The Ten Best: Children's shows

Nikki Spencer rounds up the best shows to entertain the kids this summer

Young children adore the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, and they've been loving this big scary monster of a show by Tall Stories. The sequel, The Gruffalo's Child, premieres in the autumn at the Polka Theatre, Wimbledon.

New Theatre, Cardiff (029-2087 8889), to 2 July, then touring; www.tallstories.org.uk

2. Mary Poppins, London, (£25-49)

This tale of the supercalifragilistic nanny (right) will keep the kids entranced with its amazing sets and dance routines, not to mention characters flying through the air. There's huge demand for tickets, but a limited number are kept back and sold each morning for that day's performance.

Prince Edward Theatre, London W1 (0870 850 9191), booking to 1 April

3. As Far As I Can Sea, Anglesey & touring (free)

As Far as I Can Sea is a brand new show for children aged four-plus, which is touring National Trust properties over the summer. The show is free, but tickets must be booked in advance and normal property admission fees apply.

Plas Newydd, Anglesey, North Wales (01248 714795), 24-25 July, then touring; www.nationaltrust.org.uk

4. The Crock of Gold, London (£8-£12)

London Bubble will be giving promenade performances – part theatre, part outdoor installation – across the capital's parks this summer. The Crock of Gold is an Irish tale filled with leprechauns and philosophers, talking animals and mystical gods.

Sydenham Wells Park, London SE26, 30 June to 2 July, then touring (020-7237 1663; www.londonbubble.org.uk)

5. Midnight Hull & touring (£11)

Aimed at a slightly older audience than previous Watershed shows, Midnight, adapted from a Jacqueline Wilson story, is for nine- to 14-year-olds. It centres around Violet, a dreamy and quiet 13-year-old who is bullied by her older brother.

New Theatre, Hull (01482 226655), to Saturday, then touring; www.watershedtheatre.com

6. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, London (from £14.50)

Catch it while you can: Chitty makes her final flight on 4 September. Jason Donovan is back in the driving seat as Caractacus Potts, with Alvin Stardust as The Child Catcher (above).

Palladium, London W1 (0870 890 1108; www.chittythemusical.co.uk)

7. Dracula - the Blood Count, Manchester (£6.50–£14)

This bloodcurdling outdoor spectacle is great for fearless children (it's not recommended for under-eights). As darkness falls, you meet creatures of the night rising from their graves.

Heaton Park, Manchester (0161-236 7110; www.feelgoodtheatre.co.uk), 21 July to 7 Aug

8. The Lion King, London (£20-£50)

This knocks spots off other West End shows and, in a multicultural city, it's refreshing to see a family show that doesn't have an almost exclusively white cast. If you can, get aisle seats in the stalls: the performers come close enough to touch.

Lyceum Theatre, London WC2 (0870 243 9000; www.thelionking.co.uk), booking to 26 March

9. The Little Mermaid, York & London (from £3.50)

The Theatre Royal has teamed up with the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon, so families from both ends of the country can enjoy this adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's much-loved fable. For children over five.

Theatre Royal, York (01904 623568; www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk) to Saturday; Polka Theatre (020-8543 4888; www.polkatheatre.com), 6 to 30 July

10. The Shelter, Edinburgh (from £4)

The award-winning En Masse theatre company brings The Shelter to the Edinburgh Fringe, and transforms the audience (nine-plus) into the inhabitants of a Second World War air raid shelter for the night as the sirens wail and bombs fall.

Underbelly, Edinburgh (0870 745 3083; www.smirnoffunderbelly.co.uk) 6 to 28 August

Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Arts and Entertainment
The audience aimed thousands of Apple’s product units at Taylor Swift throughout the show
musicReview: On stage her manner is natural, her command of space masterful
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Channel 4 is reviving its Chris Evans-hosted Nineties hit TFI Friday

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade (1989)

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
A Glastonbury reveller hides under an umbrella at the festival last year

Glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miles Morales is to replace Peter Parker as the new Spider-Man

comics
Arts and Entertainment
The sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, has stormed into the global record books to score the highest worldwide opening weekend in history.

film
Arts and Entertainment
Odi (Will Tudor)
tvReview: Humans, episode 2
Arts and Entertainment
Can't cope with a Port-A-loo? We've got the solution for you

FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets

Arts and Entertainment
Some zookeepers have been braver than others in the #jurassiczoo trend

Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant

Arts and Entertainment
An original Miffy illustration
art
Arts and Entertainment
Man of mystery: Ian McKellen as an ageing Sherlock Holmes
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Kitchen set: Yvette Fielding, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Sarah Harding and Sheree Murphy
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans has been confirmed as the new host of Top Gear
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Top of the class: Iggy Azalea and the catchy ‘Fancy’
music
Arts and Entertainment
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters performs at Suncorp Stadium on February 24, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia.

music
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans had initially distanced himself from the possibility of taking the job

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
British author Matt Haig

books
Arts and Entertainment
Homeland star Damian Lewis is to play a British Secret Service agent in Susanna White's film adaptation of John le Carre's Our Kind of Traitor

Film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map
    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue