Children's Theatre in London

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Southbank Centre, The Big Sing

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Southbank Centre, The Big Sing
Lyric Hammersmith
Battersea Arts Centre (BAC)
Southbank Centre, Slava's Snowshow
Battersea Arts Centre (BAC)
Jacksons Lane Theatre
The Little Angel Theatre
Unicorn Theatre


Keep your little ones entertained with a trip to London's family friendly theatres, many of which are dedicated entirely to children.

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The Little Angel Theatre

Puppet theatre in Islington with a wide range of shows and family activities

14 Dagmar Passage, Islington, London, N1 2DN

Tube: Angel Station


The Little Angel Theatre was founded by John Wright in 1961 in a derelict temperance hall in Islington. Every type of puppet is used, and themes, styles and stories are drawn from a wide range of cultural traditions. The company tours throughout the UK and abroad and The Little Angel also has an extensive Education Programme, which works with schools and youth groups. On Saturdays, there is a Puppet Club and family fun days where children can make their own puppets and play with them.


Unicorn Theatre

Britain's first purpose-built theatre for children

147 Tooley Street, More , Bankside, London, SE1 2HZ

Tube: London Bridge Station


This 14 million theatre is the plushest venue for children's plays in the capital. The Unicorn Theatre has two spaces; The Weston Theatre holds 300 people and the Clore Theatre holds 120. The company was founded in 1947, with a mission to create shows for children which are fun, challenging and exciting. The Unicorn also has its own production team, rehearsal studio, meeting rooms and cafe. Past productions include 'Journey to the River Sea', ' Jemima Puddle Duck and Friends' and 'Billy the Kid'.


Jacksons Lane Theatre

A diverse programme of plays, circus acts and cabaret ensures everyone is happy

269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA

Tube: Highgate Station


This multi-arts, theatre and dance venue in Highgate, north London, has a regularly changing programme of live performances including plays, circus and cabaret. They stage lively children's shows which are full of fun, excitement and audience participation. Jacksons Lane's 163-seat theatre is also the venue for classes for young people from circus classes for 10 to 18 year olds to ballet for the under 5s. The Highgate Youth Theatre run classes in creative and imaginative theatre for children aged between 9 and 16, giving them the opportunity to perform in two productions a year.



The only professional arts venue in the London Borough of Barnet

5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, London, N12 0GA

Tube: Woodside Park Station


Artsdepot sits on the site of a former weekly market, and opened in 2004. It features a 400 seat auditorium, 150 seat studio theatre, dedicated gallery and three education spaces. You'll find a little bit of everything here, from drama to children's shows, dance and comedy, as well as a sleek cafe/bar. It's the only dedicated arts venue in this part of London, and offers a mixture of work by local artists and performers, and touring shows.


Southbank Centre

The 1960s-designed riverside arts complex stages a huge choice of theatre, music and dance events

Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Families are spoilt for choice at the Southbank Centre's numerous riverside studios and theatres. The annual Imagine festival, which takes place every February during half-term, is just one of the many events the arts centre lays on especially for children. As well as the many theatre, music and dance performances staged for young people, they have a range of appealing events and exhibitions suitable for the people of all ages all year round, many of which are free. On weekends, London families head to the Southbank and take part in free activities - often staged in the Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall. Head to the Poetry Library on the fifth floor for the nursery rhyme reading area where there are books, audio tapes, games and an exhibition of nursery rhyme posters and postcards.


Polka Children's Theatre

Theatre providing plays for children, and educational workshops in drama, music and crafts

240 The Broadway, London, SW19 1SB

Tube: South Wimbledon Station


The Wimbledon-based Polka Children's Theatre is one of the few venues in the UK which produces and directs work solely for kids. Opened in 1979, the Polka has two theatre spaces and is aimed at children aged 0 to 13. Everything from dramas and comedies are shown here, as well as adaptations of popular stories like We're Going on a Bear Hunt. Some of the works are aimed at children as young as 9 months old. If your baby does start challenging the actors for the audience's attention during the performance, you can simply take them out of the auditorium where you can continue to watch the show on the monitor provided. The Polka offers plenty of family programs and as well as out-of-school clubs and summer schools. Parents will appreciate the child-friendly cafe and a playground complete with a Wendy House and giant cat.



A creative theatre company which also runs children's and youth workshops

Chase Side, Southgate, London, N14 4PE

Tube: Cockfosters Station


The Chickenshed Theatre was founded more than 30 years ago in (you guessed it) a disused chicken shed. Since then, the creative team behind the theatre have unleashed over 100 scripts, recorded over 20 original CDs and finally moved to a permanent, 300 seat theatre in North London. The space also includes a studio theatre, dance studio, fully-equipped recording studio and an open air amphitheatre. The Chickenshed's unique inclusive methods, use dramatisation as a medium to involve children and encourage participation. Chickenshed runs children's and youth theatre workshops, education courses, community outreach projects and a network of satellite 'Sheds' across the country (there's even one in Russia). Since starting in 1974 the company has created and produced more than 1,000 performances ranging from full-scale productions with casts of 250 and more to intimate studio and solo pieces. They've performed at The Royal Albert Hall, Sadler's Wells, the Lyceum Theatre and on television for the BBC as well as at The Queen Mother's 100th birthday.


Lyric Hammersmith

The Lyric has a strong connection with children's theatre, both in workshops and productions

Lyric Square, 2 King Street, London, W6 0QA

Tube: Hammersmith Station


The Lyric Hammersmith is set to continue its investment in young people's theatre with current improvements to their Lyric Square building which will see a sensory space for children with disabilities included in the new look theatre, due to open by February 2014. In addition to their youth theatre training programme, every Saturday the Lyric invites a different children's theatre company into their 100 seat studio to perform. The theatre's cafe is child friendly, they have a gorgeous roof terrace and the Saturday performances often have the added option of buying a ticket to the messy play session after the show. Recent stagings for young people have included Arthur's Dream Boat by the excellent Long Nose Puppets and they staged Cinderella as their Christmas panto, suitable for children from six years up.


Battersea Arts Centre (BAC)

Well-known off-West End theatre and arts venue with a reputation for excellent child-friendly productions

Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TN

Tube: Clapham Common Station


Carrying many of London's best fringe productions, the Battersea Arts Centre is one of the best off-West End theatres and art venues in the capital and it regularly stages child-friendly productions. A Grade II-listed building which was the former town hall, the BAC is now one of the country's biggest arts centres, housing studios and gallery space as well as a theatre. With a reputation for producing innovative and exciting new work, this well-loved Lavender Hill landmark has played host to everything from stand-up comedy to opera.


Discover Children's Story Centre

There are plenty of creative, playing and learning opportunities at this storytelling centre.

383-387 High Street, Stratford, Stratford, London, E15 4QZ

Tube: Stratford Station


Discover is a fantastic storytelling centre in Stratford East. Story Trails and Garden Trails run frequently and vary from carnival costumes to Capoeira moves, from wizards and witches to pirates or plants. Some of the most effective and most used exhibits here are the simplest, such as a dressing up chest, or a puppet theatre. Established in 1998, Discover provides creative, playing and learning opportunities to enable children aged 0 to 11 and their carers to develop their potential. There is also a series of changing exhibitions to enjoy and events at the weekends and during school holidays. It particularly targets families in circumstances of social and economic disadvantage and ensures that children are listened to and can participate in decisions that affect their lives. They also have extensive community, education and training programmes.


Half Moon Young People's Theatre

Excellent youth theatre housed in an old Victorian townhouse.

43 White Horse Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E1 0ND

Tube: Stepney Green Station


This old Victorian warehouse, now the Half Moon Young People's Theatre, boasts a great programme of youth theatre. The main auditorium has a capacity of about 80 and houses a varied programme, with shows from both touring companies and the Half Moon's own productions. Expect lots of family-friendly shows during school holidays and there are also theatre courses for under-17s.



Attractive, multi-cultural, multi-purpose arts centre.

40 High Street, Brentford, London, TW8 0DS

Tube: Kew Gardens Station


An attractive multi-cultural, multi-purpose arts centre on the river in Brentford, Watermans is a real draw in this part of town. The 175-seat theatre shows a wide selection of experimental and innovative productions, the small cinema focuses on international and art-house films, and there is also an art gallery, which mostly exhibits contemporary and multimedia work. Arrive early for whatever you're seeing and enjoy the attractive riverside cafe.

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