Have you wondered why ‘Theatres’ includes ever letter from the word ‘Easter’? We’re almost certain it’s because London theatres have some of the best entertainment on offer for families over the holiday period. From shows that are choc-full of cocoa flavoured treats to playful productions about toy rabbits, Theatreland has something for everyone over the coming weeks. We knew you’d be busy hiding, hunting and hoarding seasonal sweets so we’ve eggs-tracted a selection of egg-citing offerings and created one handy list that you can devour in 10 bite-size chunks.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory / Theatre Royal Drury Lane / Booking until May 2015
Willy Wonka has a busy few weeks ahead of him. Not only is he hard at work in his factory making enough Whipple Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight to keep sweet shops stocked up for Easter, he’s also finding time to entertain audiences in this Olivier Award nominated hit at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Featuring Oompa-Loompas, dancing squirrels and more chocolate than Augustus Gloop’s tummy, this acclaimed musical based on Roald Dahl’s much-loved story is the perfect treat for all the family this Easter.
The Velveteen Rabbit / Unicorn Theatre / Until 19 April
This carrot-crunching critter is offering a touching combination of creativity, playfulness and pillow fights to audiences at the Unicorn Theatre this month. Margery Williams’ heart-warming tale comes to the end of its run at the London Bridge venue the day before Easter Sunday. Coincidence? We think not. On 20 April the fluffy fellow will surely be off on his egg delivering duties, bringing joy – and chocolate – to children across the country.
Matilda The Musical / Cambridge Theatre / Booking until December 2014
The cook at Matilda’s school has melted all of her Easter eggs to make Bruce Bogtrotter a ginormous chocolate cake. Head to the Cambridge Theatre to find out whether he can polish off every last slice with the support of his classmates. Bruce might end up being dragged to the Chokey, but there will be no dragging involved when getting kids to see this Olivier Award-winning musical.
Minotaur / Polka Theatre / Until 24 May
Chicks, bunnies, minotaurs. Ok, so minotaurs aren’t one of your typical Easter-themed creatures but this show for children aged eight to 14-years-old is still well worth the journey to Wimbledon. What’s more, the tale of a young boy who has to travel to a faraway land to save his father from the half-bull, half-man is playing until May so it will be around long after those bouncing bunnies and little yellow birds bid us farewell for another year.
At The End Of Everything Else / Unicorn Theatre / Until 19 April
Talking of little yellow birds, Mark Arends’ show for children aged eight and older has exactly that. His name is Tito and he’s missing. Thankfully his best friend Icka is coming to the rescue and with her inventive mind sets off on a mission over land and sea to save him. The only way to find out if she does is by heading to the Unicorn Theatre before 19 April.
Easter Egg Hunt / TKTS / 16 to 21 April
Our friends over at the TKTS ticket booth have joined forces with businesses in and around Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus to create a special Easter Egg Hunt for families from 16 April. Simply pick up a clue sheet from the booth and set off on an eggs-citing adventure to find those all-important hidden eggs. There’s even a prize of £250 of Theatre Tokens up for grabs for the winning team, but make sure you return your clue sheet to the booth to be in with a chance of taking home the reward.
There’s A Monster In My Piano / Little Angel Theatre / 15 to 19 April
We’re expecting to see more eggs in baskets than we are monsters in pianos this Easter but nevertheless this show from Garlic Theatre looks like it’s worth a trip to Islington’s Little Angel Theatre. With puppetry, clowning, animation and a highly strung monster, we are intrigued by this tale for children aged four and older, which tells of a rather serious case of piano hijacking.
Shoe Baby / Albany Theatre / 9 to 13 April
Joyce Dunbar’s Eggday and A Chick Called Saturday might have been more fitting for the Easter holidays, but instead the Albany Theatre is playing host to another of the children’s author’s popular stories. Suitable for children aged two and older, Shoe Baby is a fantastical sing-a-long adventure about a baby who takes to the sea, the air and the zoo, all from within a bright red shoe.
My First Ballet: Coppélia / Peacock Theatre / 8 to 19 April
For something a little different this Easter, families can head to the Peacock Theatre for a special version of Léo Delibes comic ballet for ages three and older. The tale of an eccentric toymaker and his mechanical doll is presented by English National Ballet and follows Dr Coppélius as he strives to bring his new creation to life.
Hetty Feather / Rose Theatre Kingston / Until 19 April
Billed as “the perfect Easter treat for all the family”, this stage adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson’s popular story is brought to the stage by Sally Cookson, the director behind 2013 hit We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. The production is suitable for children aged seven-years-old and older and invites you to join Hetty as she embarks on a search to find her real mother. First she must escape from the Foundling Hospital, face Matron Stinking Bottomly and spend a night locked in an attic so head to the Rose Theatre Kingston to help her do just that!