The Ten Best: Children's shows
Nikki Spencer rounds up the best shows to entertain the kids this summer
Wednesday 29 June 2005
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.
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
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Young Preston fan has play-off hero Jermaine Beckford's shirt stolen from him at Wembley - which then appears for sale on Gumtree
- 4 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 5 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people