, Brainiac Live is a stage adaption of the popular TV show.

From combusting microwaves and supercharged spinning chairs to exploding dustbins, these high-energy and entertaining experiments aim to answer scientific questions everyone wants to know in a very unique way!

This is one science lesson the kids won’t want to miss!

 

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli's Mandolin in the West End

Age suitability: 14+

Another stage adaptation, this time of a popular novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is ideal for the older children in the family.

The story of a romance blossoming during WW2, the show follows Iannis, his strong-willed daughter Pelagia, an Italian soldier called Carlo, and of course, Captain Corelli.

Set in Cephallonia during a time of mounting tensions, the story follows these characters as Italy and German occupy this idyllic Greek island. And as everything the islanders knew changes around them, can love still blossom?

The show is also running an activity (suitable for 13-16 year-olds). Your child will join one of the show’s actors, Luisa Guerreiro, for a Q&A and backstage tour. Note: One parent/guardian per child/group of children must stay at the venue for the duration of this activity.

 

Come From Away

Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Age suitability: 10+

The story of a small town that welcomed passengers from across the world when tragedy hit, Come From Away is a feel-good musical about the power of friendship.

The show is based on the true story of when 7,000 air passengers were grounded in Canada following the tragic events of 9/11, leaving 38 planes of people stranded. The residents of Newfoundland, Gander opened their homes, churches, community centres and anything else they could to help the plane people, making them honorary islanders in the process.

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Winner of four Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical, the show has also enjoyed record-breaking runs in Canada, across the USA and on Broadway (where it received seven Tony award nominations).

Come From Away is also running two activities. A choreography workshop (for 13-16 year-olds) where children will learn the routine to the opening number, and a post-show Q&A with some of the cast (also for 13-16-year-olds). Note: Parents/guardians can’t stay and watch these activities, but there will be a licensed chaperone present.

 

Equus

Ethan Kai as Alan Strang in Equus

Age suitability: 12+

This award-winning psychological thriller is returning to the West End in a bold new production.

Inspired by a true story, the production explores complex relationships between devotion, myth and sexuality.

When teenager Alan Strang’s pathological fascination leads him to blind six horses, his psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart has to uncover the motive. But as he delves further into Alan’s world of twisted spirituality, passion and sexuality, he begins to question his own sanity and motivations in a world driven by consumerism.

 

The Falcon’s Malteser

The Falcon's Malteser at The Vaults

Age suitability: 8+

A hilarious and action-packed family show about the world’s worst detectives, The Falcon’s Malteser is full of slapstick, comedy songs and of course, mystery!

The story revolves around Tim and Nick from the Diamond Brothers Detective Agency, who aren’t the best private detectives in the world. After an unexpected box of Maltesers is delivered to them, half of London’s criminal underworld come out to target them. But what’s so special about this mysterious package? This hapless pair of detectives must now crack one of their toughest cases yet; the mystery of The Falcon’s Malteser.

Renowned as one of the best family shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in both 2014 and 2015, the show has also played sell-out performances on two UK tours, so you and the kids are in for a treat!

 

Fiddler On The Roof

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Age suitability: 8+

Transferring from the Menier Chocolate Factory after a successful (and sold-out) run, Fiddler On The Roof tickets have been in hot demand for performances at the Playhouse Theatre.

Directed by the Olivier Award-winning Trevor Nunn, this critically acclaimed production has proven a popular revival of the Broadway classic, having been the first production of the show on the London stage since May 2007.

Starring as Tevye is Andy Nyman. Andy is an award-winning actor, director and writer who’s earned critical acclaim for his work across theatre, film and television. Three-time Olivier Award winner Maria Friedman plays the role of Golde, while Anita Dobson takes on the role of Yente.

 

The Girl On The Train

Samantha Womack and Adam Jackson Smith in The Girl On The Train. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Age suitability: 12+

Based on the best-selling book (which has also been turned into a film), this stage adaptation of The Girl On The Train stars Samantha Womack (Eastenders) as Rachel Watson, a commuter who gets caught up in a mystery she never expected to get involved in.

In the show, Rachel (who’s unhappy with her own life), watches a perfect couple through her train window every morning. But everything may not be as it appears, especially when it seems like the woman in the relationship suddenly disappears. As Rachel finds herself both a witness and a suspect, she must face huge revelations to get to the bottom of the mystery.

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In the London production, Alex Ferns (Eastenders, Chernobyl ) will play the role of Detective Inspector Gaskill, Marc Elliott (Eastenders, Holby City) will play psychiatrist Dr Kamal Abdic and Philip McGinley (Game Of Thrones) will play Scott Hipwell.

 

The Illusionists

The Illusionists tickets at Shaftesbury Theatre

Age suitability: 6+

For fans of magic, we recommend booking tickets to The Illusionists before they disappear!

The show is made up of seven of the top illusionists in the world, including recent Britain’s Got Talent’s contestant, escape artist Jonathan Goodwin.

He’ll be joined by The Showman James More, The Unforgettable Enzo, (France’s Got Talent), The Manipulator, Yu Ho-Jin, The Futurist, Adam Trent (who’s performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show), The Mentalist, Chris Cox, (whose work features in Harry Potter And The Cursed Child) and The Trickster, Paul Dabek.

Described as “Magic’s Cirque du Soleil”, you’ll spend weeks after trying to figure out how every trick was done!

 

Legend Trippers

Legend Trippers at The Other Palace

Age suitability: 3+

This brand-new musical combines energetic storytelling and joyous songs to explore the idea of passing on legends, and how questioning them can benefit others.

The show follows members of the Legend Trippers, a group of school friends who individually define themselves as a cheerleader, a science geek, a sports jock and a hard-core emo. An unlikely group of heroes, they work together to defeat haunted spots around their town. But when a new girl arrives, the Legend Trippers find themselves stuck in a legend of their own.

This show is also running a Q&A activity with the writers and creative team. Your child will find out what it’s like to create a new musical, what goes on backstage and how the show made it to London. Note: One parent/guardian per child/group of children must stay at the venue for the duration of this activity.

 

Little Baby Bum Live

Little Baby Bum Live

Age suitability: 1-6

The perfect show for little ones, join Mia, Jacus, Twinkle and their Nursery Rhyme friends in their magical and colourful world.

Classic stories are told through a mix of puppetry, live action and digital animation to capture your child’s imagination. And of course, there’s going to be the classic singing and dancing that you’d expect in such a child-friendly show!

Created by parents, for parents, Little Baby Bum Live initially started out as a YouTube channel for young children, uploading videos of popular nursery rhymes. It’s now the world’s largest educational YouTube channel, with over 20m subscribers and 19 billion views.

 

Monstersaurus!

Monstersaurus Live

Age suitability: 3+

Prepare the kids for a monstrously good time with this stage adaptation of this colourful children’s book. No longer are monsters under the bed to be feared, they’re now bringing joy to the family!

The show is all about Monty, a young, creative inventor of whacky creations, including many fantastic monsters! But now he’s created so many monsters, he doesn’t know what to do with them!

With original music for the kids to sing along to, expect magic, lots of mayhem and lots of audience participation for the kids to join in with!

 

The Night Of The Iguana

Anna Gunn, Julian Glover, Lia Williams and Clive Owen in The Night Of The Iguana at the Noël Coward Theatre

Age suitability: 10+

A star-studded cast appears in this West End revival, including Clive Owen, Anna Gunn, Julian Glover and Lia Williams. Clive, in particular, is a welcome return to the West End, as he hasn’t appeared in a show here for 18 years!

A powerful Tennessee Williams play for the older children in the family, the narrative revolves around disgraced priest Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon (played by Clive). Lawrence now works as a tour guide, leading a group of lost souls who arrive at a run-down hotel.

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Set in the 1940s and against the backdrop of an unfurling WW2, the show follows Lawrence as he reunites with his friend, Maxine Faulk, who is grieving the recent loss of her husband. As he begins to emotionally struggle with the situation around him, his group of lost souls get a new addition, and chaos soon unfolds as an epic battle awaits.

 

On Your Feet!

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Age suitability: 8+

This musical has already been a massive success on Broadway, and now the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan is getting audiences on their feet (literally) in London.

Whether the family know this dynamic duo’s classic hits, (including Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Conga, Get On Your Feet and Don’t Want To Lose You Now) or whether you just want to take them to a musical that will have them dancing in their seats, this is the perfect show.

On Your Feet! tells the true love story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, from their early beginnings in Cuba to their meteoric rise to international superstardom, including 26 Grammy Awards and selling over 100 million records worldwide.

 

Peter Pan

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Age suitability: 7+

The classic story of the boy who never grew up is flying back into London this summer. But you don’t need to take the second star to the right and go straight onto morning to see it, just book tickets in Kids Week!

When Peter Pan loses his shadow, he asks Wendy to re-attach it for him. For her kind deed, she’s invited to Neverland, where she meets Tinker Bell, Tiger Lily and the mean Captain Hook.

This inventive adaptation features aerial acrobatics, live music from an on-stage band and plenty of magic, make-believe and mischief! Be prepared for the kids to ask if they can go to Neverland for their next holiday!

 

The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ – The Musical

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Age suitability: 10+

The secret is out! Adrian Mole’s famous diary is now a musical!

Based on the best-selling book that inspired every teenager to write a diary, this new musical has already had two successful runs at Leicester’s Curve theatre and the Menier Chocolate Factory before moving into the West End.

Perfect for the near-teenagers in the family, the story follows socially awkward, typical teenager Adrian and his friends as they navigate the tricky journey of adolescence in the 1980s.

Featuring a talented cast of both children and adults, this show brings these iconic and recognisable characters to the stage. The diary of Adrian Mole is ready to be read by a whole new audience of theatregoers, so why not take a peek during Kids Week?

 

Twirlywoos Live!

Twirlywoos Live (Photo: Pamela Raith)

Age suitability: 1+ (babes in arms welcome)

The littlest ones of the family will love seeing their favourite Twirlywoos characters come to life in this exciting and enchanting stage show.

Join Toodloo, Great BigHoo, Chickedy, Chick and Peekaboo in this brand-new adventure aboard their Big Red Boat. The youngsters will love this 55-minute journey of puppetry, mischief, music and surprises!

So what are you waiting for? Hope on board the Big Red Boat and set sail for adventure.

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

Age suitability: 1+ (Suitable for children and families of all ages).

The timeless classic has wriggled its way off the page and into the West End this summer, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Eric Carle’s fantastic book.

As well as telling the story of the hungriest little caterpillar ever, this show also performs four other popular children’s stories by the same illustrator: Brown Bear, Brown Bear; 10 Little Rubber Ducks and The Very Lonely Firefly.

Bringing an iconic and colourful story from the page to the stage, these distinctively simple stories introduce young children to a big, bright world of storytelling.

And why not prepare the little ones to see this enchanting show with our very special sing-a-long?

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Waitress

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Age suitability: 13+

Sugar, butter and flour are all it takes for this show to bake up a heartwarming musical.

Lucie Jones (X Factor, Les Misérables) plays the lead role of Jenna, a diner waitress who longs for something more. Stuck in a small town and unhappily married, she plans to up and leave; but then she discovers she’s pregnant and everything changes. With her best friends at her side, a compassionate doctor changing her plans and a life-changing baking contest in a nearby county, Jenna is about to realise what baking can do.

The show also features the West End debut of The Pussycat Dolls’ Ashley Roberts, who plays Dawn for a limited season. Ashley has also starred on the screen, including in I’m A Celebrity!, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Dancing On Ice and Let It Shine.

Marisha Wallace (Dreamgirls) plays Becky, with David Hunter (Charlie Price in Kinky Boots) and Peter Hannah (Shakespeare In Love) as Dr Pomatter and Earl respectively. Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners) plays Ogie.

Based on the film of the same name, and with music by Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, this show will have you craving pie on the way home!

 

Where Is Peter Rabbit?

Where Is Peter Rabbit? at Theatre Royal Haymarket

Age suitability: 5+.

Hop your way into the Theatre Royal Haymarket and delve into the musical, magical world of Beatrix Potter in Where Is Peter Rabbit?, the critically acclaimed family show.

Based on the beloved tales of Beatrix Potter, and featuring all your favourite characters from the books, Where Is Peter Rabbit? brings the stories to life on the West End stage with beautifully handcrafted puppets, a sprinkle of magic, and 14 delightful original songs. TV presenter Myleene Klass and Olivier Award-winning comedian Griff Rhys Jones lend their voices to the show.

The show is sure to fill you with delight as you watch out for the ferocious Mr McGregor, reach heady heights with Jemima Puddle-Duck, help with Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s laundry, and accompany the mischievous Peter Rabbit on all sorts of adventures.

 

The Worst Witch

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Age suitability: 7+

Witness Mildred Hubble’s thrilling adventures at Miss Cackle’s Academy, in the stage adaptation of The Worst Witch.

Based on the successful children’s books, the story centres on Mildred Hubble – an ordinary girl in an extraordinary school. But as she learns her magical skills, she accidentally leaves a trail of mayhem in her wake. But as she enters her final year of witching school, Mildred and her friends will find themselves confronted with their most important mission yet, when an old adversary returns to the Academy.

You won’t need charms or incantations to book The Worst Witch tickets in London’s West End – you can book them right here during Kids Week!

 

Zog

The cast of Zog at Theatre Royal Kingston (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

From the writers of The Gruffalo and Room On The Broom comes the much-loved story Zog, an accident-prone dragon who wants to become the best student in dragon school.

Zog is a student at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn everything important for dragons to know. But Zog’s a little bigger than the other dragons – and a little keener, too. He tries so hard to win a gold star – perhaps too hard – and ends up bumping, burning and roaring his way through his time at school.

But the biggest test is yet to come for Zog, when the plucky Princess Pearl gets him ready to take on his biggest challenge yet – a duel with Gadabout the Great!

This magical adaptation of the beloved story is accompanied by a joyful folk score by actor and musician Johnny Flynn, with live musicians. Zog and his world spring to life from page to stage, creating a real and fantastical world sure to mesmerise children and parents alike.

 

Want more shows? Check here for the full list of participating shows with tickets remaining in Kids Week.

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Tagged:
9 to 5 the musical Barber Shop Chronicles brainiac live captain corelli's mandolin come from away equus fiddler on the roof kids week kids week 2019 Legend Trippers little baby bum live monstersaurus on your feet! peter pan the falcon's malteser The Girl On The Train The Illusionists the night of the iguana The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾ - The Musical the very hungry caterpillar show the worst witch twirlywoos live waitress where is peter rabbit zog

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