Show & Stay present the top family-friendly musicals to grace the West End this year. The roster of excellent musicals pulling in the crowds in London’s West End means you’re spoiled for choice if you do decide to indulge in the roar of the greasepaint with your offspring.
The thrill and excitement of live performance never palls, and introducing your youngsters to theatre at a young age will open up a world of culture and entertainment they can delight in for life.
The Lion King
With all the colour and drama of the Disney film from which it was adapted, The Lion King is a genuine stage spectacle. The costumes are particularly eye-catching – look for cast members suddenly appearing amongst the audience, a trick that always thrills young theatre-goers – and the songs, penned by Sir Elton John, are terrific to sing along to. Tots as young as three are welcome into the auditorium, making The Lion King the perfect choice for parents of very young children.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The most hotly-anticipated musical in years doesn’t actually open its doors until June 2013, but ticket sales are already brisk for yet another stage adaptation of a classic Roald Dahl novel. The creative team behind this version includes Skyfall director Sam Mendes, with a score by Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman to tell the story of Charlie, who wins a golden ticket and enters the magical but surreal world of Willie Wonka.
The stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic kids’ tale has been wowing the crowds and the critics. With a score by the witty Tim Minchin, the story of Matilda, a little girl who discovers she has magical powers that help her and her classmates see off evil Miss Trunchbull and Matilda’s thoughtless parents, is a must for kids of all ages. Audience participation is positively encouraged.
The prequel to the Wizard of Oz is fast catching up with its predecessor as a real family favourite. Young witches Glinda and Elphaba meet at sorcery school and become unlikely bosom buddies, until the dark secrets of Oz tear them apart. With soaring tunes such as Gravity and eye-opening special effects, Wicked is a fast-paced show best suited to kids from aged eight upwards.
Shrek the Musical
One of the greatest animated film characters of all time is now the star of his very own musical. The story follows the plot of the original movie, with the grumpy ogre out to rescue secretive Princess Fiona with the help of a very chatty donkey. Expect catchy tunes, great one-liners and a host of familiar (and unfamiliar) characters keeping the action bubbling along nicely. Ideal for children aged five and over, and parents will always appreciate the humour.
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