Top 10 shows to take the kids to this half term
Fancy treating your children to a trip to the theatre this school holiday? Here's some tips for the best half term shows
10. Ugly Duckling
The Montgomery, Sheffield, 21 October and then tours
Emma Reeves, the name behind the hit adaptation of Hetty Feather, has created this version of the old fable with theatre company tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal. Expect great puppets in the retelling of the classic tale of a little duck who goes on an adventure to try to fit in. The show tours ahead of a run at The Albany from 4 to 31 December.
Contact Theatre, Manchester 24 to 25 October
The effervescent performance artist, actor and cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat has made a surprising swerve into the world of children's theatre. Duckie is his first foray and it is another riff on Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling. The piece is all about not fitting the mould and set in an animal circus.
8. Princess Charming
Ovalhouse, 24 to 28 October
We love the sound of this show which celebrates boys who like pink and girls who like football. Princess Charming is a cabaret for both boys and girls who like to dressing up and jumping about. Spun Glass' show explores gender stereotypes for kids aged 7 to 11 and sounds like a whole lot of fun.
Unicorn, 21 to 22 October
An intriguing concept from theatremaker Chris Thorpe: this is an adaptation of the original, epic old English poem from 975 AD, re-imagined in a contemporary staging. The show has an immersive metal and electro live soundtrack and it's all directed by Justin Audibert. The show has an age guidance of 8 to 13.
6. Stick Man on tour
artsdepot, 21 to 22 October
Stick Man is an old reliable, but Scamp Theatre is well-known as an excellent interpreter of classic kids books. And this one, about a stick man who gets stuck on a misadventure after heading out for his morning jog, is no exception. A three-strong cast tell the original story with lots of fun and it's on a huge tour so will likely be visiting a theatre near you very soon.
5. The Gruffalo's Child
Nuffield Southampton Theatres, 23 to 28 October
Tall Stories' stage adaptations of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's children's books have been wowing children for over 15 years. Their current tour stops off in Southampton this half term before a West End run this Christmas.
4. Nativity! The Musical
Birminham Repertory Theatre, 20 October to 12 November
We're not quite sure why this is on in October either, but we're glad it is. Christmas isn't Christmas without Debbie Isitt's film starring Martin Freeman. Now you can see it on stage with a cast including Simon Lipkin, Daniel Boys and Sarah Earnshaw.
3. Disney's Fantasia: Live in Concert
Royal Albert Hall, 23 October at 1.30pm and 6.30pm
Here's something a little different for your littl'uns this half term. As part of the Royal Albert Hall's Festival of Film you can watch Walt Disney's original 1940 Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 on a huge screen, with live music from the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
2. The Lorax
Old Vic, 15 October to 5 November
No half term is complete without some puppet-shaped entertainment and David Greig's adaptation of Dr. Seuss's classic tale The Lorax is back at the Old Vic, following its acclaimed run at the venue in 2015. Directed by Max Webster, the production also has choreography by the brilliant Drew McOnie.
Six years after it opened in London's West End, Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly's musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's book is still a favourite for children and adults alike. A new cast including Gina Beck and Tom Edden has just joined too so it's a perfect time to visit (or revisit).