Have you ever thought about taking your child to see a story brought to life at the theatre? Find out which productions are showing in the UK this year…
Children’s books are being increasingly re-imagined for children’s theatre, in inspired productions that delight and entertain your little people. I’m always in awe of the creative ways they bring the stories to life. And watching your children’s faces as their favourite books come alive is something magical.
But finding out about what shows are touring isn’t always straightforward, so I’ve pulled together a list of children’s literary theatre for 2018, and I’ll be updating it throughout the year.
What the Ladybird Heard
Until 26 August
Two crafty robbers, one tiny ladybird, and a whole farmyard of fun! Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they reckon without the tiniest, quietest creature of all: The Ladybird has a plan of her own!
Join the woolly sheep, the hairy hog, the fat red hen and the dainty dog in this brand new stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks’ colourful farmyard adventure. With live music, puppetry, plenty of audience participation and lots of laughs! A glittering treat for all the family.
The Singing Mermaid
Little Angel Theatre, London
9 February to 22 April
Did you ever go to Silversands
On a sunny summer’s day?
Then perhaps you saw the mermaid
Who sang in the deep blue bay.
One day, the singing mermaid is tempted away from all of her sea creature friends and her peaceful home at Silversands to join a travelling circus. The audiences love to hear her sing, but the poor mermaid was tricked! Instead of the swimming pool she was promised, she is kept in a small tank by the wicked circus master Sam Sly, and she soon longs to return to the freedom of the sea.
Will she ever escape? And who will help her along the way?
Through beautiful puppetry and performance, Little Angel Theatre collaborate once again with Royal & Derngate to bring Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’s enormously popular story, The Singing Mermaid, to life.
Running time 50 minutes
13 February to 27 April
Syd’s favourite person in the whole wide world is Grandad. And Grandad’s favourite person is Syd.
Join the intrepid duo as they head off on a heart-warming adventure filled with songs, laughter and jungles that will change their lives forever…
Tour venues include York, Wimbledon, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, Lyric Hammersmith, Cornerstone Arts (Didcot), Jackson’s Lane (Highgate), Theatre Royal Wakefield, Greenwich Theatre, MAC (Birmingham) and the Albany (Deptford).
Running time 50 minutes
12 February to 15 April 2018
Follow the young inventor Monty as he creates a whole world of whacky inventions and incredible monsters, but he has a problem – now he has made them all, what is he going to do with them?!
This energetic show full of thrills, spills, magic and mayhem will delight the whole family – with original music and plenty of audience participation!
Suitable for ages: 3+
Running time: 50mins
The Gruffalo’s Child
May to August 2018
One wild and windy night the Gruffalo’s Child ignores her father’s warnings about the Big Bad Mouse and tiptoes out into the deep dark wood. She follows snowy tracks and encounters mysterious creatures – but the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist… does he?
Songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3 and up and their grown-ups, in the hugely popular show that’s toured Britain and the world!
Running time 55 minutes
The Scarecrow’s Wedding
July to September 2018
Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay are excellent scarecrows. Their wedding plans are all coming together until Harry leaves Betty’s side and the devilishly smooth Reginald Rake tries to take Harry’s place. Will Harry make it back in time to save their special day?
This heart-warming and award-winning adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestselling book is bursting at the seams with Scamp Theatre’s inimitable style.
This epic love story promises wit, drama and wedding bells! Packed with live music and laughter, this is one hour’s magic that you and your children will never forget!
Running time 55 minutes
Bear Hunt Live
London Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue
Wed 4 July – Sun 2 Sept 2018
Michael Rosen’s award-winning book We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is brought vividly and noisily to the stage.
Join the intrepid adventurers on their quest to find a bear; as they wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud! Expect catchy songs, interactive scenes and plenty of hands-on adventure!
Running time 55 minutes.
The Everywhere Bear
Polka Theatre, Wimbledon
July – August 2018
The Everywhere Bear has a wonderful time with the children in Class One, but one day he gets more than he bargained for when he falls unnoticed from a backpack and embarks on his own big adventure! He’s washed down a drain and whooshed out to sea, rescued by a fishing boat, loaded onto a lorry, carried off by a seagull… how will he ever make it back to Class One?
This captivating and beautiful new story from best-selling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Rebecca Cobb springs to life with rhyme, original music and delightfully expressive puppets in Polka’s fun and exciting stage adaptation.
Aliens Love Underpants
Information to follow once tour dates have been confirmed.
I’ll be updating these 2018 children’s theatre listings regularly throughout the year.
If you’re planning to go to any book-based theatre shows in 2018 or you’ve recently seen one you’d like to shout about, please come and join me and my growing community on my facebook page