London is incredible for the amount of children’s theatre that is available, even for the very youngest audiences. There are some lovely things coming up this Spring.
Of course some shows that are aimed at older children are still great for toddlers, but this is a round-up of things that are specifically for under-5s (usually age ranges are a recommendation only and it’s fine to take siblings of different ages along too).
See websites for prices, which vary, but tickets for toddler theatre mostly seem to be between £7 and £10 per child over 1, or the same for an adult-and-baby combined ticket. Not cheap, but still live theatre that’s cheaper than some cinema tickets.
The Little Angel Theatre in Islington has loads on for the under-5s:
The Explorer, 1st – 2nd April, ages 3 – 7 looks beautiful: the adventures of a traditional wooden marionette.
I’m glad to see the explorer is a she, too, having recently become hyper-aware of how the main characters in most young children’s books are male by default. Even if they’re animals, for goodness’ sake! Nearly every last tiger/mouse/elephant/caterpillar of them.Why?
I’d feel the same whatever gender my children were, but being a mum of two boys I fear it’s easy to play into this a bit because they might be encouraged to prefer characters who are boys ‘like them’. I really want them to grow up assuming that interesting, kind, powerful lead characters might be just as well be of any gender.
Ok, back to upcoming theatre:
Dog’s Don’t Do Ballet from 22nd April – 16th July, aimed at ages 2-7. Finn loved the book this is based on when we got it from the library recently. It’s a sort of vague remake of Billy Elliot, for toddlers. Another nice challenge to gender stereotypes, at least for the adults. I’m sure all the toddlers will just think it’s about a dog. A challenge to ballet stereotypes, anyway.
Peter and the Wolf from 6th – 8th April, aimed at ages 4 – 9.
There are even a couple of shows specially for the tiniest theatre-goers:
Glisten for 0 – 18 months at Half Moon, several performances on 6th April only.
Finally, it’s all the way over in Wimbledon, but Sarah and Duck fans might want to make a pilgrimage to Polka theatre for Sarah and Duck’s Big Top Birthday, 6th April – 14th May, aimed at ages 3 – 6.