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22 of the best Easter theatre shows for families

Looking for ideas to keep kids and teens entertained this Easter? Have a cracking time at some of the best family theatre shows and holiday workshops in Warwickshire and beyond.


FOR AGES 2 – 5: Wow! It’s Night-Time. Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tues Apr 16 – Thur Apr 18 

A charming adaptation of Tim Hopgood’s much-loved picture book, by the acclaimed puppetry company Little Angel Theatre, Islington, London. This after-dark adventure sees the curious little owl return to discover the wonders of night-time, from the big, bright moon to the bats in the sky and the foxes living deep in the forest. But where are all the other owls? When the wind blows the leaves from her tree, you’ll soon see! Each performance is followed by a post-show meet and greet with the puppets. Tel the box office on 024 7655 3055, belgrade


FOR AGES 4+: Anatomical ‘s The Buildy-Uppy Dance ShowWarwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Tue Apr 16 – Sat Apr 20

Children can let their imaginations run riot as hundreds of boxes are stacked, squashed and rebuilt in this one-hour show for ages 4+. Help create enticing caves, wonky castles, and fabulous creatures, in a show that’s all about building friendships by the same company who created last year’s fantastic, The Doodle Dance Show. Times: Tue 16 Apr – 2pm; Wed 17 – Sat 20 Apr 11am & 2pm, warwickartscentre


FOR AGES  2 – 7: Pongo’s Party, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Sat Apr 20

A brand-new adventure set on Marty MacDonald’s Farm, and featuring the voice of children’s TV favourite Justin Fletcher. This time, the animals are throwing a party for Pongo the Pig, and families are invited to join the celebrations. There’ll be a special guest appearance from the Easter Bunny and a free Easter gift for every child. Tel the box office on 024 7655 3055, belgrade


LITTLIES: The Twirlywoos Live, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Tues Apr 23 & Wed Apr 24

Come and see Great BigHoo, Toodloo, Chickedy and Chick on tour as they set sail around the UK to welcome young fans for a 50-minute theatrical adventure with beautifully inventive puppetry and a cast full of favourite characters from the hit CBeebies TV show, royalspacentreandtownhall


KIDS: AniMalcom, The Albany Theatre, Coventry, Tue Apr 23

Story Pocket Theatre dramatises Brit comic and award-winning children’s author David Baddiel’s AniMalcolm. Six actors take on the roles of 35 characters – including 20 animals! The show uses physical theatre and live puppetry to tell the comical tale of Malcolm, a boy who hates animals, as he inhabits the bodies of several farm creatures on a school trip, 2.30pm & 7.30pm. Box Office: 02476 99 89 64 (open 10.30 – 13.30 Monday to Saturday), albanytheatre.


FOR AGES 7+: The Worst Witch, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed April 24 – Sat Apr 27

Long before Harry Potter or Hermione Grainger there was Mildred Hubble – an ordinary rather clumsy girl who found herself enrolled in a school for witches. Award-winning writer Emma Reeves (CBBC’s Hetty Feather, The Story of Tracy Beaker), has imaginatively adapted Jill Murphy’s spellbinding classic for the stage and director Theresa Heskins’s production has a terrific aerial sequence, slo-mo action, song-and-dance routines and handmade glove-puppet cats. It stars Danielle Bird (The Hypocrite, RSC; Alice’s Adventures Underground, Les Enfants Terribles) as Mildred Hubble, Polly Lister (The Snow Queen, Staffordshire New Vic; To Sir With Love, Birmingham REP) as Agatha and Miss Cackle, and Rachel Heaton (Passing, Bunker Theatre) as Miss Hardbroom. Tel the box office on 024 7655 3055, belgrade


FOR AGES 3+: Le Gateau Chocolat’s Duckie, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat Apr 27

Family-friendly glamour and glitz takes centre stage as critically-acclaimed cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat breaks out of his shell in his first work for children. A classic tale of identity and belonging in 40-minutes, 11am & 2pm,


FOR AGES 4+: Grandad’s Island, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed Apr 24- Sat Apr 27 

Photo by North Edge Photography

Engine House Theatre bring Benji Davies’s award-winning heart-warming children’s story to the stage. Syd and Grandad set off on an adventure that will change their lives forever. Full of song, laughter and jungles, this moving show deals magically and sensitively with themes of love and loss. Tel the box office on 024 7655 3055, belgrade


EASTER PANTO: Peter Pan, The Albany Theatre, Coventry, Wed May 1 & Thur May 2
This family Spring pantomime boasts an all-star cast including comedy legend, Bobby Davro and Danni Harmer, star of CBBC’s popular Tracey Beaker and Strictly Come Dancing contestant, as well as Disney Art Attack’s, Lloyd Warbey. Tel: Box Office: 02476 99 89 64 (open 10.30am – 1.30pm Mon-Sat), albanytheatre


 As You Like It, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until Aug 31


The RSC’s  2019 season kicked off with Kimberley Sykes’ beguiling As You Like It with fabulous critically-acclaimed performances by Worcester actor Lucy Phelps as Rosalind and David Ajao as Orlando, also look out for LAMDA-trained Leamington Spa actor Amelia Donkor as Silvia. Tel: 01789 403493,


The Half God of Rainfall, The REP Studio, Birmingham, Apr 13 – 20



Multi-talented Nigerian-born poet, graphic artist and playwright Inua Ellams’s (The Barber Shop Chronicles) much-anticipated contemporary saga weaves poetry with storytelling in a majestic, chaotic journey across mythologies that transports us from a tiny village in Southern Nigeria to the home of the Gods and beyond. Box Office: 0121 236 4455 /


 Glory, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed April 10 – Sat Apr 13

A sweaty, gutsy, painfully funny new play by Nick Ahad exploring the resurgence of grassroots wrestling, men’s mental health and what it means to be an outsider in 21st-century Britain. Hot-on-the-heels of the Belgrade’s own production Under the Umbrella, by Amy Ng, Glory is the second play to be hosted by the Coventry venue as part of Tamasha’s IGNITE programme, supporting emerging producers to develop work in regional theatres. This fusion of sport and theatre fusion coincides with Coventry’s Year of Health and Wellbeing and its year as European City of Sport in 2019. Tel: 024 7655 3055, belgrade


Les Miserables, Birmingham Hippodrome, until Sat May 11

LES MISERABLES TOUR. Tegan Bannister ‘Eponine’. Photo Helen Maybanks

It’s been a decade since the last sell-out UK tour came to Brum. Cameron Mackintosh’s Broadway production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical returns to the city with a set inspired by Victor Hugo’s paintings and a top score. Recommended for ages 8+ but at three hours long maybe more suitable for older kids and teens. Limited availability. Book here Tel: 0844 338 5000.

The Taming of the Shrew, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Aug 31

The reviews are now in after last week’s press night for Justin Audibert’s gender-switched adaptation in which sexes are presented in reversed roles. It’s set in the 1590s and England is a matriarchy. National critics said:  a “landmark production” (Evening Standard ****);  “an interesting but underpowered exercise in gender-swapping” (Daily Telegraph ***) and “Getting their hands on the best and biggest parts for once, the female performers savour every syllable”, (The Times, ****), rsc

Jekyll & Hyde, The REP, Birmingham, Thur Apr 18 – 27

Award-winning writer Evan Placey (Girls Like ThatOrange Polar Bear) combines contemporary chills and gothic horror in his re-imaging of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story directed by Tessa Walker (Folk and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe) and performed by The Young REP, Box Office: 0121 236 4455 /


CABARET: Le Gateau Chocolat’s Icons, Theatre, Warwick Arts Centre, Fri Apr 26 

Walking the tightrope between his public and private personas, Le Gateau Chocolat work extends beyond the world of drag performance – he has a busy career in the field of contemporary opera and performance. In this show, he explores relationships with our icons – the people, the moments, the books, the relationships that have come to shape us, or the ideal we aspire to. Expect an eclectic mix of music; pop to opera, Kate Bush, and Whitney, Elvis to Wagner and Shirley to Gershwin as Le Gateau investigates his own personal icons, 7.30pm. Age 14+,



RSC Easter Holiday activities & Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations, Stratford-upon-Avon, Apr 10 – Mon May 6

Children can take part in a fun introduction to As You Like It currently showing at the RSC on Wed Apri 17. Photo-by-Topher-McGrillis-_c_-RSC

A host of super-cool family-friendly activities ranging from vocal warm-ups, exciting open set changeovers (Tues Apr 23 & Thur Apr 25), BSL interpreted events including Kate’s Storytree (Apr 19), Blood Guts & Gore with former RSC Head of Wigs & Make-up Brenda Leedham, costume design workshops and mini set design. Full itinerary here: rsc, Tel: 01789 331111 to book.


Easter Camp, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Mon Apr 15 & Tues Apr 16

A practical, action-packed 2-days with drama games and activities to keep young people entertained during the school holidays. This Easter 8 – 13-year-olds will be exploring Stories of the City and creating create mini performances inspired by the city. Cost £55 for both days. Book here.


FREE THEATRICAL WORKSHOPS, Birmingham Hippodrome, Mon Apr 15 – Fri Apr 19

Birmingham Hippodrome half-term workshops. Photo by: Simon Hadley

For the first time, the theatre will host an accessible Sensory Circus (Apr) 17 for children with additional needs including Autism, Asperger’s and other complex disabilities, as well as specially created chill out spaces close-by featuring circus play tents filled with sensory toys and apparatus. Parents and littles can chill together in Family Yoga (Apr 15) in partnership with DanceXchange  or work up a sweat in a Street Dance workshop (Apr 19). Daily Easter Activities include the chance for children to create their own colourful eggs, take part in an Easter egg trail and discover industry secrets in Stage Make-Up for Families (16 Apr). Arts and crafts take centre stage in the Build your own Brum workshop (18 Apr), working with illustrator Tsz, you’ll get to redesign your very own Birmingham. You can also join a Protest Flag Making workshop (16 & 19 Apr) inspired by Les Misérables. In the Make Your Own Theatre Poster workshop (15 & 18 Apr), families can come together to create eye-catching theatrical posters inspired by some of the headlining productions that have graced the Hippodrome stage. Check out all events here.


Easter Holiday Workshops, Playbox Theatre, Warwick

A few places are still available on the Fight Lab Day School for ages 8 – 14 (Tue Apr 23, £45 non-members); the 2-day School of Rock workshop for ages 8 – 18 (Wed Apr 24 & Thur Apr 25 – £90) and 2-day Peter Pan workshop (Thur Apr 25 & Fri Apr 26 – £90 non-members). Plus, there are some Easter-themed High Jinks workshop places left for 3 – 6-year-olds. Tel: 01926 419555, Book here.


Madagascar – The Musical, New Theatre Oxford, Tues Apr 30 – Sat May 4

Photo by Scott Rylander

 Based on the smash hit DreamWorks movie, Madagascar – The Musical follows Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, Gloria the hippo and a troupe of pesky penguins as they escape from Central Park Zoo – a guaranteed hit with the kids (and grown-ups for that matter). Tickets here.

THEATRE: Southbank Centre, London, Sat Apr 6 – Mon Apr 22 

Free fun by the bucketful if you’re heading to London this Easter with music from Camp Bestival regulars Dizney Rascal, cool folk singer London Rhymes and comedy theatre group Mrs H and the Sing-Along Band. Paid events include giant musical sandpits, an immersive colourful performance called Kaleidoscope and the brilliant Tabby McTat (Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler) Freckle Productions, the team behind Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Zog.

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