Family Christmas Shows in London

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The Snowman

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The Snowman
Circus 1903
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Amelie The Musical
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Grandpa's Great Escape
Oi Frog & Friends!
Mary Poppins
Billionaire Boy The Musical
The Paper Dolls
Black Beauty
The Lost Thing
Disney On Ice presents 100 Years of Magic


There are some wonderfully creative shows for families to enjoy this season. From classic fairytales and modern dramas, through to the utterly ridiculous, there's something to keep everyone entertained.

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Sally Cookson presents a dazzling trip to Narnia - The Guardian.

Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Fields Park, London, SE1 2SG

Tube: London Bridge Station


Dates: 09th November - 02nd February 2020


It broke box office records at Leeds Playhouse and now its production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe delivers a "dazzling trip to Narnia" (The Guardian) at the Bridge Theatre this festive season. Based on the novel by C. S. Lewis, the well designed adaptation is directed by Sally Cookson, who was responsible for the Olivier award-winning A Monster Calls at the Old Vic, with clever design by Rae Smith, also responsible for War Horse. Recommended as "a winter extravaganza with pantomime-style audience participation" (The Guardian), it captures the attention as a showy spectacle. Look out for striking visual scenes such as the glacial White Witch who "rises into the air, her dress extending down" (The Times) to cover the whole stage only to disappear, a second later, into a hole in the ground. Theatrical magic.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The National Theatre adapts Neil Gaiman's tale of a magical boyhood this Christmas.

National Theatre: Dorfman, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station


Dates: 03rd December - 25th January 2020


Staging a modern fairytale for those aged 12 and above, the National Theatre adapts Neil Gaiman's 2013 novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, "a tale of a magical boyhood" (Financial Times) by "a master of fear" (The Guardian). This adventure from the creator of Good Omens, American Gods and Coraline is told through the eyes of an adult man looking back at his childhood, when his dad was struggling to make ends meet and his friend Lettie claimed the pond by her house was an ocean. Full of magical realism, this is a tale of sacrifice and loss, told in an exciting, unsettling and thrilling way to those brave enough to face its hidden depths. Josie Walker, who recently starred in Everybody's Talking About Jamie, and Samuel Blenkin, who portrays Scorpius Malfoy in the original West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, star with puppetry by Finn Caldwell (The Elephantom and The Grinning Man).


Amelie The Musical

The uplifting story of a young woman who performs small acts of kindness.

The Other Palace Theatre, 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA

Tube: Victoria Station


Dates: 29th November - 01st February 2020


A musical adaptation of the 2001 Oscar-nominated film starring Audrey Tatou and Matthieu Kassovitz, Amelie The Musical is the story of a unique young woman who uses small acts of kindness to spread a little happiness. But when a chance at love comes her way, Amelie realises that to find her own contentment she'll have to risk everything and say what's in her heart. With music by Hem's Daniel Messe who co-wrote the lyrics with Nathan Tysen and book by Craig Lucas, this new musical adaptation starring French-Canadian stage and screen star Audrey Brisson is directed by Michael Fentiman. Amelie comes to The Other Palace this Christmas following a successful UK tour.


Mary Poppins

Step in Time and make your way to this Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious show.

Prince Edward Theatre, 28 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4HS

Tube: Leicester Square Station , Tottenham Court Road Station, Covent Garden Station, Piccadilly Circus Station


Dates: 23rd October - 29th March 2020


Zizi Strallen stars as the practically perfect Mary Poppins in Cameron Mackintosh's musical production which returns to its original West End home at the Prince Edward Theatre from 23rd October 2019. The actress first caught the director's attention in Matthew Bourne's The Car Man. No stranger to Mary Poppins, Zizi took the title role in a touring version of the show in 2015. Opposite Strallen is Charlie Stemp as Bert, who became an overnight star almost straight from drama school in Half a Sixpence, playing opposite Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly on Broadway. Petula Clark, starring as the Bird Woman, and Joseph Millson as George Banks make a strong cast. So come on everybody, Step in Time and make your way to this Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious show.


Oi Frog & Friends!

Rhyming pairs and animated animals equal fun family entertainment for the over threes.

Lyric Shaftesbury Avenue, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 29th November - 05th January 2020


Fun family entertainment for the over threes, Oi Frog & Friends! is an action-packed play with songs, puppets, laughs and rhymes. The new musical, adapted by Kenny Wax Family Entertainment from Kes Gray and Jim Field's children's picture books, makes its West End premiere at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue this winter. Set in Sittingbottom school, the sing-song rhyming appeal of the book translates to the stage - "Cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, mules sit on stools, gophers sit on sofas and frogs sit on logs". The cast of animal characters includes Frog, the new kid at school, Cat - the prefect - and kindly, helpful Dog who is doing as he's told. But star of the show is Cheetah whose appearance includes a man dressed in fringed tassels, maracas and giant beach balls. In the spirit of Dr. Seuss, this is the most fun you'll have with rhyming pairs this winter.


Circus 1903

Turn-of-the-century circus and elephants imagined by the War Horse puppetry team.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 19th December - 05th January 2020


After a successful run here at the Southbank Centre last year, Circus 1903, returns for Christmas and ringmaster David Williamson brings his much loved acts including the life sized elephants, Peanut and Queenie, with him. These wonderful puppets, created by the team from War Horse, are cleverly animated with humour to give them endearing characters. There's no story, just the good old fashioned thrills and spills of turn-of-the-century entertainment - the golden age of circus - by sew-sawing acrobats, a contortionist, jugglers, a blind-folded knife thrower, high wire performers and, new for 2019, the Brazilian wheel of death. You'll see "gasp-inducing" performers, "like an aerial act in which a burly man treats his partner as if she were a slab of hand-pulled noodles" (New York Times) and those loveable elephants who one lucky child from the audience gets to meet on stage.


Black Beauty

A galloping, five-star triumph - The Guardian.

Southbank Centre: Purcell Room, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 14th December - 05th January 2020


Storytelling, music and puppetry combine in a re-telling of the classic tale of Black Beauty, presented by Red Bridge and Traverse Theatre Company. Anna Sewell's timeless novel is reinvented for a new generation at the Southbank Centrethis winter. Calling it "a galloping, five-star triumph", The Guardian heaps praise on this production and its "stableful of horse-themed gags" and "touching testament to the value of resilience", making it the perfect show for families. Co-creators Andy Cannon and Andy Manley play the wide eyed brothers in the two-handed cast while Shona Reppe (who also created the show) is responsible for the inventive set which turns a record player into a race track and creates horses out of boots.


The Paper Dolls

Julia Donaldson's magical tale about the links between us, for children aged three to six.

New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, London, SW19 1QG

Tube: Wimbledon Station


Dates: 11th December - 05th January 2020


Julia Donaldson's magical tale of a little girl who cuts out a string of paper dolls and goes on a fantastical adventure with them is brought to life at the New Wimbledon Studio Theatre through puppetry and music. Ticky, Tacky, Jackie the Backie and Jim fly through time and tear across worlds of fun and excitement in this new co-production between Little Angel Theatre and Polka Theatre suitable for ages three to six. Our adventurers face a toy dinosaur and the snapping jaws of the oven-glove crocodile but then a boy with very real scissors threatens to snip their adventure short. A touching tale exploring family bonds, sibling rivalry and the links between generations.


Billionaire Boy The Musical

The richest boy in the country starts school at the local comp in search of a friend.

Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH

Tube: Euston Square Station , Euston Station, Warren Street Station


Dates: 14th December - 05th January 2020


Birmingham Stage Company, the award-winning West End producers of Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie, give another one of David Walliams' books the stage treatment with an adaptation of Billionaire Boy at Bloomsbury Theatre. With his own sports car, two crocodiles and 100,000 a week pocket money, Joe Spud is the richest boy in the country. However, what he's missing is a friend. In search of friendship, Joe leaves his posh school and starts at the local comp, but things soon take a turn when he tries to find what money can't buy.


The Snowman

Translating Raymond Briggs' beautifully-illustrated book to dance.

Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HT

Tube: Holborn Station , Covent Garden Station, Temple Station


Dates: 21st November - 05th January 2020


Bill Alexander directs Birmingham Repertory Theatre's musical adaptation of Raymond Briggs' children's story about the airborne adventures of a boy and his frosty friend. This staging of The Snowman by Sadler's Wells, suitable for children aged 4 and over, staged in the Peacock Theatre, 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.


Grandpa's Great Escape Live

David Walliams's book becomes a multi-million pound live show.

SSE Arena, Wembley, Arena Square, Engineers Way, London, HA9 0DH

Tube: Wembley Park Station


Dates: 27th - 28th December 2019


David Walliams's popular kids' book, Grandpa's Great Escape, gets its first ever stage adaptation and tours to UK arenas this Christmas, visiting London's Wembley Arena on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th December. The multi-million pound live show follows the acclaimed television film which aired in December last year on BBC One. The spectacular live arena show is directed by Tony Award nominee Sean Foley and features lavish stage design. As Grandpa's life size Spitfire soars through the air you'll see London landmarks, including Buckingham Palace and the River Thames, recreated from thousands of feet in the sky. Large scale scenes include a tank and a dramatic escape from the Imperial War Museum.


A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens' timeless classic has become a fixture at this time of year at the Old Vic.

Old Vic Theatre, 103 The Cut, London, SE1 8NB

Tube: Waterloo Station , Southwark Station, Lambeth North Station


Dates: 23rd November - 18th January 2020


Paterson Joseph (who has starred in the Peep Show and Green Wing) fills the shoes worn by Stephen Tompkinson and Rhys Ifans before him, playing the curmudgeonly Ebenezer Scrooge in Matthew Warchus' staging of Charles Dickens' timeless classic. A Christmas Carol has become a fixture at this time of year at the Old Vic where Jack Thorne's adaptation is revived for a third year. Dickens' beloved tale is safe in the hands of the Harry Potter playwright who has penned a "superb retelling" (The Guardian). Those familiar with the story will know, four ghosts visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve and shepherd the curmudgeon between past, present and future. Music and cheer abound as Scrooge races against time to thaw his heart in time for yuletide merriment.


The Lost Thing

Ben Wright directs a musical re-imagining of Shaun Tan's beautifully illustrated book.

Linbury Theatre, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 07th December - 04th January 2020


The Royal Opera and Candoco Dance Company combine in this first big family show in the Royal Opera's Linbury Theatre since its refurbishment. Ben Wright directs a musical re-imagining of The Lost Thing, Shaun Tan's beautifully illustrated book first published in 2000 about a boy who helps a lost thing find its way home. When the little boy finds a bizarre-looking creature in the sand he tries in vain to find its owner or home however the boy perseveres in his quest. This new production for Christmas it is brought to life with music, song, drama and dance.


Disney On Ice presents 100 Years of Magic

Disney on Ice celebrates a century with Mickey Mouse and friends.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 26th December - 05th January 2020


A colourful cast of more than 50 Disney characters take part in this show on ice as Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and the Disney Princesses are joined by their friends from The Lion King and Pinocchio, and Disney/Pixar film Toy Story, as they take to the ice for a grand celebration. Produced by Feld Entertainment, this production features Disney stars that span the decades, a sing-along score of award-winning Disney music and beautiful costumes.

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