Take Ten: Family-friendly Easter theatre
Take some time to get some culture in this weekend and whether your bag is puppets or ballet or holiday camps there's something going on that's right up your street.
Here is our round-up of some don't-miss things for kids of all ages.
PROFESSOR VANESSA'S WONDERSHOW
Circus fans of all ages are in for a treat as the Circusfest 2012 occupies the Roundhouse until 29 April 2012. Expect everything from the weird and whimsical to high energy displays of acrobatic prowess defying logic and gravity. We are particularly looking forward to the world premiere of Professor Vanessa's Wondershow which will see the Roundhouse's main space transformed into a lost world of original vintage circus sideshows boasting such wonders as the girl in the goldfish bowl and Electra, the 27,000 volt girl.
MY FIRST SLEEPING BEAUTY
The first of a series of new ballets aimed at bringing children their first taste of ballet, My First Sleeping Beauty features third year dance students from English National Ballet School. Created with young attention spans in mind, the ballet is choreographed and designed by dancer and choreographer Matthew Hart. 3 April at 7pm; 4–8 and 10-13 April at 11am & 2pm; 7–8 April 2012 at 5pm.
HORRIBLE HISTORIES - BARMY BRITAIN
Kids can't get enough of these lively, imaginative and downright funny re-tellings of days of yore.
If you've ever wondered why the Romans never won MasterChef or have ever wanted to dance the Tyburn jig, the Garrick is the place to go. Plus, author Terry Deary will be in London this Easter for two post-show book signings on 4 and 5 April. Suitable for aged six and over.
THE PASSION OF JESUS
Following a hugely popular event last Easter, the Wintershall Estate returns to Trafalgar Square on Good Friday (6 April 2012) with The Passion of Jesus, a free, open-air recreation of the dramatic events surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Last year's event attracted thousands of spectators but don't worry - the action is supported by big screen technology and a sound system. Performances at 12 noon and 3.15pm.
MATILDA THE MUSCAL
We make no apologies for including Matilda YET AGAIN in a Whatsonstage.com Take Ten list. Tim Minchin's magical music and lyrics have given new life and extra dimensions to Roald Dahl's popular story of a bright girl cursed with stupid parents and a terrifying head mistress/former champion hammer thrower.
THE LEGEND OF CAPTAIN CROW'S TEETH
Suitable for children of seven years and over, The Legend of Captain Crow's Teeth tells the story of nine-year-old Will whose dull family holiday in a cramped caravan becomes suddenly too exciting thanks to the arrival of the ghost of a cut-throat pirate with a long-standing grievance against nine year olds! Until 15 April.
Little Angel Theatre
Videk's Shirt is a traditional Slovenian children's story about a small boy whose raggedy shirt is blown away leaving him cold.
Which of his animal friends can provide him with a new shirt? (Clue: you will learn how the sheep's wool can make warm clothes).
SHREK THE MUSICAL
Theatre Royal Drury Lane
The musicalisation of Dreamworks' animated movie series appeals to children and adults alike. Join Shrek and his loyal steed Donkey, as they set off on a quest to rescue the beautiful (if temperamental) Princess Fiona from the clutches of the satisfyingly scene-stealing Lord Farquaad.
New London Theatre
Astounding puppetry from Handspring transforms Michael Morpurgo's simple story into an unforgettable theatrical experience. Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France to take part in the Great War. Although Albert is too young to enlist, he determines to find Joey and bring him home.
War Horse has bagged saddlesful of awards including five Tonys, was made into a film by Steven Spielberg and shows no sign of being ready for the knacker's yard just yet! Take tissues. Suitable for 10+
EASTER HOLIDAY CAMP
Old Vic Tunnels
For the inner child. The Old Vic Tunnels are creating an indoor holiday camp complete with deck chairs, a Pimms bar, picnic benches, a bouncy castle, volleyball, badminton, a boating lake, ping pong candy floss and even a campfire. Music comes from the retro Tootsie Rollers, Live & Unamplified (The Book Club) and special guest DJ Anna Greenwood (Guilty Pleasures) will be spinning old school disco beats. Thursday 5 and Friday 6 April, 7pm-1am.