If you live in the UK and love live theatre then there is no greater treat than going up to London for a West End show. Of course you can also find good theatre in the provinces but a London show offers that extra bit of excitement.
If you book one of the great-value London theatre breaks which include accommodation in a centrally located hotel, you can easily combine a night-time show with other fun activities in the capital. Visit museums or galleries, take a trip on the Thames or a ride on the London Eye, see celebrity waxworks at Madame Tussauds, or explore the Tower and its history. There is so much on offer it’s easy to put together a programme all the family will love.
When it comes to the shows you can see on London theatre breaks, you will be spoilt for choice. Here are some suggestions for family favourites that will have your kids wide-eyed with wonder and give them a lifetime’s love of live theatre.
Matilda The Musical
Time Out magazine calls this brilliant production by the Royal Shakespeare Company “the best British musical in years”. This show, adapted from Roald Dahl’s popular book about a super-brainy schoolgirl, is hilarious, heart-warming, and moving. It will have the kids rolling in the aisles and the grown-ups in tears.
Set in Thatcher’s Britain against the background of the 1984-1985 miners’ strike, this is the sensitively told story of a boy from a macho community in the north of England who dreams of being a ballet dancer. Follow Billy as he defies the odds, proves all his doubters wrong and achieves his ambition.
The Lion King
Based on Disney’s blockbuster film, this fabulous show at London's Lyceum Theatre fizzes with energy and has captivated audiences across the world with its dazzling theatricality. Follow the trials and tribulations of young Simba as he embarks on his journey to become King of the lions. Inspired by the stark beauty of the African savannah, this stunning production uses actors and puppets to represent an incredible variety of wildlife on stage.
This feel-good London show featuring the timeless music of Abba famously has the audience dancing in the aisles. Set on a Greek island, it’s the story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father so that he can give her away at her wedding. Three possible ‘dads’ from her ‘boho’ mother’s colourful past arrive on the island and a sunny tale of love, laughter and friendship unfolds.
Laden with awards and accolades, this spellbinding show is the musical prequel to the classic “The Wizard of Oz”. The story follows the relationship of two girls – the blond and popular Glinda and the misunderstood green girl, Elphaba – who meet at sorcery school and go on to become two of the most important Witches of Oz. This is a visually spectacular production with a strong storyline and catchy songs. It is recommended for children of eight or over.
All the above shows can be seen with the great London theatre breaks currently on offer.