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Top family shows to see this summer: West End and beyond

Wondering what to take the kids to see during the holidays? Wonder no more!

John Pfujomena and Daisy Maywood in Peter Pan
© Steve Tanner

Peter Pan

This acclaimed production of JM Barrie's classic Peter Pan opens the new theatre at Troubadour White City, next door to the former BBC Broadcasting House. The show, which is directed by Sally Cookson and has previously run at the Bristol Old Vic and National Theatre, plays at the new venue until 27 October. Age guide: 7

Aliens Love Underpants
© Stuart Slavicky

Aliens Love Underpants

Running in tandem with Peter Pan at the Troubadour is this show for younger children, based on the popular children's book. Aliens Love Underpants promises "stunning effects, madcap action, original music and loads of crazy aliens, this fantastically fresh and funny production will delight the whole family." Age guide: 3

Noel Sullivan as Dewey Finn
© Craig Sugden

School of Rock

This musical based on the hit movie starring Jack Black continues packing them in at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. And the show, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Julian Fellowes and Glenn Slater, is about to welcome a new teacher - from 19 August Hear'Say singer Noel Sullivan will play Dewey. Age guide: 6

Ben Martin and Pip Chamberlin in Barmy Britain
© Mark Douet

Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain Part 4

Fans of the long-running historical satire won't want to miss this latest instalment, which encompasses everything from the Vikings to Victorians. History has never been so much fun. Age guide: 5

The cast of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole
© Pamela Raith

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾ the Musical

The hit Curve Leicester and Menier Chocolate Factory production runs at the Ambassadors Theatre until 28 September. Adapted from Sue Townsend's bestselling satirical diaries about a frustrated teenager in Leicester, it's directed by Luke Sheppard and written by Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary. Age guide: 10

The cast of Matilda
© Manuel Harlan

Matilda The Musical

The award-winning RSC production, adapted by Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly from Roald Dahl's much-loved book, is a little bit naughty for all the family. Catch it at the Cambridge Theatre or on its current UK tour. Age guide: 6

Matthew Croke as Aladdin and Jade Ewen as Jasmine
© Johan Persson


Hurry to catch this magical musical at the Prince Edward Theatre before it closes on 24 August. Featuring all the songs from the Oscar-winning Disney classic, it's a "shining, shimmering, splendid" spectacle. Age guide: 6

The Falcon's Malteser
© Julian Foxon

The Falcon's Malteser

Adapted from Anthony Horowitz's novel introducing the Diamond Brothers Detective Agency, this acclaimed production is at The Vaults in Waterloo until 25 August. Tim is the world's worst private investigator, so can the help of his clever younger brother Nick be enough to crack their toughest case yet? Age guide: 8

Matt Terry (Alex) and the penguins in Madagascar
© Scott Rylander

Madagascar The Musical

Based on the DreamWorks film of the same name, this fun-filled show follows a group of zoo animals who wind up on the titular African island after a boating mishap. It currently stars X Factor's Matt Terry as Alex the Lion and is touring the UK throughout 2019. Age guide: 3

The cast of Malory Towers
© Steve Tanner

Malory Towers

Emma Rice's stage adaptation of Enid Blyton's classic Malory Towers plays at the Passenger Shed in Bristol until 18 August before embarking on a UK tour. The story follows new student Darrell Rivers as she starts at the eccentric Malory Towers school in Cornwall against the backdrop of the Second World War. Age guide: 8

Where is Peter Rabbit?
© Steven Barber

Where is Peter Rabbit?

A great way to introduce young children to the world of Beatrix Potter, this show is at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until 1 September, and features much-loved characters such as Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and of course Peter Rabbit himself. Age guide: 4

Danielle Bird in The Worst Witch
© Manuel Harlan

The Worst Witch

Featuring all of Jill Murphy's beloved characters, this new stage adaptation by Emma Reeves (Hetty Feather) includes original songs, music, magic and a dose of Mildred's unique brand of utter pandemonium. Catch it at the Vaudeville Theatre until 8 September. Age guide: 7

Looking for family shows at the Edinburgh Fringe? Check out our run-down here