Things To Do: Our fun Easter family theatre guide

PUBLISHED: 12:06 08 April 2019

Dinosaur World Live is coming to Colchester Mercury after a successful run in the West End

Dinosaur World Live is coming to Colchester Mercury after a successful run in the West End


The Easter holidays are just around the corner and, as the weather is never entirely predictable, Suffolk’s theatres have got a wide array of shows lined up to inspire the imaginations of young and old alike.

The Gruffalo still entertains audiences young and old  on stage. This latest production visits Bury Theatre RoyalThe Gruffalo still entertains audiences young and old on stage. This latest production visits Bury Theatre Royal

Let’s Build A Planet

New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich

Saturday March 30: 11am & 1.30pm

Imagine designing your own planet. What colour would the sea be? How many legs would a donkey have? What would the farts smell like? Well now’s your chance to choose!

Zoom through the weird and wonderful wormhole alongside Gill and Boo, a couple of crafty World Builders (and clowns) with a ground-breaking plan to build a brand new, fully-functioning planet!

Help them escape from the sinister Robo-Cops, play super silly games with the infamous four-footed gameshow host, Legs Dennis, and meet the mysterious rulers of a distant galaxy who come bearing strange plans, and even stranger sandwiches.

The award-winning comedy improv company The Noise Next Door are now All At Sea and bringing their tales of  pirates and nautical scallywags to the New Wolsey Theatre, IpswichThe award-winning comedy improv company The Noise Next Door are now All At Sea and bringing their tales of pirates and nautical scallywags to the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

You’ll find everything to play for, and every reason to play, in this interactive theatrical spectacular about making things right; nominated for the Brighton Fringe Best Family Show Award 2018.

Tickets: £8-£5

I Wish I Was a Mountain

New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich

Saturday April 6: 1.30pm

Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom is playing both the Ipswich regent and Colchester Mercury TheatreBen and Holly's Little Kingdom is playing both the Ipswich regent and Colchester Mercury Theatre

On the day of the famous annual fair, the town of Faldum receives an unexpected visit. A wanderer offers to grant a wish to anyone who wants one. Before long, the city is transformed. Mansions stand where mud huts once squatted, and beggars ride around in horse drawn carriages. And one man wishes to be turned into a mountain.

Written and performed by former Glastonbury Poetry Slam Champion Toby Thompson, I Wish I Was A Mountain uses rhyme, live music, and just a smattering of metaphysical philosophy to boldly reimagine Herman Hesse’s classic fairytale.

Tickets: £8-£5

The Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Bobby Davro and Dani Harmer are among the stars of The Ipswich Regent Easter pantomimeBobby Davro and Dani Harmer are among the stars of The Ipswich Regent Easter pantomime

Sun April 7 — Mon April 8: 3pm & 6pm

Immersion Theatre present a brand new, larger-than-life musical adaptation of the much-loved classic, Pinocchio. Based on Carlo Collodi’s fantastical children’s book, this magical story leaps off the page and onto the stage in a vibrant re-telling of Pinocchio’s extraordinary adventures.

Packed with comedy, audience interaction, and a completely original score guaranteed to have you singing along from start to finish, this high energy musical promises to be the perfect treat for the whole family.

Tickets: £14-£10.50

Jack and The Beanstalk

Children's classic In The Night Garden has been re-born on stage at the Ipswich RegentChildren's classic In The Night Garden has been re-born on stage at the Ipswich Regent

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Tue April 9 — Wed April 10: 2-4pm; 11am & 2pm

Jack and the Beanstalk delivers a gripping story, wonderful characters, mesmerising giant puppetry and original music for family members big and small to enjoy.

Jack Spratt’s Dairy is struggling in a modern world, so Jack and chums put their heads together to find a solution. Should they sell the cow? Make milkshakes instead of milk? Find themselves some magic beans? When Jack climbs up to cloudland, he reflects on the world below and his place within it. Fathers, sons, friends and heroes, we can all be brave and bold like Jack and find our own place in the world.

This hilarious new show offers a new perspective on a traditional tale for today’s families.

Tickets: £14-£10.50

Twirlywoos Live

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Monday April 15-Tues April 16: 2.30pm, 11.30am & 2.30pm

From the producers of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show and Sarah and Duck Live on Stage comes another enchanting show for young audiences.

The Twirlywoos are setting sail around the UK to welcome young fans along for a theatrical adventure.

Expect mischief, music and plenty of surprises as they share the delight of discovery. With beautifully inventive puppetry the show promises a cast full of all your favourite characters from the hit TV show.

Tickets: £14-£11

The Noise Next Door: At Sea

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Wednesday April 17: 2.30pm

The Noise Next Door are the U.K’s premier improv comedy troupe who have taken the comedy world by storm.

The boys are back and will once again be delighting family audiences with a shiny new family show The Noise Next Door: At Sea. Join our crazy crew for an adventure on the high seas as they need your help to chase down the fearsome Captain Bloodbeard. The Noise Next Door will take your suggestions and transform them into jaw-dropping scenes and mind-blowing songs in the blink of an eye that are equal parts swash-buckling and side-splitting.

With mermaids, magic, sea-shanties and swords, this anarchic afternoon with the quickest wits in comedy is one you’ll treasure forever.

Tickets £8-£5

Nick Sharratt’s Right Royal Drawalong

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Thursday April 18: 2pm

A family-friendly, fun filled event for all ages. Join acclaimed children’s writer and illustrator Nick Sharratt and draw along with him.

He’ll be showing you how to sketch favourite characters like Tracy Beaker and Timothy Pope, sharing ways of creating fantastic creatures like dragons and unicorns, and giving loads of top tips. And to celebrate his latest book ‘Nice Work for the Cat and the King’ everything will have a special ‘royal’ twist.

Nick has illustrated close to 260 books. He’s worked with authors including Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen and Kes Gray, and his books include You Choose, Shark in the Park and Pants. He’s also the illustrator of Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s phenomenally popular children’s novels. He’s been awarded a gold Blue Peter badge too!

Bring pencils, paper and something to lean on and expect plenty of chances to join in.

Tickets: £14-£11

Peter Pan – Easter Panto

Ipswich Regent Theatre

Tuesday April 16 – Wednesday April 17: 1pm & 7pm

Starring: Bobby Davro, Dani Harmer and Lloyd Warby. Join Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up… and take part in his adventures with Wendy as they fly off to Neverland and meet some fantastical characters along the way; Tinker Bell, the Lost Children, Tiger Lily, Nana the dog, Pirates, Smee and of course Captain Hook. With an all-star cast, impressive music, energetic dance routines, lots of laughter and flying that will thrill the child in everyone.

Tickets £24, concession £22, family and group discount available

The Wind in the Willows

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Thu April 18 — Sat April 20

This Easter, ‘hang spring cleaning’ and take the family out to this real theatre treat. Join Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad in Alan Bennett’s delightful and witty adaptation of The Wind in the Willows.

When Mole first steps out onto the riverbank, he encounters a medley of woodland creatures. After making firm friends with Ratty, Mole is introduced to the delights of boating, the terrors of the Wild Wood and the peculiarities of the Wide World beyond. When the pair meet the infamous Toad of Toad Hall with his fads and foibles, they are whisked off on a madcap adventure!

Tickets: £23.50-£10.50

Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom

Colchester Mercury

Tuesday April 23 – Wednesday April 24: 10am, 1pm & 4pm

Ipswich Regent Theatre

Saturday July 20 – Sunday July 21: 10am, 1pm & 4pm

Holly is a young Fairy Princess, who is still learning how to fly and her magic doesn’t always go quite according to plan. Her best friend, Ben the Elf, doesn’t have wings and he doesn’t do magic, but he runs very fast and flies on the back of Gaston the Ladybird. They live in the Little Kingdom, a tiny land where flowers and grass rise high above them and every day is an adventure. Join Ben and Holly, and their friends on this exciting, enchanting and magical musical adventure packed full of games, songs and laughter. This beautiful story of elves, princesses and childhood innocence will delight all the family.

Tickets £15-£21

Bing Live

Ipswich Regent Theatre

Saturday April 27 & Sunday April 28: 10am, 1pm & 4pm

Calling all Bingsters! Bing and his friends are coming to Ipswich in the first ever Bing stage show.

Join Bing, Sula, Coco and Pando as they find out how to tell stories by pretending,dressing-up and singing songs. Flop and Amma are there to help, but in this magical world of make-believe things don’t always go according to plan...

Full of fun, laughter and music, Bing Live! is the perfect first theatre trip for pre-schoolers and their families.

Tickets from £15.50, concessions available

Dinosaur World Live

Colchester Mercury

Saturday May 18 – Sunday May 19: 11.30am & 2.30pm

A dino-mite adventure direct from the West End. Dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World Live in this roarsome interactive show for all the family.

Grab your compass and join our intrepid explorer across unchartered territories to discover a pre-historic world of astonishing dinosaurs. Meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favourite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Triceratops, Giraffatitan, Microraptor and Segnosaurus.

A special meet and greet after the show offers all our brave explorers the chance to make a new dinosaur friend.

Tickets: £14

Growl – The True Story of the Big Bad Wolf

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Sun May 19: 6pm

National Youth Music Theatre return to the festival with a new work written by best-selling children’s author Timothy Knapman, and with music by Laurence Mark Wythe.

We all think we know the story of the Big Bad Wolf. How he’s mean and greedy, and likes blowing down the houses of innocent little pigs, and gobbling up grandmas just for the wicked fun of it. But that’s a fairy tale and the truth is a whole lot more surprising.

In this hilarious, action-packed new family musical, you’ll get to meet the real Wolf: the guardian of a beautiful forest and all the creatures who live there. When a smooth-talking Woodcutter and his gang of henchmen turn up with deforestation and redevelopment on their minds, the Wolf is the only one standing in their way. But once they’ve sown the seeds of doubt among his friends, the Wolf – and his woodland family – will be tested to breaking point, and even the gentlest of creatures will learn that there are times when you just have to be Big and Bad.

Tickets: £16-£8

Aliens Love Underpants

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Fri May 24 — Sat May 25: 1.30pm & 4pm; 11am & 1pm

This zany and hilarious tale based on the best-selling children’s book is wonderfully brought to life on stage for the very first time. With stunning effects, madcap action, original music (and lots of aliens of course!) this fantastically fresh and funny production will delight the whole family.

Tickets: £14-£10.50

In the Night Garden Live

Ipswich Regent Theatre

Wednesday May 29 – Thursday May 30: 10am, 1pm & 4pm

Join Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and friends at In the Night Garden Live for a brand new show on their first ever UK theatre tour.

You’ll see all your favourite characters beautifully brought to life with full-size costumes, magical puppets, and enchanting music. The show lasts just under an hour and it’s a completely new production for the very first In the Night Garden Live theatre tour.

Now in its 10th year, In the Night Garden Live is one of the UK’s favourite family events. Over 1 million people have seen it so far.

Tickets from £13

The Gruffalo

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Tues June 11 — Thurs June 13: 2.30-4.30pm; 10.30am-1.30pm; 10.30am-1.30pm

Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the party mad Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there?

Songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3 and up and their grown-ups, in the much-loved show.

Tickets: £14-£10.50

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Mon June 17 — Tue June 18: 4.30pm; 10.30am & 1.30pm

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by author/illustrator Eric Carle has delighted generations of readers since it was first published in 1969 selling more than 43 million copies worldwide. The timeless classic has made its way off the page and onto the stage.

Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, the critically acclaimed production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar features a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets, faithfully adapting four of Eric Carle’s stories, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course, the star of the show celebrating its 50th Birthday in 2019 The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Tickets: £14-£10.50

Horrible Histories

Ipswich Regent Theatre

Thursday September 12 – Sunday September 15: 10.30am, 11am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3pm & 7pm

In 1993 the first Horrible Histories books were published and now Horrible Histories Live On Stage is coming to Ipswich. There’s a chance to catch Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians in two hilarious shows featuring eye-popping 3D special effects.

In Terrible Tudors take a trip through the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth and hear the legend (and the lies!) about the torturing Tudors. Find out the fate of Henry’s headless wives and his punch up with the Pope. Meet Bloody Mary and see Ed fall dead in his bed and survive the Spanish Armada as it sails into the audience.

Awful Egyptians invites you to meet the fascinating Pharaohs, gasp at the power of the pyramids and discover the foul facts of death and decay with the meanest mummies in Egypt. Are you ready to rumble with Ramesses the Great? Dare you enter through the Gates of the Afterlife? It’s the history of Egypt with the nasty bits left in!

A special feature of the productions are the amazing 3D effects called Bogglevision! Among an array of 3D illusions the audience will see the Spanish Armada firing cannonballs into the auditorium or the Mummy reaching out to grab them.

Tickets from £14, family discount available

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