The 'Big' Ones
We took a couple of teen boys to see Life of Pi (Wyndhams) last weekend and they both loved it. Utterly engrossed for two hours (puppets declared, 'better than War Horse'), they were full of animated chat about the power of imagination and what is 'real' over a pizza afterwards. Ages 8+.
Our Christmas outing to The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage at the Bridge was scuppered by Covid but we have heard good reports from everyone who has been since. If you have Pullman fans this is probably already on your radar. You have until 26 Feb to catch it. Limited availability but still groups of four seats together for all remaining shows. NT Live screenings on 17 Feb.
Emily (Bronte mad) is heading to the National Theatre on Thursday to see Emma Rice's production of Wuthering Heights with a reluctant reader son. We will report back. Show runs until 19 March. Ages 10+.
Julia saw Moulin Rouge (Piccadilly Theatre) with her teenage daughters and rates it one of the best things she has ever been to. Limited (and eye wateringly expensive) tickets still available for this week. Ages 12+.
All about the story
The Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival is celebrating its 20th year and has a packed programme throughout half term. Very much a multi-arts celebration, there is heaps of theatre, comedy, music and performance, much of it free.
We like the sound of Gaspard's Foxtrot, a charming story narrated by its author, the broadcaster Zeb Soanes, to music from Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf played by the Philharmonia Orchestra. Wednesday,Queen Elizabeth Hall,1pm and 3pm. Tickets £9–£11.
The final weekend is a kids’ literature extravaganza. Highlights for us will be Julia Donaldson and Adam Kay on Sat 19th and Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Rosen and Joseph Coelho on Sun 20th but have a look at the full programme. You are truly spoilt for choice!
Another Donaldson/Scheffler picture book gets a theatrical makeover. Zog and the Flying Doctors is at the Rose Theatre, Kingston throughout half term. The suggested age is 3+.
A Julia Donaldson adaptation is also in situ just down the road at the Polka Theatre. The gloriously sparkly Singing Mermaid runs until 20 Feb. Ages 3–8.
For North London kids, arts depot has Dear Zoo, Live! until Thursday. One of our favourite first books ever. Ages 18 months–6. There are a few tickets left to the weekend shows of the wonderful Handa's Surprise at the Little Angel Theatre.
Have your kids ever taken part in a Perform drama workshop? This half term sees the company’s first professional foray into the West End. Jungle Rumble is a ‘wild new musical’ with an eco twist and runs at the Fortune Theatre, Covent Garden. Ages 4–10.
There are family workshops and storytelling at the Telling Tales festival at Shakespeare’s Globe. The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream brought to life for age specific sessions, ages 5–12. Highly recommended. There are also family sword fighting demos running!
Emily Turner, 13 February 2022