Half-term being upon us, there are some interesting offerings for younger theatre-goers to savour over the coming week. The Rhodes Arts Centre in Bishop's Stortford is going one better with a whole new Children's Theatre Festival between Saturday 24 and Sunday 31 October.

Image Magical Theatre open the event on Saturday afternoon with their sumptuous staging of Beauty and the Beast – light years away from the Disney version. It's a very interactive production, suitable for children from the age of four upwards. For even younger children, One Little Word is a M6 Theatre Company presentation. The script contains just one word and the two performers explore elements of dressing-up, having fun, discovering new objects and taking turns. That's on in the morning and afternoon of 26 October.

The Multi Story Theatre Company base their Clever-Cloggs and the Cunning Princess on a Russian folk tale. It's designed for children between the ages of five and 11 and suggests that there's more to life (even in fiction) than the obvious. There's an afternoon performance on 27 October.

Both the afternoon shows on 30 and 31 October are for children over the age of four. The first is Scamp Theatre's excellent staging of Julia Donaldson's Stick Man (WoS review 8 September). That's followed by the story of Pinnochio, using puppetry, shadow theatre techniques, illusion and improvisation to bring the Collodi story from its early 19th century origins to a 21st century audience.