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Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Shows to see this half-term

Robin Johnson

By Robin Johnson Published February 12, 2018

The half-term holidays: a source of great joy (and, in their eyes, freedom!) to youngsters, and a potential headache to parents, who somehow have to come up with a whole week’s worth of entertainment.

And that’s where London theatre comes in. With a whole host of shows laying on extra performances – the list below is by no means exhaustive, so do check with box offices if another show takes your fancy – there’s never a better time to introduce your youngster to the wonders of London’s West End.

We’ve picked out a few potential family show highlights of the holiday, so you don’t have to. What’s more, all of the below are laying on extra matinee performances, so there’s plenty of chances to catch them this week.

Disney’s Aladdin

Disney's Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)

Disney’s Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)

Disney’s Aladdin, already a hit musical on Broadway, takes London theatre audiences into a world filled with beauty, comedy and breath-taking spectacle. It tells the well-known story of a savvy street urchin who finds himself caught up in the nefarious plans of an evil magician, falls for a stunning princess and befriends a wonderfully funny lamp-dwelling magical being.

Extra Half-term Matinee: Wednesday 14 February, 2.30pm

Book now.

Disney’s The Lion King

Disney's The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre (Photo: Dewynters Photography)

Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre (Photo: Dewynters Photography)

Julie Taymor’s spectacular adaptation of Disney’s award-winning film uses masks and puppetry to create pure theatrical magical. When the young lion prince Simba is born, his evil uncle Scar is pushed back to second in line to the throne. Unimpressed with his future prospects, Scar plots to kill both Simba and his father, the Lion King Mufasa, becoming king in the process.

Extra Half-term Matinee: Thursday 15 February, 2.30pm

Book now

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! London at the Novello Theatre (Photo: Brinkhoff & Mögenburg)

Mamma Mia! London at the Novello Theatre (Photo: Brinkhoff & Mögenburg)

The hit ABBA musical that still has West End audiences taking a chance on it more than a decade and a half after it first premiered, Mamma Mia! continues to deliver the feel-good factor to London in spades. The musical features some of ABBA’s most famous songs, including Does Your Mother Know, Dancing Queen, Money Money Money, Take A Chance On Me, Super Trouper, The Winner Takes It All and, of course, the title song Mamma Mia!.

Extra Half-term Matinee: Tuesday 13 February, 2.30pm

Book now.

Matilda The Musical

Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

With book by Dennis Kelly, and music & lyrics by Tim Minchin, inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, Matilda is the record-breaking musical masterpiece from the RSC. Matilda The Musical is the story of Matilda Wormwood, a child with an incredible talent for learning. Despite being hampered by unscrupulous, uncaring parents who care neither for their daughter or for education, she excels intellectually and even discovers a rather unique talent.

Extra Half-term Matinee: Wednesday 14 February, 2.30pm

Book now.

Les Misérables

Les Misérables at Queen's Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)

Les Misérables at Queen’s Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)

Seen by more than 70 million people worldwide in 45 countries and in 22 languages, this spectacular musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece continues to thrill audiences night after night at Queen’s Theatre. Set amidst the social and political struggles of 19th century France, West End favourite Les Misérables tells the story of former prisoner Jean Valjean, who is pursued for decades by his policeman nemesis, Javert.

Extra Half-term Matinee: Tuesday 13 February, 2.30pm

Book now.

The Play That Goes Wrong

The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

The Play That Goes Wrong follows the antics of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, who are trying their very best to stage a production of a 1920s murder mystery. As the show’s title might suggest, this is not as easy as it sounds with everything that can go wrong doing just that.

Extra Half-term Matinee: Thursday 15 February, 2.30pm

Book now.

School Of Rock The Musical

School of Rock - The Musical

School of Rock – The Musical

A guitar-thrashing, drum-rolling, rip-roaring celebration of the power of rock, School Of Rock – The Musical tells the story of Dewey Finn, a down-on-his-luck wannabe rock star struggling to make ends meet. Posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school, Finn discovers his students’ musical talents, and opts to enlist his fifth-graders in a quest to conquer The Battle Of The Bands.

Extra Half-term Matinee: Wednesday 14 February, 2.30pm

Book now.

Wicked

Alice Fearn as Elphaba in Wicked London at the Apollo Victoria Theatre (Photo: Matt Crockett)

Alice Fearn as Elphaba in Wicked London at the Apollo Victoria Theatre (Photo: Matt Crockett)

A spellbinding favourite in the West End, this magical musical tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Extra Half-term Matinee: Thursday 15 February, 2.30pm

Book now

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