Encore, encore! The best kids theatre to book now…
Keep the mudlets entertained with our pick of the best kid's theatre shows coming up in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk this summer and beyond.
Boulder, Cambridge Junction, 21 July 2019, 2pm
Part of the Hotbed Theatre Festival 2019 is this reimagining of a Greek myth (so if you’ve got an budding teenage Stephen Frys take them along) at the Junction. An intricate puppet struggles to move a colossal stone and is trapped in an endless cycle as he watches it roll back down each day – hmmm reminds me of the ironing pile, that magically seems to regenerate each day! A good moral lesson for kids aged 12+
Bach to Baby Family Concerts, Little St Mary’s Church, Cambridge, 27 July and 17 August
Want to inspire a little Mozart or Beethoven or simply tired of nursery rhymes and fancy hearing some real music played by talented musicians with your baby in tow? Then these concerts for babies are for you. There are two running in Cambs, starting with Somewhere Over the Rainbow (music for stage and songs for screen) on 27 July at 11:30am and Bach to Broadway (Gilbert & Sullivan, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Andrew Lloyd Webber classics) on 17 August at 11:30am.
Gossamer Thread Circus, The Fitzwilliam Museum, 1 – 2 August 2019
Roll up, roll up! The circus is coming to town. If your children love a bit of The Greatest Showman and the brand-new Dumbo, then they’ll be amazed to see all the amazing tricks of the show in real life at The Fitzwilliam. Acts include a girl who can dance in the air and the world’s bendiest man. After the show you can even learn some of the circus tricks yourself.
In The Night Garden Live, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 14 – 15 August 2019
Can you think of anything better than an entire hour of Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, and Makka Pakka making their bizarre noises and skipping round the stage. Thought not! But, we’re willing to bet your toddler will think they’ve gone to heaven if you take them to this show, and just think you can have an hour’s sleep – win, win. There are showings at 10am, 1pm and 4pm so one is sure to fit around your (ahem, your child’s) nap time!
Open Air Theatre: Alice in Wonderland, Milton Country Park, 22 August 2019
Don’t be late, for this very important date… Immersion Theatre brings the crazy, but fantastic world of Alice in Wonderland to Milton Country Park this summer in a musical version that showcases the very best of Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s book. All the favourite characters are there, and the audience are invited to join them after the show and come dressed as their favourite. That’ll be the Mad Hatter for me then!
Malory Towers, Cambridge Arts Theatre, 4 – 7 September 2019
A word of warning, if you take your children to see this fabulous stage version of Enid Blyton’s much-loved school-based book, they might just ask if they can go to boarding school too! It’s a great production for kids aged 8+, with lots of singing, dancing, naughtiness and midnight feasts, plus it’s perfectly timed to get them into the back to school spirit.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, ADC Theatre, Cambridge, 18 – 28 September 2019
Celebrating 50 years since the film was released, the ADC Theatre has a fabulous 10-day run of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. There’ll be child catchers and flying cars galore and scenery that’ll take you straight back in time to post-war Britain and a fantastical land with even incredible characters. Not to be missed!
Tabby McTat, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, 25 -26 September 2019
More from the winning team of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (seriously do they ever write a duff book?!). This Freckle Productions show is another great introduction to theatre for first-timers lasting just an hour. Tabby McTat loses his friend and sets off on a journey to find him – heartwarming and full of lovely original songs.
Hansel and Gretel, Peterborough Key Theatre, 5 October 2019
This classic Grimm’s fairytale is retold in colourful style by the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Expect a feast of delicious music, dynamic scenery and clever puppetry. At 55 mins and for children from 5+ it’s unrecognisable from the Punch and Judy puppet show at the beach!
Dear Zoo, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, 23 -24 October 2019
I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet and they sent me… an entire theatre show of the book in Bury St Edmunds. Result! A great starter performance for young ones, there’s animal puppets, music and lots of audience interaction.
Tom Gates Live On Stage, Cambridge Arts Theatre, 23 – 26 Oct 2019
Got kids that love Gangsta Granny and Horribles Histories, then they’ll want tickets to this show from the same award-winning producers. The production is based on the books by Liz Pichon and contains her amazing illustrations as well as fun music and hilarious moments for ages 5+.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, 25 – 27 October 2019
From the West End… to Bury St Edmunds, everyone knows and loves The Tiger Who Came to Tea. This show has been running for an incredible 10 years, so they must be doing something right. Probably the fact that there’s lots of magic, sing-a-long songs and surprises along the way. And it’s all based around tea – a guaranteed British crowdpleaser.
The Gruffalo’s Child, Cambridge Arts Theatre, 15 – 18 November 2019
Did you know the Gruffalo had a child? Huh, my neither. He kept that one a secret! Anyway, you can go and see his daughter in Cambridge braving the snowy woods and dodging the Big Bad Mouse. I wonder if she has purple prickles and a green wart at the end of her nose…?
The Nutcracker, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 29 – 31 December 2019
Even children who “don’t like ballet” will be enchanted by this festive first foray into the dance world. The Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet bring all the snowy magic of Russia with them to the Cambridge stage and perform some of Tchaikovsky’s best-loved pieces – Waltz of the Flowers and The Sugar Plum Fairy. At only two hours, it’s an elegant way to get your Christmas theatre fix if pantos aren’t you’re thing.
Room on the Broom, Cambridge Arts Theatre, 4 – 7 March 2020
Yet another classic from kids book extraordinaries, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. During this show you’re invited to join the witch and her cat on her broom on an adventure including multiple hitch-hikers and a dragon. At one hour max with no interval it’s a good one for the littlies, who can’t sit still for long.