• dandelion

Real live theatre

Hurrah, socially distanced they may be, but IN REAL LIFE. From circus to Shakespeare, Cole Porter to David Walliams, here is our pick of the summer family theatre openings. Plus one to book up for October.


All the fun of the circus

Gifford's Circus twentieth anniversary show was due to have run last year. Full of fairies, trolls, pixies, leprechauns, wild horses, Celtic music and dancing, The Hooley should be top of everyone's lists for this. The tour starts in Gloucestershire next month and locations include Sudeley Castle and Blenheim Palace over the May half term and its London outpost, Chiswick House, from 24 June to 11 July. Book supper afterwards at Circus Sauce, their fab pop up licensed restaurant.

Shakespeare at the Globe

A season of outdoor Shakespeare kicks off on 19 May with A Midsummer Night's Dream. Romeo & Juliet joins the summer rep on 26 June and on 29 July Twelfth Night. All run concurrently until October.

Open Air Theatre Regent's Park

Romeo and Juliet 17-24 July. Tickets for the 17–25 June on sale now. Booking for all other shows re-opens 20 April. Ages 12+



Anansi the Spider 7–24 July. Fab Unicorn Theatre production of classic West African and Caribbean folk tales. Tickets on sale to general public, 23 April. Ages 3–7.



Carousel 31 July–25 September. Rogers & Hammerstein classic. Tickets on sale 23 June.



Dragons & Mythical Beasts 13 Aug–5 September. Tickets for this new family show from the team behind Dinosaur World Live are not currently on sale as the team re-allocate tickets sold last year.


Also this summer

Billionaire Boy


Adaptation of the popular David Walliams book by the Birmingham Stage Co is at the Garrick from 17 July to 22 August. Ages 5+.




Anything Goes

All aboard the SS American as the 20s' roar at the Barbican from 23 July–17 October. Cole Porter and PG Wodehouse brought to life by a starry cast including Robert Lindsay, Megan Mullally and Felicity Kendall. Click here for a taster!



Big Ticket Shows

Six the Musical is back at the Lyric from 21 May

Alexandra Burke joins Jason Donovan in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat from 1 July at the London Palladiu

Looking ahead for October...

The West End transfer for The Ocean at the End of the Lane the National's utterly brilliant production of Neil Gaiman's novel opens at the end of October, in time for half term. Tickets are going fast. It is one of the best things we have ever seen so worth persevering with a confusing booking system (you can't seem to see where your seats are) and prices that rise steeply. Ages 12+.


Emily Turner

18 April, 2021