The Roundhouse in Camden has announced that this Christmas it will be presenting festive family theatre shows for the first time. Two productions, Jelly Bean Jack, for children 3-years-old and upwards, and Them With Frozen Tails, for the 5-pluses, will be showing in the London venue’s intimate Studio Theatre from 5 December to 3 January and 15 December to 3 January respectively.

Jelly Bean Jack is a Little Angel production, directed by the Islington theatre’s artistic director, Peter Glanville. Involving both shadow and ‘table top’ puppetry, the show tells the familiar story of Jack and the Beanstalk in an innovative way. This Roundhouse run follows the production’s premiere at the Islington venue - known as ‘the home of British puppetry’ - in February 2008.

Them With Frozen Tails is the season’s show for slightly older children, bringing together seasonal stories from around the world and featuring audience interaction in the creation of a unique new story at every performance. Brought to the Roundhouse by Tall Stories, the team behind The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, this show is a festive reworking of the much praised Them With Tails.

In a statement to WOS, Marcus Davey, the Roundhouse's CEO and artistic director, explained why the venue, better known for high profile gigs, circus acts and edgy theatre work, is venturing into family entertainment this Christmas: “I have always wanted us to present work for children in our Studio Theatre, which is a beautiful small space. This is mainly because I can see that children love being in a theatrical environment and it is good to get them started early feeling that going to the theatre can be a normal part of life. Also, we work with 11 to 25-year-olds in the Roundhouse Studios and I wanted children and young people to see the Roundhouse as a place they could trust, become involved with and simply have a joyous time here”.

The Roundhouse settled on Jelly Bean Jack and Them With Frozen Tails for this inaugural family season because behind the two shows are “well established companies producing very high quality work for children. We looked at a wide range of work but felt that these two companies and these two shows were the best for what we wanted this year. I am delighted that they are already selling well.”