Top Five: Shows for Half Term WeekDate: 25 October 2011
It’s half term week and the weather’s looking dubious, which can only mean one thing: time to treat the kids to one of the West End’s brilliant range of family-friendly shows.
Extra matinee performances for many shows have been added this week, making it the perfect time to visit fantastic productions such as these...
SHREK THE MUSICAL
The far off land of Duloc is brought to life by the magical cast who will keep children (and adults) entertained from start to finish. The fairytale is adapted from the Oscar-winning 2001 film and retains all the classic adventures of Shrek (Nigel Lindsay) and his loveable sidekick Donkey (Richard Blackwood). Lord Farquaad (Nigel Harman) plays the token villain; trying to steal the heart of Princess Fiona, played by Girls Aloud’s Kimberly Walsh who makes her West End debut in the show.
Matinee shows this week: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3pm.
THE WIZARD OF OZ
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new stage version of the classic Oscar-winning movie has been a hit with audiences since it opened in February.
Much-loved songs such as "Over the Rainbow", "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" and "We’re Off to See the Wizard" all feature in the show, which follows Dorothy and her journey across the Emerald City with companions Tin Woodsman, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow.
And Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice have added some new songs to the show which help its transition from screen to stage.
Starring Danielle Hope, the winner of the BBC’s search for Dorothy Over the Rainbow, and the original Phantom, Michael Crawford as the Wizard of Oz, this show is a must-see for children of all ages. All the magical and iconic scenes from the movie are here as well as some new surprises.
Matinee shows this week: Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 2.30pm. Sunday at 3pm.
MATILDA THE MUSICAL
After a sold out, critically acclaimed run in Stratford-upon-Avon last year, Matilda begins preview performances in the West End this week.
Roald Dahl's much-loved story bursts into life on stage in this brand new musical version where children and adults will be thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.
Matinee show this week: Saturday at 2.30pm
THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
When father mysteriously disappears at Christmas, Roberta, Peter and Phyllis leave London for a new life in the Kent countryside. Discovering a railway at the end of the garden is just the first step to many adventures!
The show won the 2011 Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Set Design and is certain to inspire the imagination of children, showing in the former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo Station until 8 January 2012.
Matinee shows this week: Tuesday – Sunday at 2.30pm
Wicked tells the untold tale of the witches of Oz and what exactly happened before Dorothy arrived.
Beautiful, popular and ambitious Glinda meets green-skinned, fiery and misunderstood Elphaba at Shiz University. The two are unlikely friends but this story, based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, explains how their friendship, self belief and determination lead them to becoming Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West.
Having just celebrated its 5th birthday, Wicked proves that it's as popular as ever after winning two Whatsonstage.com Awards in 2010 and 2011 for Best West End show and an Olivier Award in 2010 for Most Popular Show. This show is certainly not to be missed this half term.
Matinee shows this week: Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm
- Kieran Johnson