The West End’s Kids Week is back! Treat the kids to a FREE trip to the theatre

The summer holidays are here, bringing six whole weeks of free time to fill for children across the UK. Luckily, West End Kids Week is back!

From 17th July – 31st August, children under 17 can catch a West End show for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. Plus, an additional two children can attend for half price! Check out some of the shows participating from London’s West End below.

Horrible Histories – Terrible Tudors

Garrick Theatre (Adult + Child from £26)

Horrible Histories Terrible TudorsWe all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead! Fortunately, a cast of talented actors will reenact the dastardly deeds of a rum bunch of rulers, transporting families back to Tudor Britain. There’s Anne Boleyn – the one who married that dude – who might have been a queen but she was also a bit rude. Henry was pretty horrible himself, and Elizabeth was downright evil. This is history with all the nasty bits left in – the bits that delight children, that is.

The hit performance has the familiar sketch and song format of the beloved TV show and the brilliant humour and insight of the original books by author Terry Deary. Having inspired a love of history in children for the past 30 years, Horrible Histories will now go down in history in its own right. Don’t miss a chance to see it live this summer!

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Apollo Victoria Theatre (Adult + Child from £49)

Wicked Musical at the Apollo VictoriaWhen Dorothy defeated the Wicked Witch of the West we only heard one side of the story. Wicked is the untold story of the witches of Oz. Blonde and popular Glinda, and misunderstood green girl Elphaba become unlikely friends. But when they meet the Wizard of Oz, their friendship reaches a crossroads. While Glinda’s desire for admiration finds her seduced by power, Elphaba’s determination to be true to herself has shocking consequences. Ultimately, the two women fulfil their destinies and become Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

One of the most successful musicals of all time, Wicked is already the 12th longest-running production in West End history. With themes of diversity and inclusion, self-confidence and friendship, it promotes a worthy message to young audiences. Then there’s the music – with hits in their own right such as Defying Gravity and, recent social media sensation, Popular.

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Mermaids & Pirates

Coram’s Fields (Adult + Child from £35.50)

Mermaids and Pirates MusicalWhen Long Gone Silver and his hapless pirates set sail to Treasure Island, they’re not expecting to meet Marina and her super-cool band of mermaids. Chaos ensues and, when the Sacred Coconut goes missing, it’s down to singing parrot Rita Conchita and her friends to save the day. A swishy, swashbuckling musical adventure, Mermaids and Pirates introduces children to a galley of larger-than-life characters. There’s Jack, the Seasick Pirate, shy mermaid Myrtle and Queen Of The Island Coco, who all bring this family Caribbean adventure to chaotic life.

A perfect introduction to musicals, Mermaids and Pirates is only an hour long and performed in an outdoor setting, so suitable for young audiences. That hour is one packed with calypso-infused songs, salsa-inspired dancing and laugh-out-loud humour that will leave kids hunting out more musical gold.

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The SpongeBob Musical

Southbank Centre (Adult + Child from £35)

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? We all do this summer, as we head down to the ocean floor to join SpongeBob, Sandy and Patrick as they come together to save Bikini Bottom. The nearby Mount Humongous is threatening to erupt and while villains Plankton and Karen try to dupe their neighbours, SpongeBob has other ideas. They must scale the volcano and stop it from erupting with a homemade bubble device.

Based on the cartoon children know and love, this madcap musical adventure is a deep-sea pearl of a show that will make a splash with young audiences. Depending on the showing, the lead role will be performed by Pop Idol and musical superstar Gareth Gates or Celebs Go Dating star Tom Read Wilson. Ru-Paul’s Drag Race legend Divina De Campo serves up extra drama and laughs as the villainous Plankton.

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Midsummer Mechanicals

Shakespeare’s Globe (Adult + Child from £28)

Shakespeares Globe LondonA bunch of amateur actors – known as the Mechanicals – are riding high on the success of the first ever play, performed to great success one midsummer’s night. Now the gang, led by Nick Bottom, want to recreate their masterpiece by putting on a second instalment at the court of Duke Theseus. With half an hour until curtain up everything is in hand. The actors are almost assembled, the play is nearly rehearsed, and the audience (that’s you!) are ready.

What could possibly go wrong? Everything, it turns out.

Introduce children to Shakespeare in the magnificent Globe Theatre with this Olivier Award-nominated family sequel to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Full of silliness and packed with Shakespearean references and themes, young audiences will delight at the farcical plot. There’s plenty in this co-production with Splendid Productions for adults, too. Midsummer Mechanicals is recommended for everyone from aged five to 105.

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