Enjoy Christmas in the theatre

As the festive season fast approaches discover some of the best family-friendly shows to see:

CHITTY_A5_AW-2Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
West Yorkshire Playhouse
2nd December 2015 – 30th January 2016
Directed by West Yorkshire Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining, with choreography by Stephen Mear and production design by Simon Higlett, this new production of the much-loved Sherman Brothers musical stars Jon Robyns and Amy Griffiths. The memorable score includes Truly Scrumptious, Toot Sweets, Hushabye Mountain and the Oscar-nominated title song Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse will be followed by a UK & Ireland Tour.
Suitable for all ages 5+
www.chittythemusical.co.uk

Elf'Elf the Muscal'
Dominion Theatre
24th October 2015 – 2nd January 2016
The London premiere of the musical Elf is based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit starring Will Ferrell. Elf, which stars Ben Forster, Kimberley Walsh, Joe McGann and Jessica Martin, is the hilarious tale of Buddy, who grows up in the North Pole thinking he’s an elf. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Suitable for all ages 4+
www.elfthemusical.co.uk

Martin Barrass credit Anthony RoblingThe Railway Children
King’s Cross Theatre
Currently booking until 3rd January 2016
The Olivier Award-winning production of Mike Kenny’s stage adaptation of E. Nesbit’s classic novel, The Railway Children, follows the journey of Bobby, Peter and Phyllis who move to rural Yorkshire and befriend local railway porter, Perks. A purpose built 1,000-seat theatre, complete with a railway track and platforms, and with a state of the art air conditioning and heating system, was specially created for this production. The York Theatre Royal production, which is in association with the National Railway Museum, features a live steam locomotive and a vintage carriage, originally built in 1896. The production is directed by Damian Cruden, Artistic Director of York Theatre Royal.
Suitable for all ages 5+
www.railwaychildrenlondon.com

Slava’s Snowshow bigball white HR (V_ Vial)

Royal Festival Hall

16th December 2015 – 3rd January 2016
The multi-international award-winning show returns to London’s Southbank Centre for a fifth consecutive Christmas season. A combination of theatrical clowning and breath-taking visual effects, the show is performed by a world-renowned company of clowns led by Slava Polunin, the Artistic Director of the St Petersburg Circus.
Suitable for all ages 5+
www.slavasnowshow.co.uk

The Railway Children image: Anthony Robling

Are you ready to hit Motown?

The brand new jukebox musical, Motown the Musical, is set to make its London debut in February 2016 fresh from the Broadway stage. Tickets for the West End production, opening at the Shaftesbury Theatre, are on sale now.

With music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalogue and book by Motown founder Berry Gordy, Motown the Musical is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright and London previews will begin on 11th February 2016, with the show booking to 22nd October 2016.

Berry Gordy said: ‘I am thrilled to be bringing Motown back to the UK 50 years after our first visit back in 1965, when Diana Ross and The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and I came to London for our very first UK tour. Half a century later we are delighted to be returning, this time bringing our story and the Motown sound on stage at the Shaftesbury Theatre in the legendary West End.’

With just $800 borrowed from his family, Motown founder Berry Gordy, goes from featherweight boxer to heavyweight music mogul, discovering and launching the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more. Motown The Musical uncovers the true story of the legendary record label that changed music history and created the soundtrack of a generation.

Motown: The Musical Lunt-Fontanne TheatreFeaturing a 16-piece orchestra playing 50 Motown tracks including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I’ll Be There, Dancing In The Street, Stop! In The Name Of Love, My Girl, I Heard It Through The Grapevine and For Once In My Life, Charles Randolph-Wright’s production tells the story behind the classic hits.

Tony nominated Motown the Musical received its world premiere in April 2013 in New York at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and recouped its $18 million investment by the end of 2014. The first US National Tour opened to critical acclaim last spring in Chicago, grossing $20 million dollars during its standing room only 16-week run, and continues to play to packed houses across America.

Visit www.motownthemusical.co.uk to find out more and to book tickets to the show.

Images: Joan Marcus