Best kids shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow 2016
Great stage shows for all the family, from toddlers to teens
Whether it’s a gentle show for pre-schoolers or a blockbuster musical for the whole family you’re looking for, here’s what’s happening in kiddie theatre this year.
Wee Cinderella – Scottish Ballet trims its new Christmas show down to one hour, keeping in all the exciting and funny bits, plus adding a bit of audience participation for young dance fans.
See Wee Cinderella at Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Fri 15 Jan.
balletLORENT’s Snow White – An exciting new dance version of the popular folk tale aimed at family audiences, featuring contemporary dance and a dynamic new score by Dr Who composer, Murray Gold.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Fri 22–Sat 23 Jan (read our full preview).
The Gruffalo’s Child – Tall Stories theatre company adapt Julia Donaldon’s popular follow-up to The Gruffalo, in which the monster’s daughter ignores her father’s advice and steps out into the deep dark wood …
See The Gruffalo's Child at King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 2–Wed 3 Feb.
Annie – Elaine C. Smith stars as nasty orphanage boss Miss Hannigan, in this new production of the popular musical set in 1930s New York.
See Annie at King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Mon 8–Sat 20 Feb; Edinburgh Playhouse, Mon 16–Sat 21 May.
Funbox: Superheroes – The new incarnation of the Singing Kettle keeps on doing what they do best: entertaining. This new show finds Gary, Kevin, Anya and Bonzo on a superhero adventure to unluck the mysterious funbox.
See Funbox: Superheroes at SECC, Glasgow, Sun 14 Feb then touring.
White – Catherine Wheels charming show for very young children continues to entertain, delight and amuse both little ones and their grown-ups.
See White at Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 24–Thu 25 Feb.
Peppa Pig’s Surprise – Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig have got a surprise for Peppa and George – and they need your help to guess what it is, in this colourful new stage show for pre-schoolers.
See Peppa Pig's Surprise at Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, Wed 2–Thu 3 Mar.
Goodnight Mister Tom – Adapted from Michelle Magorian’s popular novel, this poignant and unexpected story follows an 8-year-old boy evacuated to the countryside during World War Two.
See Goodnight Mister Tom at Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Tue 8–Sat 12 Mar.
Bear Behaving Badly – The popular CBBC show goes on its first UK tour, giving young fans a chance to see Nev and his pals in the flesh and learn a bit about healthy eating in amongst all the interactive fun.
See Bear Behaving Badly at King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 8–Sat 9 Apr.
Mary Poppins – Everyone’s favourite nanny is back on stage, proving she’s practically perfect in every way – just like this musical. Both the set design and choreography (Matthew Bourne) has won copious awards since the show opened in 2004, so prepare to be impressed.
See Marry Poppins at Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Wed 27 Apr–Sat 21 May.
Leaf By Niggle – Puppetstate theatre follows up its successful show The Man Who Planted Trees with this new production for ages 12+. Based on JRR Tolkien’s short story, Leaf By Niggle centres on a painter who keeps getting distracted from his work.
See Leaf by Niggle at Edinburgh Festival Theatre Studio, Thu 14–Sat 16 Apr; Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 29–Sat 30 Apr; Howden Park Centre, Livingston, Sun 8 May.
Horrible Histories: Groovy Greeks & Incredible Invaders – Birmingham Stage Company present two gruesome new history shows guaranteed to make you and your children glad to be living in 2015.
See Horrible Histories at Edinburgh Playhouse, Wed 4–Sat 7 May; Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Tue 21–Sat 25 Jun.
James & The Giant Peach – Roald Dahl’s extraordinary tale of a young boy living inside a giant peach, with a spider, ladybird, earth worm, centipede and grasshopper for friends, is brought to life on stage.
See James & The Giant Peach at King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 24–Fri 27 May.
Imaginate – The annual children’s theatre and dance festival returns for another year, this under the leadership of new festival director, Noel Jordan. Expect an exciting mix of drama and dance for babies to teens, created both in Scotland and abroad.
Imaginate at various venues, Edinburgh, Sat 28 May–Sun 5 Jun.
Gangsta Granny – Birmingham Stage Company brings David Walliams’ adventurous book to life, in which Ben stays with his granny on a Friday night, and discovers there’s more to the old lady than meets the eye …
See Gangsta Granny at King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 7–Sun 11 Sep; King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 5–Sun 9 Oct.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – A big hit on the West End, this blockbuster musical will have children cowering from the Child Catcher, parents blubbing at the happy ending, and the whole family singing along.
See Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Wed 5–Sun 16 Oct.