Two terrible twins with a talent for turmoil rule their school with terror and tyranny - until the arrival of a new head teacher with green scaly skin, sharp fangs and a long spiky tail... yes, their new teacher is a troll. In this "Simple but cracking storytelling with lots of audience interactivity" (Lyn Gardner, The Guardian) Holly "played with nasty-pixie perfection by Sian Reese-Williams" (The Times) and her "sweeter twin" Sean (Abdul Salis) attempt to save the school from the child-eating troll. By Dennis Kelly, who wrote the book for the hit Matilda The Musical, "this gleefully nasty tale of triumph over adversity" (The Guardian) is great fun theatre for the over-sevens in the vein of Roald Dahl.
Summer Events in London for Families
Dennis Kelly's play is "gleefully nasty" (Guardian) fun for the over-sevens.
Roundabout, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XZ
Dates: 7th June to 18th July 2015
Family friendly prom hosted by CBBC presenters Barney Harwood and Dick and Dom.
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP
Tube: South Kensington Station
Dates: Saturday 18th July 2015 - 6.30pm
Join CBBC presenters Barney Harwood and Dick and Dom for an introduction to some of the greatest pieces of classical music and a celebration of children's responses to them. The programme features excerpts from John Adams's Short Ride In A Fast Machine, Beethoven's Symphony No 5 In C Minor First Movement, Britten's Storm Interlude, Grieg's In The Hall Of The Mountain King, Handel's Zadok The Priest, and Holst's Mars from The Planets for the family-friendly Ten Pieces Prom.
Highly acclaimed stage version of the gangster film, continues until 1st September.
Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, 2 King Street, London, W6 0QA
Tube: Hammersmith Station
Dates: 11th April to 5th September 2015
With Sir Alan Parker giving rare permission for a professional production of his world famous musical Bugsy Malone, this highly acclaimed stage version of the gangster film reopened the Lyric Hammersmith in April 2015 after a £16.5 million redevelopment. Transforming the stage into Fat Sam's speakeasy, Olivier Award-winning director Sean Holmes brings the loving musical pastiche of the 1920s Chicago gangsters-and-molls' scene to life. "Children are the stars of Sean Holmes's ebullient, sassy, grab-you-by-the-tear-ducts production" writes Susannah Clapp in The Guardian, praising "the big sweep" of Drew McOnie's choreography and "smart touches" like the "gleaming, foot-pedalled car" and "the face of a pocket-sized, swanking star". In short, this is "razzmatazz perfection" as The Telegraph theatre critic Dominic Cavendish puts it.
Mike Kenny's Olivier Award-winning adaptation reclaims the text from romantic notions and frilly petticoats.
King's Cross Railway Station, Euston Road, London, N1 9AP
Tube: King's Cross Station
Dates: 16th December 2014 to 6th September 2015
Mike Kenny's Olivier Award-winning adaptation of The Railway Children, staged at Waterloo three years ago, is now arriving at King's Cross Theatre. E Nesbitt's classic tale is specially adapted for the railway setting by Mike Kenny. A highlight of this site specific theatrical production in which the three children are forced to make do after their father's false imprisonment is a real steam locomotive, Silver Stirling, whose steam and noise certainly adds to the atmospheric setting. When the show premiered at the National Railway Museum, York, in the summer of 2008 it was described as "pretty spectacular" (The Guardian) with Kenny's "unsentimental adaptation" praised for reclaiming the text from romantic notions and frilly petticoats, returning to Nesbit's original Fabian message. The rest of the station has been put to good use too - while you're waiting for the play to start, you can browse an exhibition all about E Nesbit's original book, the history of the railways, the Railway Children Charity, and the play's Yorkshire setting. The train now departing from platform 5 may not be bound for Paris but it promises just as much drama and excitement - and a tear jerking climatic final scene.
Opera Holland Park's adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic children's story.
Holland Park Theatre, Holland Park, London, W8 6LU
Dates: 16th July to 1st August 2015 - 3pm-5.30pm
The City of London Sinfonia accompany an opera adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic children's story, featuring Fflur Wyn as the title character. A highlight of Opera Holland Park in 2013, the specially commissioned family opera based on Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with music by Will Todd, is revived for a third year. After the huge success of The Fantastic Mr Fox - staged as part of the opera festival for three consecutive years - this summer sees the return of the hour-long family opera, a site-specific production directed by Martin Duncan, designed by Leslie Travers and conducted by Stuart Stratford. Let's hope last year's strong cast, led by Fflur Wyn as Alice, returns. Tickets are only £3 for children and £8 for adults.
Jacqueline Wilson's much loved story follows Hetty after she escapes from the Foundling Hospital.
Duke of York's Theatre, St Martins Lane, London, WC2N 4BG
Dates: 6th August to 6th September 2015
Jacqueline Wilson's Hetty Feather is brought to life on the Duke of York's Theatre stage this summer following a successful first run at the Rose Theatre in Kingston in April last year. Phoebe Thomas reprises the role of Hetty Feather, a Victorian girl who embarks on a search to find her real mother, in this adaptation by scriptwriter Emma Reeves - known for CBBC's The Story of Tracy Beaker. The story follows Hetty after she escapes from the Foundling Hospital and follows her adventures from a squirrel house to the streets of Victorian London as she searches for her real mother. A terrific Olivier Award nominated adaptation of a much loved story.
Kids are free at London's top West End shows throughout August.
The West End, , Soho, London, WC2H 7BP
Dates: 1st to 31st August 2015
It's now over a decade since the excellent idea of Kids Week was first conjured up. A truly inspired summer treat for families, Theatreland is available for free to excitable tots and teens for the whole month of August. Children aged 5 to 16 years can see an awesome selection of dazzling West End hits gratis - as long as an adult pays the full price - and another two children can go half price. Tickets for the most popular shows go fast, so it's best not to make any promises until you've booked. Aside from the shows themselves, there's a whole raft of free children's activities. Kids can peek backstage, participate in workshops, dabble with make-up, learn to dance, scribble a few lines in writing classes and even sing with the cast. It's a fantastic initiative and one which can only inspire kids' enthusiasm for the stage in later life.
A unique, 50 seat floating puppet theatre for children as young as three.
83 Petersham Road, Opposite Terrace Gardens, London, TW10 6UT
Tube: Richmond Station
The Puppet Barge Theatre moves to its Richard mooring once again for summer 2015, with three productions suitable for a range of ages taking place across the two months. Children as young as three are invited to hop on board the brightly coloured barge for The Three Pigs and the Wolf, a lively version of the Three Little Pigs with the addition of Captain Grimey, the dirtiest sea captain in the world. Suitable for the family down to three and four year olds, Fowl Play is a farmyard adventure with music composed by Oscar winning Stephen Warbeck. For families with older children, End Games is suitable for anyone 14 and over and uses puppetry, poetry and music to create a marionette production based on the verse of poet Finuala Dowling.
Events at Puppet Theatre Barge
25th July to 9th August 2015
A double bill of performances of The Three Pigs and Captain Grimey, the dirtiest, most miserable, one-legged sea captain in the world. Both shows are performed on the Puppet Barge which moves to its Richmond ...more
12th August to 27th September 2015
Suitable for the entire family, down to three and four year olds, Fowl Play is a farmyard adventure staged at the Puppet Theatre Barge when it moves to its Richmond mooring this summer. In the ...more
22nd August to 26th September 2015
Suitable for those 14 and over, End Games at the Puppet Theatre Barge is a marionette production based on the delicate verse of poet Finuala Dowling, which are an exploration of the ageing process. Audiences ...more
Ali McGregor's Jazzamatazz! and Monski Mouse's Baby Disco are among the family friendly shows.
London Wonderground Spiegeltent, Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX
Dates: 7th May to 27th September 2015
Each summer, from May to September, a Speigeltent is set up in the shadow of the Southbank Centre, to host the wierd and wonderful London Wonderground circus and cabaret acts. Family friendly shows at London Wonderground in 2015 include Ali McGregor's Jazzamatazz! (11th - 19th July 2015, 12noon), Boris and Sergey: Origins (20th June until 5th July 2015, 2pm), Brat Kids Carnival (29th July to 2nd August 2015, 2pm), James Bustar: Hilarious Antics and Mayhem (11th - 25th July 2015, 2pm), Monski Mouse's Baby Disco Dance Hall (3pm on Sunday afternoons between 10th May and 27th September 2015) and Shlomo's Beatbox Adventure for Kids on 31st August 2015 at 3pm, brilliant beatboxing all the family will enjoy, no matter what their age.
The Royal Shakespeare Company's musical thrills and delights both adults and children alike.
Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street, Seven Dials, Soho, London, W1D 7DY
Dates: 18th October 2011 to 29th May 2016 - Various Times
The Royal Shakespeare Company's multiple award-winning musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's celebrated children's book Matilda is a big hit at the Cambridge Theatre in London's West End. Directed by Matthew Warchus and adapted by seasoned playwright Dennis Kelly and the award-winning Australian musical comedian Tim Minchin, Matilda puts its child stars at the heart of the show. Described by WhatsOnStage as "a piece which is by turns riotously funny and gut-wrenchingly poignant", the much praised production - which tells the story of a special little girl with an extraordinary imagination - lives up to expectations and thrills and delights both adults and children alike. Book tickets now to see Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre London. Back when it first opened in London in 2011 Telegraph theatre critic Charles Spencer gave Matilda five stars, claiming it was "the best British musical since Billy Elliot that will surely be the toast of the West End. I predict that this show will be unstoppable."
Sam Mendes directs this sweet treat of a musical exploring the wonderful world of Wonka.
Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5JF
Dates: 22nd May 2013 to 4th June 2016
Nominated for a staggering seven gongs in the 2014 Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tells the heart-warming tale of Charlie Bucket and his fortunate discovery of a life-changing golden ticket. First we meet his poverty stricken but happy family, his four grandparents huddled together for warmth in one double bed and his parents struggling to feed the family. The tale takes a dramatic turn when Charlie pulls back the wrapper of his favourite chocolate bar to reveal the coveted ticket. This much loved Roald Dahl story was revived in a Tim Burton movie starring Johnny Depp, and now makes the bold move from screen to stage in a critically acclaimed production directed by Sam Mendes, with original music from Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. A huge West End hit since May 2013 Theatre Royal Drury Lane is filled with "dazzling light displays and projections" (The Telegraph), a surreal mix of giant lollipops and human blueberries. But "by far the greatest fun is to be had from the Oompa Loompas," says The Telegraph. "They alone are worth the price of admission." Tickets for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are on sale now. After the successful transition of Dahl's Matilda The Musical to the West End, this equally joyous and bizarre Dahl tale has become another success story for the British author behind classic children's books including The BFG and James and the Giant Peach.
Free, family-friendly annual celebration of Asian music and culture.
Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, London, W3 8LQ
Tube: Acton Town Station
Dates: Sunday 30th August 2015
The London Mela in Gunnersbury Park is a wonderful celebration of Asian music and culture which always draws a big crowd - 80,000 visitors attended last year - with its line-up of British Asian music, Bollywood figures and traditional and classical performances. Entertainment is spread over nine zones, all showcasing different types of music with urban, classical and experimental music, DJs, circus and comedy as well as dance, arts and a Magic Mela family area. There will also be a fun fair and hundreds of stalls selling food and crafts, all of which makes the London Mela a magnet for a multitude of Londoners out for a good time.
Go on a bus or tube simulator and listen to free storytelling.
Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7BB
Tube: Covent Garden Station
The London Transport Museum has more than 80 buses and trains, from horse-drawn trams to steam trains, showing how public transport in the city has changed over the last two centuries. But the Covent Garden musuem also lays on some excellent summer holiday activities for young children (free when accompanied by a paying adult). Drop in for free storytime (suitable for families with children aged 3 to 7) on various themes or climb into the new All Aboard play zone.
Events at London Transport Museum
15th May to 6th September 2015 | Free, plus admission £16, concs £13.50, under 18s/TFL staff Free, under 12s must be accompanied by a paying adult
1st February to 31st August 2015 | £16 (Adults), £13.50 (Concessions), Free (Children 17 & Under)
Tuesday 14th July 2015 - 7pm-8pm | £10, concs £8
Stand-up from a self-confessed obsessive enthusiast of the Tube, who is trying to become the Guinness World Record holder for travelling in the fastest time around the whole of the Underground.
Thursday 23rd July 2015 - 7.30pm-9.30pm | Free
Splashing fun on the South Bank during the summer.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX
Dates: 2nd June to 27th September 2015
To the art world Jeppe Hein's 'Appearing Rooms' is a delightful mix of sculpture and architecture, playing with the viewers perception of solid forms. To the many kids and families who flock to the South Bank in the summer, the Danish artist's water jets provide a great way to cool off, dashing in and out of the unpredictable spurts of water. Watch for a few minutes and you'll soon be tempted to join in, especially on a hot day. As the 'walls' of water which return to the usual spot outside the Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall appear and disappear you can try walking through the 'rooms' without getting wet - chances are you won't manage it but it's fun trying.
Children can cool off in the circular fountain in Hyde Park.
Hyde Park, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH
Tube: Knightsbridge Station
The £3.6 million Princess Diana Memorial Fountain is a stunning creation, and a suitable tribute to The People's Princess. A great ring of Cornish granite, through which the water swirls and twists in both directions, surrounds a complex, contoured water feature. In marked contrast to many public monuments, this is unobtrusively beautiful and in perfect harmony with its surroundings. Bring the kids' costumes and let them get wet. Staff are on hand throughout the summer to ensure that children messing about in the water do not injure themselves. A wonderful way to entertain the little ones when it's hot, hot, hot. You can try the Serpentine Lido and cafe next door, or go to the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion for art and tea afterwards.
Nine day festival of street performances, art and dancing in the streets.
Greenwich, , London, SE10 9HF
Tube: North Greenwich Station
Dates: 26th June to 5th July 2015
The whole of Greenwich comes alive for the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, a nine day free festival of street performances, art and dancing in the streets. The festival always opens with an epic outdoor spectacular and this year highly regarded French street theatre company La Compagnie Oposito performs on the opening weeked presenting the UK premiere of Kori Kori, a processional theatrical journey through Greenwich. Other highlights include Southpaw Dance Company with their choreographed fairground Carousel, slackrope walker Stefano di Renzo, and Stopgap Dance Company who pay tribute to Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, all part of the two-day Greenwich Fair. In addition, over in Bethnal Green Gardens, 451 is a spectacular, immersive show, inspired by Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.
Pif-Paf Theatre Company and Scarabeus Aerial Theatre perform free shows.
Various Venues London, , City, London, W1J 9LN
Tube: North Greenwich Station
Dates: 22nd June to 13th July 2015
The City of London Festival, a summer programme of music, visual arts, film, walks and talks all across the City, has plenty of family fun to keep children of all ages entertained. In 2015 the Pif-Paf Theatre Company and Scarabeus Aerial Theatre perform free shows in the newly revamped Broadgate Circle. Hampstead Heath Family Day brings samba drummers and gospel choirs to the bandstand on Parliament Hill on Sunday 28th June. And the Children's Parade which runs from Guildhall Yard via Cheapside and Paternoster Square to the steps of St Paul's Cathedral on Friday 10th July is an annual festival highlight and follows a 'Myths and Legends' theme this year.
1st July 2015
IN THIS ARTICLE
Paines Plough - Our Teacher's A Troll
Prom 2: Ten Pieces Prom
The Railway Children
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Will Todd
Hetty Feather (Over 7s)
Puppet Theatre Barge
Matilda The Musical
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
London Transport Museum
Jeppe Hein: Appearing Rooms
Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain
Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
City of London Festival
Summer in London
Summer Music Festivals in London
Wimbledon Themed Events in London
Summer Food Festivals in London
London Summer Pop Ups and Events
Summer Events in London for Families
Outdoor Film Screenings in London
Summer Theatre in London
Summer Art in London
Summer on London's South Bank
Summer at Kensington Museums
Summer in Greenwich
Summer in Bloomsbury
London Summer Food Festivals
Summer at the Barbican
The Best London Beer Gardens
A Traditional London Picnic
Al Fresco Food Spots in London
Summer Swimming in London
London's Summer 2015 Hotel Deals
- Summer Music Festivals in London
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