Must-See Kids Shows This Summer

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show tours the UK this spring

London is a city rich in culture, and our theatreland boasts such a range of shows there’s something to please everyone, even the youngest members of the family. Belle About Town rounds up the must see kids shows on a stage near you this summer.

The Tiger Who Came To Tea

Who hasn’t delighted in a child’s wide eyes when you read them The Tiger Who Came To Tea? Well the tea-guzzling tiger is on the road and visiting London in June with this delightful family show, based on the book by Judith Kerr. My son saw this last year and has been counting down the days until its return with a level of anticipation matched only by Christmas or birthdays. Packed with oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs, and clumsy chaos, this is a stunning stage adaptation of the classic tale of teatime mayhem. More here.

The Gruffalo & The Gruffalo’s Child

The Deep Dark Wood-based classic is back in town for another run from the end of June. Join Mouse on a daring adventure as he goes in search of nuts in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of the classic book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the party mad Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there? Songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3 and up and their grown-ups, in the much-loved show that’s toured Britain and the world! More here.

And if you haven’t had your Gruffalo fill by the end of the year, the sequel show The Gruffalo’s Child will run at London’s Lyric theatre in the West End from November until January. A perfect alternative to panto! More here.

The Scarecrows Wedding

And if your Donalson desires still need fuelling, head down to the Rose Theatre in Kingston in June. Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay are a modern day Romeo and Juliet, but will they get together everything they need for their wedding day so they can get hitched, without a hitch? Well, it looks doubtful, to be honest. This Scamp Theatre adaptation of the best-selling books promises wit, drama and wedding bells, all in a 55 minute show. Following on from the success of their Tiddler and other tales show,  Scamp are leaders in their field of bringing kids’ books to life on stage. More here.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar has delighted generations of readers since it was first published in 1969, selling more than 43 million copies worldwide (a large proportion to members of my family, I’m sure). And now the timeless classic has made its way off the page and onto the stage, making it one of the must-see kids shows this spring. Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, the critically acclaimed production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show features a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets, faithfully adapting four of Carle’s stories, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course, the star of the show – The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The props and costumes are astonishing in their intricacy and a sight to behold indeed. More here.

In The Night Garden

Can you believe Iggle Piggle is ten years old? Us neither! But he is, and so’s Upsy Daisy (or so she says) and to celebrate their bringing the fantastic In The Night Garden Live tour back to London this summer. Staged in its own specially made showdome, this production is a must-see for kids who rely on the lullaby theme tune as a cue for bed each night. Having taken my son three years running, he’s now outgrown it, which is why I’m glad his two-year-old sister is just the right age, and I can see it again! More here. And save £5 off your booking by using Belle About Town’s unique code EARLY64D at the checkout.

What The Ladybird Heard

The fantastical farmyard caper What The Ladybird Heard features two crafty robbers, one tiny ladybird, and a whole heap of fun! Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they haven’t anticipated the sheer cunning of the tiniest, quietest creature of all: the Ladybird. The star of the show has a plan of her own! Parents familiar with the tongue-twisting tale will be relieved to hear somebody else is telling the story as the book makes its transition to the stage. New for 2017, this production will run at the Lyric in Shaftesbury Avenue from July to September. More here.

A Strange New Space 

Running at Hammersmith’s Lyric Theatre in April, this is  a surefire hit for kids aged 4 – 10 about the life changing adventure of a space-obsessed young girl. Amira must leave her home and her imagination catapults her into an intergalactic voyage that mirrors her real life journey as a refugee. The Lyric runs a full season of kids shows alongside this must-see. More here.

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

As a child, I remember Michael Rosen visiting our school and telling his rhyming story to a hall full of under-10s with such passion we were all mesmerised. And now, *cough* years later, the awards-winning book is brought vividly and noisily to the stage in director Sally Cookson’s fun-filled adaptation set to Benji Bower’s versatile lively score. Join the  intrepid adventurers on their quest to find a bear; as they wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud! Expect catchy songs, interactive scenes and plenty of hands-on adventure! I (and my four-year-old) can’t wait. More here.


Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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