Going to the theatre with your children can be a truly magical experience for both of you, and this can be even better when you’re watching a captivating musical that will leave all of you singing your heart out. But with so many great shows out there, what should you and your little ones go and see?
Well, the good news is there are loads of special shows coming to the stage for 2023 that could be perfect for you and your family. From theatre favourites like The Wizard of Oz to modern classics like Frozen the Musical, there is something to suit every mood and child.
5 Child-Friendly Musicals
You can check out our list of the top child-friendly musicals this year in the guide below, so you can book your tickets right away.
1. The Lion King
Showing at: Lyceum Theatre
Duration (approx): 2 hours and 30 minutes, including an intermission
Minimum age: Best for ages 3+
The Lion King has been a firm favourite with families, particularly with children, for decades, be that on stage or in the original Disney animated movie.
Well, it has once again returned to London’s West end to tell the beautiful coming-of-age story of Simba as he fights to take back the throne.
The musical is bursting with famous hits, as well as some created just for the stage. And as animals pass through the aisles and stalls, you can marvel at the incredible costumes and get up close with the animals of the Serengeti.
This is certainly one for the whole family, and your kids are sure to love it, no matter what age they are.
Showing at: Apollo Victoria Theatre
Duration (approx): 2 hours and 45 minutes, including a 15-minute interval
Minimum age: Best for age 7+ but under 3s not permitted
You’ve heard of the Wizard of Oz, but do you know what came before that famous tornado? Well, Wicked is the tale of an unlikely but beautiful friendship between two of Oz’s most famous faces, the Wicked Witch of the East and Glinda the Good Witch.
The two find themselves as roommates whilst studying at Shiz University. Despite their clear differences, the pair soon find themselves on the path to Oz, where they discover the wizard is not quite what he seems.
This stage show is full of magic and wonder, as well as some incredible costumes and fabulous musical numbers, of course.
So why not let their imaginations fly as they follow this story of true friendship? And hey, you could even book tickets for The Wizard of Oz later in the year to continue the story and strengthen their love for musical theatre.
Showing at: Cambridge Theatre
Duration (approx): 2 hours and 40 minutes, including a 15-minute interval
Minimum age: Best for ages 5+ (My boys were 8 and 9 when we saw this and loved it)
Based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, Matilda is a story of mischief and mayhem, but above all else, it’s about a quest for a loving family and a happy home.
Protagonist Matilda is not like her lazy, TV-loving parents and brother. She’d rather pick up a book and learn than waste her days watching television, but her family take issue with that. And if that wasn’t enough to contend with, the child-hating head teacher, Miss Trunchbull, fills her school days with even more dread by bullying Matilda and her classmates.
Thankfully, she does receive some encouragement from her gentle teacher and soon learns to use her remarkable, supernatural powers to find the life and love all children deserve.
This show is the perfect way for you to get your kids engrossed in musical theatre, as it’s packed with catchy songs, special effects, great choreography and an inspiring story of a young school girl with a big heart.
4. Frozen the Musical
Showing at: Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Duration (approx): 2 hours 30 min, including an interval
Minimum age: Best for age 6+ but under 4s not permitted
You’re probably aware of the heart-warming tale of Elsa and Anna, whose tragic loss of their parents suddenly leaves them in charge of a whole kingdom. But as Elsa has a chilling secret that quickly unleashes chaos, these two sisters find themselves battling for life, love and normality in a story that could thaw any heart.
The story is brought to life through stunning scenery, dazzling costumes and spectacular puppetry that the whole family is sure to love. And, of course, the show is also packed with all the favourite family hits, including ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman’ so everyone can sing along.
But even if you’ve seen the movie 100 times, you still won’t be prepared for the twists and turns of this beautiful stage adaptation of one of the world’s favourite tales of love and sisterhood. This show is not to be missed this year!
5. Back to the Future
Showing at: Adelphi Theatre
Duration (approx): 2 hours and 40 minutes, including an interval
Minimum age: Best for age 6+ but under 4s not permitted
Based on the award-winning movie, you and your family will be transported back in time to the 1980s and then once again to the 1950s in one of the most captivating tales of all time.
You might think this piece of 80s nostalgia is just for you, but your kids are also guaranteed to love the time-bending tale of Marty McFly, who, after being transported back in time and must fight to save his own future.
The stage show features a whole host of special effects, including state-of-the-art lighting and technical know-how to bring some of the most iconic scenes to the stage.
The story is also told through an impressive cast, a brand new score and popular tracks like ‘The Power of Love’ and ‘Johnny B. Goode’. It also features the emblematic Delorean because how could it not?
The musical adaptation of the cult classic film Back to the Future has been such a success that it won the Olivier Award for ‘Best New Musical’. So don’t miss out; make sure you get your tickets today!
If you see a musical that is due to end in London like My Fair lady you might find that it is coming to a city near you soon. Personally I want to go and see Newsies.