The run up to Christmas saw us don our theatre critic hats as venues across London opened their doors to younger punters. As ever, there were hits and misses but the five shows below were all fab-u-lous and you have a few more days to catch them.
1. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at the Bridge Theatre
The season started with Sally Cookson's hugely imaginative interpretation of the CS Lewis classic. We totally ADORED the first half - clever audience collaboration (you are all handed out evacuation slips as you enter the theatre); the leap through the wardrobe into the world of ice and snow is brilliantly done and once there the woodland creatures are warm and funny, the Queen suitably scary. We went into the interval gasping with delight. We didn't enjoy the thawing of winter quite so much though maybe grey old January is the perfect month to celebrate the unstoppable march of Spring. Ages 7+.
To 2 Feb. Click here for tickets.
2. Oi Frog and Friends at the Lyric Shaftesbury Avenue
You only have a couple more days but if you have a child of 3+, head to the West End this weekend. Kenny Wax's new adaptation of Kes Gray and Jim Field's brilliant books about finding a rhyme (and when it's ok not to) is our absolute top pick for little ones. Superbly engaging cast, wonderful puppets, catchy songs, just the right amount of audience interaction, we cannot remember the last time we have seen a picture book adaptation as good as this. Ages 3+.
To 5 Jan. Click here for tickets.
3. The Ocean at the End of the Lane at the Dorfman, National Theatre
It's at the top end of our age range but this new adaptation of Neil Gaman's story is superlatively good. About memory and the tricks it plays, growing up, and the power of imagination, it will entrance kids of 12+ (and their parents). The cast is fantastic - special plaudits to the two young leads - Samuel Blenkin and Marlie Siu; the sets are spare but evocative. It is fast moving fantasy adventure but funny, touching, thoughtful and the perfect level of frightening. Ages 12+.
To 25 Jan. It is sold out for the rest of the run but £20 Friday Rush tickets are available online at 1pm on the Friday of the week preceding performances. £15 Day Tickets are available in person from the Box Office from 9.30am on the day of the performance. 2 tickets per customer. Click here for details.
4. Circus 1903 at the Royal Festival Hall
Roll up, roll up and end the Christmas season with a trip to the circus. The Big Top is at the Festival Hall until Twelfth Night. Step back to 1903 where the spirit of vaudeville is alive and well. Expertly hosted by Ringmaster Willy Whipsnade, grown ups and littles will be wowed by dazzling acrobatics, a lady who can turn herself inside out (literally) and the most touchingly alive puppet elephants. A unique joy of a show. All ages.
To 5 Jan. Click here for tickets.
5. The Boy in the Dress at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon
OK, it's out of town but we adored the RSC's musical adaptation of David Walliams story about a football-mad boy who likes to wear dresses. Tunes from Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers are a Britpop delight and the cast uniformly brilliant (special plaudits to the Dennis we saw, Toby Mocrei) A feel-good story about tolerance, acceptance and love that would make a great weekend outing to start 2020. Ages 7+.
To 8 March. Click here for tickets.