Childrens Books to West End Shows

Summer time, for me, is the period in which I often see the most West End shows and, recently, a lot of West End shows seem to be adaptions of children’s literature!

Today I thought I would focus on the books that have been adapted for West End and are currently showing, or will be showing soon, in London!  

o   Matilda by Roald Dahl
The Cambridge Theatre

This is the musical adaption of one of Roald Dahls most famous novels. The songs are infectious When I Grow Up/Revoltin’ Children are it features a lot of swings and dances. It’s a story of a little girl who has a very poor childhood yet through reading excessively from a young age develops magical powers that help her to thwart her evil headmistress and bad parents! A lot of fun for kids and parents alike!

o   The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

COMING SOON Ambassador Theatre

This charming children’s classic is coming to London in the summer months and is aimed at children from 5+. Mary Lennox parents are tragically killed in India and she is brought to live with her Uncle at Mistlethwaite Manor. There she meets a sickly cousin, finds a secret garden and makes friends. It’ll be lovely to see how this develops into a stage play.

o   Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Drury Lane Theatre

The year is the last year to see this musical before it finishes its run. It’s fun, it’s colourful and has a lot of memorable songs from the Oscar Wilder movie It’s Just Your Imagination with a real flying glass elevator and Oompa Loompa’s what’s not to enjoy about this musical.

o   The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
Kings Cross Theatre

Featuring a real-life steam train that is the centre of the attraction this stage-adaption of the novel has been getting a lot of rave reviews. Three young siblings’ lives are torn apart when their father is taken from them in London and they must relocate to a small Yorkshire village in near poverty. What develops is a keen relationship with all the local inhabitants who are charmed by their kindness and naivety and a story about three children missing their father.

o   War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

This popular stage play is returning in 2017 as a touring production of puppeteering horses in the First World War. Told from the point of view of a horse who is taken from his best friend/owner to help fight the First World War, this has been described as one of the most moving and powerful plays ever adapted from a children’s book.

o   Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming
This fabulous stage play has been brought back on tour after leaving the West End some ten years ago. Hugely popular and wonderful fantastical this is an aesthetic treat for kids and parents alike. With songs from the famous movie to accompany the production and a Child-Catcher to add a little terror this stage play has a bit of everything.

o   Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
The Palace Theatre

Hugely anticipated! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 1 & 2 opens at the end of July. Shrouded in secrecy but anticipated with more hype than we ever thought possible this play is sure to be a hit. The story has been a closely-sealed secret, which will only be revealed with the opening night and the publication of the script for all those unable to attend the play it is sold out until March 2017 this is a play that may make the record books.

o   The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Gielgud Theatre

And lastly a subtle West End play that is as powerful and moving as the lot. A young boy with Asperger’s Syndrome discovers his neighbour’s dog has been killed one night and sets about trying to discover who killed it. It is a story centred on a child with Asperger’s relationships particularly with his parents and is creatively and beautifully staged at the Gielgud Theatre in London. One not to miss.

So there are some children’s books adaptions for you to consider going to see over the next summer! They’ve been fantastically reviewed, enjoyed and anticipated and will make for pushing your children’s books up your TBR!

Let me know if you have seen or are going to see any of these productions soon!

Happy Reading!



  1. I saw Chitty years ago, it's amazing, as is Mary Poppins, both of which I saw in the West End. When I was a kid my parents took me to see stage versions of The Worst Witch and The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark (one of my favourite kids books) and they were brilliant too. My mum and dad also went to see The Railway Children recently when it was broadcast live in cinemas and the really enjoyed it.

    1. I saw Chitty a few years back too! And I'm seeing it again in August! It's one of my favourites - you've got to love the flying car! :) So many West End shows are made up of Children's books, a lot of them I didn't list - like the Gruffalo, Adolphus Tips but they're all on-stage as well :)