What are the best theatre shows to take your kids to this summer?

Bugsy Malone at the Lyric Hammersmith

Bugsy Malone at the Lyric Hammersmith - Credit: Archant

Bridget Galton looks at two highlights of the early summer season, Bugsy Malone and Peter Pan.

Parents booking family theatre trips have a great choice across north and west London this month.

A barnstorming production of Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone has just reopened the newly revamped Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith (see review until August 1) and the annual season at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre kicks off with a new version of J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan.

Barrie’s inspiration for the Lost Boys and Peter were the five Llewelyn Davies brothers, whom he became legal guardian of when their mother Sylvia died in 1910.

Barrie first met eldest brother George aged four in Kensington Gardens with his nanny and his stories of his adventures with the brothers; The Boy Castaways at Black Lake Island and The Little White Bird became the prototype for his 1904 play Peter Pan and Wendy.

As the daughter of George Du Maurier, Sylvia grew up in Hampstead and alongside her husband Arthur, sons George, Jack, Peter and Michael is buried in Hampstead Parish Churchyard.

George died in action 100 years ago in the First World War, and Regent’s Park’s artistic director Timothy Sheader has taken inspiration from that generation of ‘lost boys’ to set the opening scene of his production on the western front. Suitable for ages nine upwards Peter Pan runs from May 15 until June 14, openairtheatre.com

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Elsewhere at Jacksons Lane in Highgate on May 10 Tutti Frutti Theatre Company presents a playful and magical production of the classic hair-raising fairytale of Rapunzel for ages 2-7. Jacksonslane.org.uk

And the 50-seat Puppet Theatre Barge in Little Venice presents a family show: Fowl Play: A Farmyard Adventure, featuring marionettes and shadow puppets. It tells the simple story of a foal born on a farmyard which causes a stir among the animals and runs May 23 until July 12. puppetbarge.com.