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Top 5 West End Shows for Half-Term

>> Jan 17, 2012

Although it may seem the Christmas holidays just ended, here in the UK half-term is just around the corner. Here are some great ideas for shows to see in London with the whole family:

After a slate of 5-star reviews, Matilda the Musical is the hottest ticket in town. Based on the beloved children’s book by Roald Dahl, it tells the story of a little girl who loves reading, much to her television-obsessed parents’ dismay. When she starts at a school with a terrifying, child-throwing headmistress, Matilda learns she has more power than she realised. Filled with fun, uplifting songs, this show is perfect for children from 6 to 96.
The Lion King has been a West-End fixture since its premiere in 1999. Based on the ever-popular Disney film, this stage spectacular uses colourful and imaginative puppetry as well as live performers to tell the story of Simba, a young lion cub who must find the courage to lead his pride after his father’s untimely death. With fantastic musical numbers by Elton John and Tim Rice, including “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”, “Hakuna Matata” and the breathtaking opening number, “The Circle of Life”, this will amaze and inspire the whole family. The Lion King is suitable for children aged 5 and up.
Everyone’s favourite giant green ogre has finally made it to the stage in Shrek the Musical. When his swamp is taken over by the evil and vertically-challenged Lord Farquaad, Shrek embarks on a fun-filled adventure with a wise-cracking donkey by his side. Along the way, he rescues feisty Princess Fiona, who has a secret of her own. This new musical brings proves that true beauty is on the inside and brings some of your favourite fairy tale characters to life. Shrek is suitable for children aged 5 and up.
Billy Elliot the Musical is another show that has successfully made the transition from film to stage. Set against the backdrop of the 1980’s mining strikes, it follows the story of an eleven year-old boy who trades in his boxing gloves for ballet slippers and becomes a source of pride for the entire town. With show-stopping numbers by Elton John, the musical is even better than the film and is a great choice for teenagers. Billy Elliot is suitable for children aged 12 and up.
Perhaps the most successful family film of all time, The Wizard of Oz has been adapted for the stage with some new songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Dorothy and her set of misfit friends head off down the yellow brick road in search of home, a brain, a heart, and courage, while the wickedest of witches is hot on their tail. With famous songs like “Over the Rainbow”, this is a magical, spectacular stage show that brings out the child in all of us. The Wizard of Oz is suitable for children aged 5 and up.

Tim Sullivan is the artistic director of Savio(u)r Theatre Company. Based in London, he contributes regularly to Cheap Theatre Tickets.

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