London is a great place to experience the great works of Shakespeare for children in London no matter what their age!
Shakespeare is one of the most famous writers of all times. His literary works share vibrant stories that shed light on the human experience and are a challenge for even the most studious children with excellent reading and comprehension skills. His works are also the inspiration behind some of the most rewarding theatrical performances. You can catch these performances in theatre houses around the world with actors of all ages and skill levels hitting the stage to make it happen.
That includes theatres in London. As a cultural center with a variety of museums, theatres, and art galleries, there is no better place to experience Shakespeare with kids. London has some fun ways to bring this rich body of literary work to life, and we’re going to tell you all about some of the most engaging opportunities for kids of all ages.
Where Can You Find Shakespeare for Children in London?
Visit Shakespeare’s Globe
Find this London theatre at 21 New Globe Walk on the south bank of the Thames River. While the original Globe Theatre was destroyed in a fire, the modern version is an impressive outdoor theatre where you can snag standing tickets at an affordable price. There are fewer than 900 seats and the standing tickets aren’t always comfortable for children, so booking tickets as early as possible online is recommended.
The current building also includes an indoor theatre for the cooler months plus an educational center and a museum. If you’re traveling with a pre-planned itinerary, make sure to schedule enough time to fully explore everything the Globe has to offer.
In addition to watching theatrical performances live, your family can tour the Globe to get a glimpse of what happens backstage. The tours are designed to introduce adults and kids of all ages to Shakespeare’s work and the mission of the theatre. It’s a fun way to introduce children to the theatre prior to attending one of their shows, but they’ll also pick up some historical insight into life in Medieval England.
Tours of the Globe are often included in the London Pass, Explorer Pass, and London City Pass. Most performances are in the open-air theatre between April and October.
Catch the Royal Shakespeare Company in Town
The Royal Shakespeare Company operates two family-friendly theatres plus drop-in activities and Shakespeare-inspired sensory play for babies and toddlers. They’re located in Stratford-upon-Avon but offer a lot of theatrical performances in London. Most of their live shows are suitable for children of all ages, and they’re all dedicated to the great Shakespeare.
You can learn about all of the upcoming performances on the Royal Shakespeare Company website. Look for events happening in London, since they aren’t based in the area.
Take a Shakespeare-Themed Tour of London
Shakespeare’s life in London is a curiosity for many visitors, and tour groups have stepped up to create interactive tours that share interesting stories and rumors. These tours stop at some of the most noteworthy spots from Shakespeare’s London, delivering education along with family-friendly entertainment.
Some of the best London tours for those interested in Shakespeare include:
- Private Shakespeare’s London tours with blue badge tour guides. Your family is matched with a suitable expert tour guide with intimate knowledge of London in Shakespeare’s times. Private tours are a bit more expensive but may deliver a more personalized and enjoyable experience for all.
- Shakespeare’s London Tour with Free Tours by Foot. Lasting more than two hours, this tour starts at the meeting point between Curtian Road, New Yard Inn, and Great Eastern Street. It ends at Shakespeare’s Globe. It takes you through Shakespeare’s London and then across the London Bridge to see where the undesirables who weren’t allowed into the city dwelled.
How to Introduce Kids to Shakespeare
Shakespeare is a challenging author for many children to understand, especially beginning readers. The beginning point is often background information that builds an understanding of who Shakespeare was and why his stories are important in the literary world. That is often enough to intrigue children to tackle the difficult but rewarding language used in Shakespeare’s work.
You can also start out with adaptations of Shakespeare for children so that it is suitable to your child’s reading and comprehension level. Some believe that these watered down versions of his work are inauthentic and rob the reader of the intense language experience that comes with the original works, but others believe that young readers should get hooked first on his stories and then on the richness of his language.
You may also decide not to introduce Shakespeare at all prior to your London family vacation. Allowing little ones to discover his work on the stage first is a great idea because it may intrigue some kids to pick up his books due to their love of those theatrical performances.
How much you want your kids to know about the original source of material for London Shakespeare experiences is a personal matter, as is how you go about making the introduction to your kids. What’s important is that you all have a great time with Shakespeare in London.
- Where to Find Kid-Friendly Theatre Shows in London
- Trip to London with Family? How to Plan Your Trip for Kid-Friendly Fun
- London Family-Friendly Tours and Fun Things to Do with Kids