This year the theatre side of my website has really grown, with new reviews being published every week. I’ve been covering shows across Kent, London and Edinburgh (during Fringe season) and reviewing lots of musicals, dramatic plays and dance productions. Rather excitingly the London Box Office team recently got in contact, asking me to share the best family shows to see in London. As a Disney fan, it is no secret that I adore family theatre. London Box Office has a large stock of West End shows and ticket availability across a variety of genres, including the family demographic. If you’re looking for something to watch with your family or with a group of all ages in London, this list should provide you with ideas of shows that should be on your radar.
The Lion King
I couldn’t write about family shows in London without mentioning Disney on Stage. Combining one of my favourite Disney films and live theatre, The Lion King was my very first West End show at age four. I’ve seen it a couple of times over the years, but every time I see the cast performing in a TV special, it is still just as magical as the first time. After all these years it must be time for a repeat visit to the Lyceum. Elton John and Tim Rice’s soundtrack is timeless, bringing to life the songs from the film plus a few extras for the stage. It is perfect for families with children of all ages, with the opportunity to listen to the memorable songs and marvel at Julie Taymor’s impressive costumes.
Possibly my most highly anticipated Disney show of recent years, Frozen the Musical brings the story of the smash hit film to life on stage. Inspiring a new generation of young people to be their true selves, the musical has brought Disney magic to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. What’s so lovely about Frozen is the number of young children that attend in their Anna and Elsa dresses. You can quickly see how impactful the franchise has been and Frozen London gives aspiring Arendelle princesses the chance to see their role models and hear their favourite songs live on stage. Samantha Barks singing Let It Go is a standout theatre moment!
If there was ever a show that would get teenagers into theatre, it would be SIX. Marlow and Moss’ musical about the six wives of Henry VIII follows the format of a pop concert, taking Tudor history and turning it into ‘herstory’. It features a dynamic score, brilliant personalities and Gabrielle Slade’s epic costumes. It is also a one-act show that runs for 80 minutes straight through, which is an extremely watchable length for all ages. I’ve seen it both on tour and at the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End and the production is an exceptional example of modern musical theatre.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
As one of my favourite plays of the year, in July I had the opportunity to watch the stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book come to life on stage at The Marlowe Theatre. The production is now based at the Noël Coward Theatre in London for 7 weeks, following an extensive UK and Ireland tour. In terms of visual effects and illusions, this show is in a league of its own. I gave the production 5 stars on the UK tour as the National Theatre’s dramatic play is creative, clever and full of imagination. The only caveat is that the recommended age for the production is 12 years +, so it is definitely more of a show for teenagers and young adults.
Back To The Future
The musical adaptation of the family favourite Back To The Future is currently playing at The Adelphi Theatre on The Strand. I watched the show for the first time a couple of weeks ago and wow, is it spectacular. From the Hill Valley sets to Alan Silvestri’s era-appropriate soundtrack, the production is an absolute triumph from start to finish. Personal highlights for me are the delorean car and the electric surround stage lighting effects. Similar to Moulin Rouge!, the set design goes beyond the limits of the main performance space.
I was introduced to Mamma Mia! in the West End at a very young age, as my Mum is a huge ABBA fan. It was the start of a long fascination with the stage show, the films and the overall franchise, which I was fortunate enough to see again on tour last year. There is something just so infectious and happy about Mamma Mia, that keeps you coming back time and time again. Based at the Novello Theatre, this lighthearted musical is an instant crowd pleaser for all ages, featuring fabulous costumes and ABBA’s iconic songs. I am hoping to return when the Mamma Mia! I Have A Dream TV show finishes, so that I can watch the winning Sophie and Sky perform live.
If you’re interested in booking tickets to any of my shortlist of best family shows to see in London, head over to London Box Office’s website for ticket availability.
Thanks for reading my blog today.
Love Kat xxxx