Greenwich Theatre Half Term

From well-known favourites to brand new shows, the school holidays at Greenwich Theatre are always packed with shows for families, and this half-term is no exception.

Launching the programme on Sunday 16 February with a tale by Michael Morpurgo, one of the biggest names in children’s literature, the theatre welcomes Skewbald Theatre with their stage version of Morpurgo’s Mimi and the Mountain Dragon. The third children’s laureate (from 2003-2005), Morpurgo is best known for War Horse and Private Peaceful, but his work for younger children is equally memorable. In Mimi and the Mountain Dragon, set high up in the snowy mountains of Switzerland, Mimi discovers a baby dragon asleep in the woodshed and has to brave the journey to the Dragon’s castle to return the baby dragon to its home. Packed with music, live performance and detailed puppetry the acclaimed show is perfect for ages 3+.

Another major name in children’s literature is also set to be celebrated when Chiff Chaff Theatre brings Jill Murphy’s Peace At Last and Whatever Next to the theatre studio. Best known for The Worst Witch series of books, which have sold over five million copies and been adapted for both television and theatre, Murphy’s gentle tales for younger children follow a daddy bear who can’t find a place to sleep, and a baby bear who wants to fly to the moon. The shows, which run at just 40 minutes for the pair, are a perfect theatre introduction for the very young and will be followed by a short interactive playtime with the cast.

If major names in modern children’s literature make up part of the programme, String Theatre’s The Crow’s Tale harks right back to Native American legend, telling the story of the colourful crow who sets off to fly to the sun one winter to ask for warmth for the other animals. Told with long string marionette puppets, the award-winning puppeteers are completely hidden from view so that a whole world is created for the white animals and the brightly coloured crow.

The animal world will also be celebrated in song with John Hinton’s Ensonglopedia of Animals – a show built around twenty-six songs (including those hard letters at the end!) all about extraordinary echinoderms, distressed damselflies, curious corals, batty birds, amazing arachnids and more, with some amazing rhyming thrown in.

For something completely different, the producer of Comedy Club For Kids (the perennial favourite at Greenwich Theatre that always draws a crowd) presents How Does This Politics Thing Work Then? Using stand-up comedy for ages 7+ the show will explain what an election is (by actually staging one for the audience), demonstrate the purpose of democracy, and give children a glimpse of how important politics is and just why mum and dad have been so angry (or happy) with everyone on the TV lately!

The week is rounded off by Action Transport Theatre who come to Greenwich with Adrift, a show about two children in a boat, laughing, arguing, dreaming – and hoping to find a land which will be happy and safe. Developed in partnership with a primary school, Adrift introduces children to ideas about migration. Why might we want to leave where we live? Why might we choose to live somewhere else? Produced with physical theatre performers from around the world, plus an original soundtrack by Patrick Dineen and design from The Mighty Boosh’s Lois Maskell, Adrift will entertain the whole family and leave children a little bit closer to understanding why people move around the globe.

The programme has been put together by James Haddrell, Greenwich Theatre’s artistic director. “The school holidays are always one of my favourite times here at Greenwich Theatre,” he said. “It is so important, at a time when entertainment is becoming ever more dominated by and delivered via small screens, that people still come together to share stories and live experiences, and that matters for children most of all. With streaming, on-demand and catch-up services, people don’t even watch the same television programmes at the same time any more. The old experience of coming to school or work on a Monday and discussing the TV or radio shows that were aired over the weekend is a thing of the past. Broad access to culture is a brilliant thing, but only if it complements live performance, not replaces it.”

“When children grow up, it is not the films that they watched on repeat that they will remember – it is the live performances that they saw once with their families or friends, that they talked about on the way home and the next day, that sowed the seeds of new ideas in their minds. Whether audiences choose to see a classic tale like Mimi and the Mountain Dragon, a legend brought to life like The Crow’s Tale or a show to unpick some of what’s happening in the world like Adrift or the Politics show, a trip to the theatre is an investment in a memory that a child will retain for years to come.”

For the full programme and to book tickets, visit or call 020 8858 7755