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From Dahl to Dinosaurs - five summer shows for all the family

The past ten years has seen a sharp rise in family and kids shows in the West End and beyond. Here (in no particular order) we take a look at some of the current and upcoming options

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Sam Mendes' blockbuster production of this new musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's book premieres at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane tonight (25 June 2013). With magical sets and music from Marc Shaiman, plus the classic "Pure Imagination", the show stars Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka (aided by his faithful Oompa-Loompas a host of eye-popping effects) and is sure to delight kids of all ages. Take it from me, the slogan 'it must be believed to be seen' proves true...

Matilda the Musical

Another Roald Dahl adaptation that has captivated audiences since it opened in 2010, the RSC's multiple WhatsOnStage and Olivier Award-winning production of Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly's musical is perfect for the young and young at heart. And with the Broadway production winning four Tonys earlier this month, what better time to see what all the fuss is about and catch up with this heart warming show?

Brainiac Live! Science Abuse

One for all explosion-loving children, Brainiac Live! brings the award-winning Sky TV show to the West End for the first time. Promising a "breathless ride through the wild world of the weird and wonderful", it runs at the Palace Theatre from 18 July-17 August 2013. Strap on your safety goggles and enjoy the show!

Dinosaur Zoo

Australian company Erth are bringing their unique show to the Open Air Theatre this summer. Bringing pre-historic creatures to the stage, it allows people to get up close and personal with everything from cute baby dinos to teeth-gnashing giants. For the really daring, you can even get "danger zone" seats. Also, don't miss the Open Air Theatre's production of A Winter's Tale, re-imagined for everyone aged six and over.

Horrible Histories

The stage version of the hit CBBC show returns to the Garrick Theatre this summer. Tackling subjects including why the Romans never won MasterChef, what if a Viking moved in next door and would you lose your heart or head to horrible Henry, it promises to tell a horrible history of Britain with the nasty bits left in. You see, learning can be fun.