So, next week is half term for many of us, so we’ll all be looking for ways to entertain the children. As always, The National Trust and English Heritage have a plethora of amazing autumnal activities available for families – think pumpkin carving, spooky trails, wizard schools and creepy crafts – around the UK. If the weather’s not on our side, then all the big museums and galleries are running workshops and events. plus a trip to the theatre is always exciting. As well as the big West End musicals (Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lion King), I thought I’d also pick out a few children’s shows – some of our favourite books are getting the theatrical treatment, plus there’s something for nature lovers and wannabe musical virtuosos.
Gangsta Granny is one of my favourite David Walliams’ books, a moving, but also funny, tale of a boy’s relationship with his grandmother. The Birmingham Stage Company’s production looks like great fun and is currently on tour.
We have long been fans of Quentin Blake’s Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave (and all her other escapades with her faithful canine sidekick Brakespear). Gaga Theatre’s production combines live performance, magical projections and catchy tunes – what’s not to love?
My Great Orchestral Adventure sounds like the perfect way to introduce your little ones to classical music by taking them on a musical journey with a full symphony orchestra. They might even recognise some tunes as music will include excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries and John Williams Star Wars soundtrack.
Steve Backshall’s Wild World looks like fun for slightly older budding naturalists. with the explorer taking the audience on a whistle-stop tour of his adventures using film and photographs.
Everyone loves Julia Donaldson’s story of Stick Man, who is desperately trying to return to his family after being picked up by an array of characters who think he’s something else entirely. Scamp Theatre’s adaptation uses live actors, puppetry and music to bring the stick family to life.