We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
20 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

My family and I will be in London first week December this year and we plan to watch a few plays during our 4 nights' stay.

I have 2 teenagers (12 & 16 yrs old) and am wondering which play/s should we watch considering that this is our first time watching plays in London. We plan to watch one in the day, after lunch and the other, on a separate day, in the evening after dinner.

At the same time, I have also read elsewhere in TA that the dress code for such plays is smart casual (including jeans). Is that still status quo ?

Lastly, should I pre-book my tickets in advance online or do I just buy them on the spot ? If online option is recommended, which website is more trustworthy (given that there are so many options) ?

Thank you all for your advice/s ;))

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
20 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

Please advise on which theatre to go too.

FYI-my girl is 12yo and boy is 16yo.

Many thanks!

Edited: 10 November 2013, 13:00
Level Contributor
283 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

Hi

Teenagers that age are, in my mind, almost the same as adults so really depends on personal taste.

By play do you just mean straight plays or include musicals, etc.? In terms of a straight play then war horse is amazing for all ages

If you've not seen it then watching Les Mis on the West End is recommended as an intro to musicale in London - although possibly not paired with War Horse as both are serious stories and not light hearted.

Dress for theatre is pretty casual. Jeans absolutely fine.

As for buying, generally buy direct from the theatre where the play you want to see is on - they all do online sales. If you want to see a specific production then buy online in advance. One option if you're not fussed about what you see is the tkts booth in Leicester square which has reduced tickets for same day productions. Selection is best for matinees or evenings early in the week.

Enjoy!

Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
3,369 posts
145 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

I agree with Cjb210.

Take a look at this web site regarding plays and musicals currently showing in London.

www.londontheatre.co.uk

Level Contributor
2,832 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

hello I have children the same ages as yours. Have your children seen plays on stage before? What are their interests? On the site listed above if you go to the plays mentioned you usually can see a short commerical for each one to give you an idea.

Many of the most popular ones for kids you need to book in advance and they will not be discounted.

The 16 year old might like one thing and the 12 another. My kids are pretty flexiable and used to going to the theatre. On our upcoming trip we are going to see Matilida. I wanted to see a play that started in London vs. a US play brought over to London. We have loved Wicked and Lion King though when we did see them at home.

My 16 year old is a kid at heart so these are not too young for him but yours may roll his eyes at these so it just depends. Maybe if you are going to two shows have one child pick one and the other child pick the other so both are happy?

One thing we did like was that the plays were less expensive than going to one at home. We are also going to a Pantos when we are in town since it will be over the holiday season.

Enjoy your trip!

UK
Level Contributor
49,560 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

Woman in Black is a big favourite with many kids. Mine went with school,and then used their own money to see it again.

Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
5,685 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

Matilda is great. Once is a love story...great music. mamma Mia is always fun. If they happen to be familiar with Queen, we will rock you is clever.

I thought rock of ages was raunchy in NY but a friend who saw it in London. Said it was ok there. Still not sure about it.

I think theatre in London is quite a bargain if you book early. If you can't get seats to something it's always worth checking with the theatre the day of in case tix are returned.

Illinois
Level Contributor
17,153 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

My daughter just turned 16, and I think her favorite plays we've seen in London have been War Horse, Wicked, and Les Mis. I saw Matilda and really liked it, but my daughter didn't want to see a play for "little kids". If you don't care what you see, you can get discount tickets for some plays at the TKTS booth. We've always booked in advance though so we can see what we want to.

On our next trip in Dec, we're booked to see Les Mis (again), Richard II, Carmen, and The Light Princess. I prefer evening productions as they leave the day free for sightseeing.

NZ
Level Contributor
18 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

It's mind blowing how many musicals/plays there are in London. I suggest you look up on any website (google search will give you a wide choice) and find out what plays are on and what one's appeal. Then have a look at where they are in relation to where you are staying. Wicked looked really good and is getting rave reviews (by Victoria Station so you can use the underground), we loved Lion King (caught a London taxi back). Stomp was also good (more appeal for teens?). There were so many choices that you need to do your homework before you get there, we also booked online (just for the convenience) at home so we could really explore where the best seats were. Leave one night free so you can book a play/musical when you get there, booking booths seem to be easily found, because you will see a show advertised (seeing them in situ adds an element of appeal) and you will want to go to that too. There are lots of online sites for booking tickets, its just which one appeals to you because of price, ticket delivery options etc. We used one where we printed our e-tickets before we left home. Hope this helps.

Edited: 11 November 2013, 01:56
London
Level Contributor
2,911 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

For buying tickets my advice is always, as someone has already said above, to buy directly from, or via, the official website of the theatre or of the group of theatres by which it is owned. For example, if you are seeing a play at the National buy your tickets from the National Theatre website; if you are seeing a play at the Savoy buy your tickets through ATG Tickets. You may sometimes be redirected, perfectly legitimately, to another seller, such as See Tickets. However, if you purchase your tickets simply by Googling the show that you want to see you may find yourself paying over the odds. A few years ago one of my older relatives, who does not yet understand how the internet works, told me that she was very embarrassed that a friend had bought her a pair of tickets that had cost nearly £1,000. When I asked her where she had come across this ridiculous price she showed me a ticket re-selling website that was selling tickets for ten or twenty times their face value. Fortunately her friend had purchased through the official means and had not been ripped off, but I wonder how many unsuspecting people had been. Really, there is no need to buy through any source other than the official outlet. The exception, of course, is where discounted tickets are being sold, e.g. on Amazon Local.

I am a bit puzzled by the idea that children of 12 and 16 could be regarded as being anything like adults. Would anybody take a 12-year-old, or even a 16-year-old, to see Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) at the St James? I wouldn't. One play that I have seen that immediately came to mind was Arnold Wesker's The Kitchen, which was on a few years ago at the National. Towards the end of the play one character offers a graphic description of different methods of abortion used at the time, and another makes a very bloody (and in this production very realistic) suicide attempt. I don't have children of my own, but I don't think that I would take a 12-year-old to see this. Also at the National I recently saw Alan Bennett's People. Part of the play simulates the making of a pornographic film. I am certainly not prudish, but I would not take a 12-year-old to see this play, and I think that a 16-year-old would be mortified to watch this with his parents (even at my age I would have preferred not to have been there with my mother). One of Bennett's earlier plays, The Habit of Art, which includes a discussion of fellatio between an elderly man and a young male prostitute, would also fall into this category (as would The History Boys, for that matter).

There are many plays on in London which would be suitable for 12-/16-year-olds, but there will also be plays that would not be suitable. For children of this age I would imagine that you would be safer with Billy Elliott, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lion King, War Horse, and possibly One Man, Two Guvnors. Henry V strikes me as being pretty complicated (simply in terms of the plot, and perhaps also if she has not yet learned much French) for a 12-year-old, but would probably be good for a 16-year-old, especially if he has been through the Singaporean education system. If you can get day tickets or returns, The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Opera House are both excellent. At the London Coliseum there is a new Magic Flute, but what might really appeal to children is Satyagraha.

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
20 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Theatre Plays for family of 4 (with 2 teenagers)

Thank you all for your generous sharing. I value your contributions and will seriously take note of each of them :))

I'm sure your contributions will help shape our trip to be a meaningful and enjoyable one !!

Blessings to all !!