The Gruffalo is a classic that kiddies just love and a popular Christmas outing, returning to the London stage for the sixth year running. The loveable little mouse will once again be taking a 'stroll through the deep, dark wood'. Threatened by various predators, a snake, an owl and a gruffalo with ''terrible tusks and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws'', the mouse outwits them all. The plot is enchanting and is told by Tall Stories with a winning simplicity. The cast of three manage to transform the Lyric Theatre stage with remarkably few props and a host of infectiously catchy songs, not to mention some superb dance routines and non-stop drama. Many of the memorable lines become catchphrases and are repeated throughout the show in a bid to appeal to the innate 'again, again' approach favoured by children. By the end of the show they can raucously join in with their favourite bits. "A fine piece of children's theatre," says The Sunday Times; "Monstrous fun," says The Daily Mail. Recommended for children aged 3 and above.
Family Christmas Shows in London
The loveable little mouse returns to the West End.
Lyric Shaftesbury Avenue, Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, London, W1D 7ES
Dates: 20th November 2013 to 12th January 2014
Raymond Briggs' famous Christmas story returns to the Lyric for Chrismas 2013.
Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, 2 King Street, London, W6 0QA
Tube: Hammersmith Station
Dates: 22nd November 2013 to 4th January 2014
Following last year's sell-out success, Raymond Briggs' famous Christmas story returns to the Lyric for Chrismas 2013. Created by the London-born author and illustrator in 1973, Briggs' Father Christmas is as enchanting as it was 40 years ago, portraying Santa as a rather grumpy, discontented figure. In this adaptation presented by Pins and Needles the popular children's tale is told using puppet theatre and live music to create a wonderful seasonal outing for those under 6. Barry McCarthy, who plays the lead as, "a homely, flesh and blood old chap who snores, feels cold, goes to the loo..." (The Stage), reprises his role as Father Christmas.
The classic tale of reversed fortunes is modernised, for ages 6 and over.
Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, More , Bankside, London, SE1 2HZ
Tube: London Bridge Station
Dates: 26th November 2013 to 5th January 2014
Nominated for an Olivier Award in 2013, Cinderella: A Fairytale, a co-production from the Unicorn, Travelling Light and the Tobacco Factory Theatre comes to the Unicorn Theatre for Christmas 2013. A rich man's beloved wife dies, and his daughter mourns her with a deep-seated grief in this modern take on the fairy tale, with a script by Adam Beck and direction from Sally Cookson. The girl's father takes on another wife, leading to truly frosty relations and resulting in the girl's only friends being the magical woodland birds.
Loved by children and adults alike, this festive tale returns for its annual sob-fest.
Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, London, WC2A 2HT
Dates: 27th November 2013 to 5th January 2014
This staging of Raymond Briggs's The Snowman by Sadlers Wells, suitable for children aged 4 and over, has become a much-loved festive tradition in London. Translating the beautifully-illustrated book to dance, the respected ballet company creates a winter wonderland of a stage show at their West End theatre. This is the theatrical equivalent of going to see Father Christmas except infinitely more spectacular as a young boy's snowman comes to life and the two of them fly across the sky. When Father Christmas does appear it's in a shimmering woodland, surrounded by magical reindeer, dancing penguins and a host of snowy friends. As the first notes of Walking in the Air fill the theatre, the heart-melting factor will not disappoint as awe-struck children (and adults) are mesmerised by the dazzling light show of snow.
Children aged 3 and above can get up close to amazingly life-like dinosaurs.
Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road, Soho, London, WC2H 0JP
Dates: 27th November 2013 to 12th January 2014
Following a hugely successful nationwide tour, including a one-month summer season at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Dinosaur Zoo heads to London's West End for a Christmas run at the Phoenix Theatre. Erth's Dinosaur Zoo, featuring a cast of large-scale Australian dinosaur puppets, brings the amazingly life-like creatures back from extinction through electronics and theatrics. Children aged 3 and above can get up close to the dinosaurs which have been developed in consultation with palaeontologists, so they're as close to the real thing as you can get. Will you be brave enough to get up close to these teeth-gnashing prehistoric creatures?
The National Theatre presents a brand new family production for the over 7s.
National Theatre: Olivier Theatre, South Bank, South Bank, London, SE1 8XZ
Dates: 25th November 2013 to 20th February 2014
The National Theatre's Olivier stage presents a new family production suitable for everyone aged 7 and over this Christmas, Emil and the Detectives, which continues the National's recent tradition in family theatre led by War Horse and His Dark Materials. An adventurous version of Erich Kastner's book, the play follows a young boy as he journeys alone through 1920s Berlin. A place full of surprises and danger, Emil soon discovers that he's not alone and despite having his wallet stolen begins to learn the kindness of strangers.
Michael Rosen's poems and live music for the over 7s.
Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD
Tube: South Kensington Station
Dates: 5th, 6th and 7th December 2013
Centrally Heated Knickers takes the book of poems by legendary children's poet Michael Rosen and marries it with live music by the Homemade Orchestra who have dreamed up a sound world to ignite and enthuse children about science. Directed by Tony Graham, former artistic director of the Unicorn Theatre, the show at the Science Museum's IMAX Theatre features original music and promises to take children and their families on a theatrical exploration of everyday science. "Something exciting happens when you create hybrid forms, when you start marrying poetry with music," says Michael Rosen who always manages to make words exciting. Put on your curious goggles for this compelling new production which takes you beyond time and space into worlds of songs, grooves and flights of musical fancy. Ages 7 and above.
A treasure hunt of epic proportions for 6 to 11 year olds.
Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TN
Tube: Clapham Common Station
Dates: 6th December 2013 to 4th January 2014
Following the success of The Good Neighbour (nominated for Best Production for Young People in the 2012 Off West End Awards) last year, Battersea Arts Centre's magical, interactive show for 6 to 11 year olds and their families returns this Christmas. Described as a "local-history-themed treasure hunt for children and adults" by Lyn Gardner writing in The Guardian, the show is "a treasure hunt of epic proportions that scares, amuses, excites and challenges" (Telegraph). Younger members of the family (aged 6 to 11) can enjoy an adventure inspired by the local area where they get to meet George Neighbour, the man who became a hero a few days before Christmas over one hundred years ago. An exciting adventure full of festive wonder.
An enchanting family opera for ages 5 and over.
Linbury Studio Theatre, Bow Street, Covent Garden, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD
Dates: 7th December 2013 to 4th January 2014
Based on stories from Ted Hughes's popular book for children, The Dreamfighter And Other Creation Tales, this enchanting family opera for ages 5 and over has been composed by Julian Philips and librettist Edward Kemp. The Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio Theatre will be transformed into a magical world by director Natalie Abrahami and designer Tom Scutt as a diverse ensemble of singers and musicians bring to life witty and irreverent tales.
A charming family tale about a little girl and her ghost-elephant friend.
National Theatre, South Bank, South Bank, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX
Dates: 9th December 2013 to 11th January 2014
A tale of a little girl and her ghost-elephant friend, The Elephantom by Ross Collins is a charming family tale. Running in The Shed throughout the Christmas period, the play focuses on a little girl who is at first delighted to have her larger-than-life friend living with her - he makes everything so much fun! However, it doesn't take long before she starts to realise that Elephantoms are simply too big for houses and he starts to get into all sorts of trouble. Through clever puppetry and theatrical ingenuity, Ben Power successfully adapts this story for the stage.
A showdown between Spring and Winter, Snow Play is ideal for children aged between 3 and 7.
Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1H 0AH
Dates: 10th December 2013 to 11th January 2014
Following a sell-out run at the Lyric Hammersmith for Christmas 2010 and a run at the Pleasance during the 2011 Edinburgh Festival, Lyngo Theatre's interactive show 'Snow Play' comes to the Bloomsbury Theatre from 10th December 2013 to 11th January 2014. A showdown between Spring and Winter, the show which is ideal for children aged between 3 and 7, asks "What would you do if one year Winter decided to stay and moved into your house?". Snow is guaranteed at this frosty show where Mr Green comes back from holiday to find Mr White in his house. It's interactive so the audience can get involved too, making a snowman and joining in with a massive snowball fight. Fun!
Delightful dramatisation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's picture book.
ABOUT TALL STORIES
The live version is brought to the stage by Tall Stories who have already successfully adaptated Donaldson/Scheffler books The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom for the stage. This latest production runs at
St James Theatre, 12 Palace Street, Westminster, London, SW1E 5JA
Tube: Victoria Station
Dates: 10th December 2013 to 5th January 2014
A favourite with young readers, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's picture book, The Snail and the Whale about an unlikely pairing and an incredible journey, comes to life on stage. In this latest adaptation a father-daughter relationship transforms the book from page to stage. Absent at sea, the father records and recalls his daughter's favourite book so she won't miss him while he's away. It's an enchanting tale, told through music played by the on-stage narrator - an older version of the young girl - on violin, clever use of props and occasional interactive elements. Particular highlights inlcude the volcano and the whale itself. There are interactive parts which children love (she's behind you!) and a penguin 'song' which everyone can join in with. A wonderful stage adaptation which, if possible, improves on an already cherished children's book. Ages 4
A little girl receives an extra special Christmas present from her dad.
Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH
Tube: Chalk Farm Station
Dates: 10th December 2013 to 5th January 2014 - Various Times
Based on the story by Toby Mitchell, My Brother The Robot is the latest show from Tall Stories, the Olivier Award nominated company that brought you The Gruffalo, How the Giraffe got its Neck, and Twinkle Twonkle. The story is a timely one as it comes to the Roundhouse Studio Theatre at Christmas, as it follows a little girl called Bobbie who receives an extra special Christmas present from her dad who is an inventor. Bobbie has everything she needs, except someone to play with, so her kind dad builds her a robot little brother. This futuristic story is told through music, storytelling and lots of laughs. Suitable for children aged 4 and over.
A madcap, mischievous show at the Barbican for children aged 4 and over.
Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City, London, EC2Y 8DS
Dates: 12th to 29th December 2013 - Various Times
Inventive London theatre company Told by an Idiot has taken inspiration from the work of Charlie Chaplin, Dr Seuss and Pina Bausch for Get Happy, a madcap, mischievous show for younger children aged 4 and over. A festive family outing, the play promises to take audiences on a voyage of discovery through mysterious noises and the strangest egg sandwich you've ever seen. Well known for their clever combining of performance, dance, music and visual comedy, a new show from Told by an Idiot is sure to be a treat.
BOING! captures the delirious excitement of waiting for Santa to arrive, for over 3s.
Sadler's Wells: Lilian Baylis Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 4TN
Tube: Angel Station
Dates: 20th December 2013 to 5th January 2014
Set on Christmas Eve, BOING! captures the delirious excitement of waiting for Santa to arrive on the most magical night of the year, making it an enchanting family show that everyone over 3 will enjoy. A collaborative dance-theatre work from Travelling Light and Bristol Old Vic, with Champloo founders Wilkie Branson and Joel Daniel performing, transforming their bed into a trampoline, and performing comedic and acrobatic skills, and break-dancing. Children's theatre specialist Sally Cookson directs.
13th December 2013
IN THIS ARTICLE
The Gruffalo: Tall Stories
Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas
Cinderella: A Fairytale
Emil And The Detectives
Centrally Heated Knickers
The Good Neighbour
How The Whale Became
The Snail And The Whale: Tall Stories
My Brother The Robot: Tall Stories
Get Happy: Told By An Idiot
BOING!: Travelling Light & Bristol Old Vic
Christmas in London
Christmas Lights in London
London Ice Skating
London Christmas Markets and Fairs
Christmas Shopping in London
London Christmas Carols
Christmas Grottos in London
Christmas Trees in London
London Christmas Shows, Pantos & Attractions
Christmas and Boxing Day in London
New Year's Eve in London
Christmas Restaurant Booking in London
Christmas Hotels in London
- Christmas Lights in London
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London 2013 The Annual
The best London events, openings, anniversaries & experiences for 2013, from LondonTown.com
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