17 shows to take the kids to this half term

We take a look at some of the best shows to keep your children occupied during the school break

West End

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Sam Mendes' production opened at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in May 2013 and is adapted from Roald Dahl's classic children's story by David Greig. It features the film's best known song "Pure Imagination", plus a host of new music by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

The Lion King

Julie Taymor's stage adaptation of Disney's classic film opened at the Lyceum in 1999 and has recently announced a further extension until at least June 2015. It features the original film soundtrack from Elton John and Tim Rice, as well as additional songs by Lebo M, Julie Taymor, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. It's the perfect family show.


Another Roald Dahl classic, the RSC's Matilda is currently playing at the Cambridge Theatre. The musical has a book by Dennis Kelly and a whole host of enchanting songs with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. The multi-award winning show took the WhatsOnStage award for Best New Musical in 2012.

The Play That Goes Wrong

Having just announced an extended run at the Duchess Theatre, Mark Bell's The Play That Goes Wrong is an original production by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields. Children will love the slap-stick.

Private Peaceful

The National Youth Theatre production is one third of the current NYT rep season at the Ambassadors Theatre and is running alongside Selfie and Macbeth. The wartime drama is adapted from Michael Morpurgo's childrens book of the same name by Simon Reade and is directed by Paul Hart .

Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare's classic tragic love story has been adapted for younger audiences by Ben Power in this production at the National Theatre. Directed by Bijan Sheibani , this performance has a modern twist to it and a shortened running time.

War Horse

This stage adaptation of another of Michael Morpurgo's novels has become a theatre classic from it's humble beginnings at the National Theatre in 2009. It has since transferred to the New London Theatre on the West End. The novel was adapted for stage by Nick Stafford, with direction from Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris.

On the Fringe…

Three Wise Monkeys – Lyric Hammersmith
Fantastic Mr Fox – Little Angel Theatre
Flat Stanley – Polka Theatre
Bryony Kimmings That Catherine Bennett Show – Purcell Room

Around the UK…

The Jungle Book Jamboree – Sheffield Theatres
Dinosaur Zoo – Newcastle Theatre Royal
The Secret Stairway – Theatre Royal Brighton
Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain – Cambridge Arts Theatre
Room on the Broom – Liverpool Playhouse
Charlie and Lola – Best Bestest Play! – Nuffield Theatre Southampton