I’m still putting together my big Easter holidays events listings… there’s just so much going on but hopefully they will be with you soon. In the meantime, here are 16 family theatre and live performances happening in and around Cardiff from now until the end of the month, with the majority taking place in the local school holidays.
For family theatre events taking place later in the year, check out this article on 47 family theatre shows and other big events in Cardiff to book now.
Locations across Cardiff city centre
Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 April
£5 per person for most events
The second weekend of the annual celebration of children’s literature features sessions from Rob Biddulph, Christopher Edge; local authors PG Bell, Caryl Lewis, and Eloise Williams, plus BBC TV presenter and author Lucy Owen. Welsh language events include Meleri Wyn James talking about Na, Nel! and Manon Steffan Rhys author of Fi a Joe Allen.
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
Friday 12 and Saturday 13 April, 8pm
Age 8+; no under 2s
Acclaimed choreographer Mark Morris returns to Cardiff with Pepperland, a unique tribute to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Featuring an original score by Ethan Iverson, performed by a live chamber music ensemble, the show elaborates on Sgt. Pepper’s non-rock and roll influences. Arrangements of songs including With a Little Help From My Friends, When I’m Sixty-Four and Penny Lane, are interspersed with six Pepper-inspired original pieces intended especially to complement Mark Morris’ profound understanding of classical forms: Allegro, Scherzo, Adagio, and the blues.
The Girl With Incredibly Long Hair / Y Ferch Gyda Gwallt Hynod Hir
Blackwood Miners Institute; Wednesday 10-Thursday 11 April
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff; Saturday 13-Thursday 18 April
Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon; Friday 26-Saturday 27 April
Memo Arts Centre, Barry; Tuesday 7-Wednesday 8 May
Pontardawe Arts Centre; Wednesday 15-Thursday 16 May
Riverfront, Newport; Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May
Theatr Clwyd, Mold; Thursday 23-25 May
Following sell-out performances and great reviews in 2018, We Made This are touring Wales with The Girl With Incredibly Long Hair, a reimagining of Rapunzel for modern times, with both English and Welsh performances. An ambitious and immersive theatre production for young audiences, The Girl With Incredibly Long Hair joins Rapunzel, her Mam, and her new friend Daf as they set off on an adventure to the heart of the forest. Be immersed in its sights, sounds and smells, with the story unfolding all around the audience.
St David’s Hall Cardiff
Saturday 13 April, 2pm and 7pm
A screening of the famous musical film with plenty of audience participation. A live host will teach everyone a unique set of dance moves, show you how to use our interactive prop bags, and also get you to practice your cheers, your boos and even a few wolf whistles. Fancy dress is strongly encouraged and full audience participation essential. Please note this is a screening of the movie, not a live stage show.
Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
Monday 15 April, 1.30pm and 5pm; Tuesday 16 April, 2.30pm and 7pm; Wednesday 17 April, 11am
Touring the UK for the first time, this show is the history of Britain with all the gory bits left in. Be reduced to rubble by the ruthless Romans. Mount a mutiny against King Henry VIII. See Mary Tudor knock the spots off Mary Queen of Scots. Help Georgian detectives find the headless man, plus lots more.
Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
Tuesday 16-Saturday 20 April
Taking Flight Theatre tackle children’s emotions and mental health in this tale of one child’s journey to come to terms with their dragons – the bad dreams, swirly tummy, feeling prickly that sometimes makes you feel alone. The show features live, original music, in a highly visual, sensitive production that is a humorous and touching exploration of the dragons we all face.
Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
Wednesday 17 April, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm
Ages 1-7; 40 minute show
A fun and interactive show guiding youngsters through the seasons. Percy and April will get the young audience settled on comfortable cushions and introduce them to Birdy, still hiding in his glowing egg. You will have to wait until Spring if you want to see him in this hands-on journey through the year. Run through the rain and the falling leaves and sleep under the snow until the sun wakes you up for the butterfly party.
Blackwood Miners’ Institute
Thursday 18 April, 11.30am and 2pm
Adults £12.50, children £10.50
Louis Pearl has been thrilling audiences worldwide for over thirty years with the art, magic, science and fun of bubbles. An Edinburgh Fringe favourite, he has sold out there for the last twelve years.
Louis explores the breathtaking dynamics of bubbles, combining comedy and artistry with audience participation and enough spellbinding bubble tricks to keep everyone mesmerized. From square bubbles to rocket bubbles, tornado bubbles to flying saucer bubbles, the Amazing Bubble Man conjures shrieks of laughter and gasps of amazement from all ages!
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 April, 12pm and 4pm
Ages 0-7; 45 minutes
An award-winning musical multi-sensory adventure based on the storybook by renowned parenting and trauma expert, Jane Evans in which Little Meerkat finds out how to manage through some very big feelings. It’s Little Meerkat’s first day on Lookout Duty. However, he finds it overwhelming and falls asleep. When he wakes, all his meerkat friends and family are gone and he panics. Can a Kind Elephant and Wise Monkey help him feel calmer and find those missing meerkats?
Tuesday 23-Friday 26 April
(Tuesday 1pm and 3.30pm; Wednesday 11am and 2pm; Thursday 2pm; Friday 11am and 2pm)
£14; groups of 10+ £8.50
Dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinsoaur World Live as the roarsome interactive family show comes to Newport direct from the West End.
Join the show’s intrepid explorer across unchartered territories to discover a pre-historic world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) 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.
New Theatre, Cardiff
Wednesday 24-Sunday 28 April (Wednesday 7pm; Thursday-Saturday 2.00pm and 7.00pm; Sunday 11am and 3pm)
Based on the best-selling books by Liz Pichon, this new story comes to the stage for the first time. Tom’s doing everything possible to stay out of trouble but somehow he’s got three sad faces on the school achievement chart. And getting another sad face means Mr Fullerman won’t let him go on the school trip. Moany Marcus Meldrew is making things worse and now Tom’s annoyed his grumpy sister Delia. Even Amy Porter (who’s smart) won’t talk to him! Can his best friend Derek help? Will Rooster the dog stop eating his homework? Will his grandparents the Fossils ever make something he can actually eat?
Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl
Tuesday 23 April, 12pm and 3.30pm
£14; group of 4 £50
Age guidance 3+
This zany and hilarious tale is based on the best-selling children’s book by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. Aliens Love Underpants is a fantastically fresh and funny production that will delight the whole family. Trust us, you’ll laugh your pants off!
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Wednesday 24-Sunday 28 April
Mickey and Minnie Mouse present an inspiring celebration of magic and family fun as some classic Disney animations are brought to the ice. Embark on an ocean adventure as Dory, Nemo and Marlin from Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory discover the real meaning of family. Travel to Arendelle with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf from Disney’s Frozen as they learn true love is the greatest power of all. Nothing is out of reach for Rapunzel as her friends help light the way. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs make their own magic and reveal we can do anything with our friends in tow. Toystory’s Buzz and Woody will have you jumping out of your seat in a foot-stomping throwdown; Simba, Timon and Pumbaa prowl the Pridelands in The Lion King; Jasmine, Aladdin and Genie show friendship is fearless; and your favourite Disney Princesses stay strong and journey on.
St David’s Hall, Cardiff
Friday 26 April-Sunday 28 April (Friday 4.30pm; Saturday 11am 2pm 4pm; Sunday 11am and 2pm)
Zog the dragon is eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Zog tries so very hard, perhaps too hard, and he bumps, burns and roars his way through years one, two and three. Luckily, the plucky Princess Pearl patches him up ready to face his biggest challenge yet… a duel with Gadabout the Great. Based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved picture book this magical adaptation features live musicians and a set which looks like it’s come straight from the book.
Read an interview with Julia Donaldson where she talks about bringing Zog to the stage here.
FREE Family Dance Festival
Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 April, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm
Saturday 27 April at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm
An interactive and entertaining hour of pop-up dance featuring three professional companies from Wales and local youth groups. Witness the amazing dancers twisting and turning, tumbling and sliding in this jam-packed bilingual national touring event, plus have a go during the fun taster workshop following each performance. This is a free outdoor event and not ticketed; no need to hook, just turn up. A Bombastic, Coreo Cymru and Wales Millennium Centre co-production in association with Chapter.
Memo Arts Centre, Barry
Saturday 27 April, 7pm
Adults £12, children £16, group of 4 £35
Witness the thrills and spills of live Welsh Wrestling in an evening of glitz, glamour and bodyslam mayhem as the Welsh Wrestling roadshow invades for one night only! See the over the top stars of the wrestling world collide in a night of super slamming action at this fun, crazy, family entertainment show.