I know it’s not Christmas yet but we gotta start facing up to the reality of it. I have Nathan filling advent calendar bags with Lego as I type, we’re planning our Christmas day present opening schedule and if you were hoping to take in any kids’ theatre this Christmas it’s probably time to get booking.
Because as ever, there’s a feast of stuff to take in over the festive season in London. One classic is the ballet of The Snowman, which returns to the Peacock Theatre this Christmas, starting on 23rd Nov and running to New Year’s Eve. You know the music already and it’s a instant mood-setter but just be aware that sensitive kids may cry at the end. Or maybe that’s just me.
Another classic Christmas story is The Nutcracker and there are two impressive options to choose from – the English National Ballet at the London Coliseum (13th Dec – 6th Jan) and the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House. Both are suitable for kids by the looks of it – the ROH has a 5+ recommendation and the Coliseum one has a family friendly matinee on 6th Jan. I really ought to take Eva to see one of them as she keeps banging on about ballet but December is ridiculously busy already and we’ve already got two shows booked in to go and see.
Which two? Well, I’m glad you asked. One is Rapunzel at the Chickenshed Theatre, which runs from 22nd Nov to 6th Jan and features four rotating casts of an astonishing 800 people in total. It’s a musical version of the story, recommended for ages 5+ and I’ll tell you more once Eva and I have been to see it!
The other show we’re going to is a bit more…eclectic. It’s at the Soho Theatre and it’s a Korean comedy show called Ongals:Babbling Comedy. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what to expect apart from four men dressed as toddlers. But I’ve been assured it “brings together incredible magic, effortless circus moves and formidable beatboxing skills”, which sounds fun at least. Again, I’ll report back very soon.
One show that is much more a known quantity is Stomp and I’m sad to sad this is the last Christmas it’ll be spending in London. Your can hear about the LWAT reporters’ trip to see it here and I’d urge you to go before it leaves London. It may not be very festive-themed but it is a great show and unlike anything else you’ll see in the West End.
On a slightly more seasonal theme, the Unicorn Theatre have a packed programme for all ages this Christmas – there’s a baby show, a show called “Boing” for ages 2-6 and their 5-adult production The Velveteen Rabbit. Have a look here for more details and to book tickets.
I’ll leave you with a pair of Cinderellas. Sadly not the office-panto version that last year starred Eva as “girl wearing a ballgown and refusing to leave the stage” but a couple of rather more slick options. Greenwich Theatre are staging the story as a panto, opening now and running through till 7th Jan. Then there’s Matthew Bourne’s ballet at Sadlers Wells, which has a poster that makes Eva swoon every time we pass it at the station. Such a pretty dress, apparently. It’s for ages 5 and over and I assume Greenwich is all-age.
OK, is that enough to get working on? Book tickets nice and early and then you can retreat back into November for a few weeks…