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For many youngsters, those early years are a true time of wonder. You can watch your favourite film over and over and it still finds new ways to delight you. Unfortunately, as adults we’re often a little more jaded – but seeing a nostalgic story brought to life on stage with songs you still remember all the words to can truly make you feel like a kid again.
Here are our top childhood films that ended up on West End stages, and listen to our Spotify playlist for more reminiscing.
There’s a reason The Lion King has celebrated 20 years in the West End. Successfully capturing the nostalgia and charm of the film whilst adapting the style and aesthetic for stage, the puppetry, music, cast, costume and choreography make the production an homage to the Serengeti and a story than transcends just the animal kingdom.
With 20 years between the release of the Dreamworks animated film and its West End debut, The Prince of Egypt has had plenty of time to pick up fans along the way. The musical acts as the perfect celebration of the critically-acclaimed animation, boasting the original songs as well as ten new ones – so audiences new and old can find awe and excitement in the magical production.
PL Travers’ Mary Poppins literary series dates back to the 1930s, meaning most living people would have grown up with the tales of the magic English nanny. Turned into a film three decades later, and then adapted for the stage in 2004, the wondrous story has consistently mesmerised audiences. The nostalgia of the iconic characters and songs combined with the extraordinary stage tricks and choreography make it one for adults and children alike. [Find tickets]
Roald Dahl has always had a knack for creating a dark story with just enough humour and magic for it to be deemed child-appropriate, and Matilda is a best-in-class example of this. Inspiring swathes of children to read more, believe in themselves, and stand up for what’s right (even if it means breaking the rules just a little), Matilda is a timeless tale and the perfect show for reminiscing. [Find tickets]
Few West End productions have managed to capture the essence of a place quite like Aladdin. With each dance number, lavish costume, magic carpet ride and manifestation of the genie, audience members were transported not only to the fictional city of Agrabah, but also to their first memories of seeing the Disney classic.
Listen to our Spotify playlist for more:
Discover more from the stage in our Theatre Guide.