Easter is just around the corner, and the holiday break means plenty of time for chocolate eggs and children’s theatre! Here’s our round-up of what’s on offer in London…
The North London arts venue has adaptations of two classic picturebooks: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (for ages 3+) and The Tiger Who Came To Tea (for ages 3+), both about animals with very healthy appetites! There’s also circus theatre show The Party (for ages 3+) about a host of unexpected guests arriving on a boy’s birthday, and The Adventures of the Little Ghost (for ages 4+), a dance show about a spook who longs to see daylight, performed by an intergenerational cast.
Shoreditch Town Hall
We’re Stuck!, an interactive show about the ways in which our brains can and can’t cope with maths, returns to Shoreditch Town Hall this Easter. Combining theatre, numbers and robots, We’re Stuck!, for ages 8-11, is created by award-winning theatre-maker Sarah Punshon, and inspired by cutting-edge educational neuroscience.
Sadler’s Wells annual Family Weekend festival returns on the 14th and 15th April. Award-winning and visually-stunning dance company Aracaladanza will perform their show Vuelos, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s quest to make man fly. Whether you’re a regular on the dance floor or you can’t tell good toes and naughty toes apart, everyone is invited to become a choreographer with The Dance WE Made. In this interactive experience, the public will devise the moves, and the results will be performed by a team of professional dancers.
While there isn’t an Easter bunny at Unicorn Theatre, there is The Velveteen Rabbit (for ages 5+). Returning to the UK after a run on Broadway, this is the tale of a shy toy rabbit who longs to become real. Audiences can also travel to the seaside with Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore, three friends who can only say three words in a silly, funny show for ages 3+.
Little Angel Theatre
This Easter, Little Angel’s programme is animal-themed. There’s The Ugly Duckling (for ages 5-11), the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairytale told with ingenious hand shadow puppetry and an imaginative use of everyday objects, accompanied by live cello music. Then there’s Peter and the Wolf for ages 4-9, the classical musical tale of a boy who dares to visit the forest against his grandfather’s wishes, and The Homeless Panda for ages 3-7 about a little bear who has to travel far and wide to find somewhere to rest her head. In Chester Tuffnut (for ages 2-6) audiences can meet a very unusual creature, the treemole, who loves nothing more than wearing knitted jumpers, relaxing in his armchair, and adventure. There’s also Carnival of the Animals (for ages 4-9), about a pianist, a kazoo player and their creative collaboration. And for those that prefer their stories to have more humans, there’s Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom for ages 4-9.
Duvet Day welcomes babies and toddlers to crawl inside the blanket fort and snuggle up for gentle storytelling, games and puppets. There are two versions of the experience: for ages 0-18 months, and for 18-30 months. Slightly older children can see Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday (for ages 3-6), a stage adaptation of the award-winning CBeebies programme.
Oliver in the Overworld (for ages 3-7) follows a little deaf boy as he travels to find the parts to fix his best friend. This is the first ever musical created from scratch with sign language, and will dazzle audiences with puppets, magical transformations, songs, dance and storytelling.
Greenwich Theatre have a packed programme of Easter shows, catering to all ages! There’s marionette show The Explorer for ages 3-8 about a crash landing on an unusual island, and Big Howard’s LOL-tastic Yukfest For Kids and Well-Trained Adults, a combination of stand-up, digital animation, sound effects and nonsense, delivered by big kid Big Howard. There’s also a time-travelling magic show Morgan and West – Utterly Spiffing Spectacular Magic Show for Kids, and The Lost Island Adventure (for ages 6-11), an interactive theatrical experience where the audience have direct input into the action! Sammy and the Snow Leopard (for ages 5+) is about a boy on the hunt for a dangerous pet, and Guess How Much I Love You is an adaptation of the beloved book about two hares (for ages 3+). As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also Eloise and the Curse of the Golden Whisk (for ages 7+), in which a girl must cook up the tastiest meal in the world to free herself from a terrible curse, and Three (for ages 3-8), musical storytelling where all the fairytales feature the magic number 3! Greenwich Theatre is also a more convenient location for those living in South London to see Chester Tuffnut. With all that on offer, what more could you want!
Children’s Theatre Reviews exists to help plug the gap in criticism and writing about theatre for young audiences. It is run entirely voluntarily, and needs support to continue covering and supporting the sector. For more information and to help give children’s theatre the voice it deserves, please visit our Patreon page.