Family First Nights 2023


Go Live Theatre Projects is a theatre education charity dedicated to making theatre accessible and affordable to families and young people.

Family First Nights is our annual summer programme which offers low-income families the opportunity to see live theatre shows for just £8* per ticket.

Family First Nights is a ‘referral-only’ programme so please don’t share this page or information with anyone else. We work with family organisations and services across London, who refer families to participate in the programme.

How to apply for tickets

The organisation who referred you to this page will need to apply for tickets on your behalf.

Browse the shows below and make a note of the show names, and the dates & times you’d like to see them. You will need to let the organisation know your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices.

If you are really keen to see one show then you can select 3 different performance times / dates as your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices (if there are multiple performances).

Successful families will receive a confirmation email from the Family First Nights team, with details of booking. This will include:

· Confirmation of the show, date and time

· How to pay for tickets

· Show information

· What To Expect and Things To Do In London documents to help make the most of your family day out

Payment for your tickets must be made within 7 days of your confirmation email being received.

Once your tickets have been paid for, a member of the FFN team will give you a ring (usually a week before the performance) to make sure you are happy and ready for your theatre trip. Tickets will be sent to your email address at least 24 hours prior to the performance date.


Family First Nights Programme 2023

Shows with Access Performances

A relaxed performance is where the ambience of the auditorium and theatre ‘rules’ are relaxed.
These performances are ideal for people with learning disabilities or autism, or anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment.

The Smeds and the Smoos

Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

Audio Description and Relaxed Performance – 10th August at 2pm
Relaxed Performance  – 20th August at 2pm
BSL and Relaxed Performance – 24th August at 11am

I Believe in Unicorns

Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

Relaxed Performance – 8th August at 11.30am

The Spongebob Musical

Southbank Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Relaxed Performance –16th August at 2pm

Shows with Free Workshop Packages


Dance and movement Workshop

Date: TBC
Time: TBC
Veune: Go Live Theatre Studio, 33 Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 7EH
Show time: 2.30pm
I Believe in Unicorns

Sketch Appeal Family Workshop

Date: 11th August
Time: 10.30am- 12.00pm
Venue: Go Live Theatre Projects Studio, 33 Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 7EH
Please note this venue has many stairs and no lift and so may not be suitable for everyone.
Show time: 2:30PM

Alice in Wonderland: Kew Day

Family Workshop 

Date: 30th July 
Time: 3:30pm following the show.
Venue: The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE
Show time: 2:00pm

All shows and performances

Children’s Shows

I Believe in Unicorns

Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7EZ
Dates Available:
11:00am Performance: 29th July
11:30am Performances: 28th July, 1st August, 8th August
2:30pm Performances: 4th August, 11th August
Award-winning storyteller Danyah Miller brings best-selling children’s author Michael Morpurgo’s treasured story to life. This intimate show is set in a library full of books that hold more than stories within their pages. It is a tale of the power of books, and the bravery of 8-year-old Tomas. An enchanting and interactive production, I Believe in Unicorns sparks imagination in audiences both young and old.
Ages 6+ 

The Smeds and The Smoos

Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES.
Dates Available:
11am Performances: 24th July, 6th August, 13th August, 14th August, 24th August
2:00pm Performances: 30th July, 31st July, 10th August, 20th August, 27th August
Soar into space with this exciting adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book by Tall Stories – the company that brought you The Gruffalo live on stage.  
On a far-off planet, Smeds and Smoos can’t be friends. So when a young Smed and Smoo fall in love and zoom off into space together, how will their families get them back?
Ages 3+ 
Babies in arms are allowed. Please specify in your application if this applies to you. 

Dinosaur World Live

Regents Park Open Air, Inner Cir, London NW1 4NU
Dates Available:
Morning Performances: 12th August (10.30am), 18th August (11am), 25th August (11am)
2:00pm Performances: 11th August, 15th August, 22nd August
Dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World Live in this dino-mite interactive show for all the family. Grab your compass and join our intrepid explorer across uncharted 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 on the theatre lawn offers all our brave explorers the chance to make a new dinosaur friend.
Ages 3+ 
Babies in arms are allowed. Please specify in your application if this applies to you. 

Horrible Histories – Terrible Tudors

Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0HH
Dates Available:
11.00am Performances: 2nd August, 9th August, 15th August, 23rd August
2pm Performances: 28th July, 2nd August, 9th August, 15th August, 23rd August
4pm Performance: 28th July
So Terrible Tudors is back with the hit West End show for a second sensational year! From the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, hear the legends (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. Survive the Spanish Armada as they launch their attack! It’s history with the nasty bits left in!
Ages 5+

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Theatre Royal Haymarket, Haymarket, London SW1Y 4HT
Dates Available:
11:00am Performances: 27th July, 31st July, 8th August, 15th August, 24th August
1:30pm Performances: 27th July, 1st August, 11th August, 15th August, 25th August
Based on Britain’s best-loved picture book by Judith Kerr, the Olivier Award nominated smash hit show The Tiger Who Came to Tea returns to the West End for Summer 2023. 
The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger!   Join the tea-guzzling tiger in this delightful family show; packed with oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos! A stunning stage adaptation of the classic tale of teatime mayhem… expect to be surprised! 
Ages 3+ 
Babies in arms are allowed. Please specify in your application if this applies to you. 



Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Rd, Pimlico, London SW1V 1LG
Dates Available:
2:30pm Performances: 26th July, 23rd August
7:30pm Performances: 27th July, 3rd August, 17th August, 24th August
“Now the 12th longest running production in West End history, Wicked is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire and written by Winnie Holzman with songs by Stephen Schwartz. Winner of more than 100 awards, this unforgettable musical tells the untold story of the Witches of Oz and how one came to be called ‘good’ and the other ‘wicked’.”
Ages 7+.

Mamma Mia!

Novello Theatre, Aldwych, London WC2B 4LD
Dates Available:
3:00pm Performances: 27th July, 3rd August, 10th August, 16th August, 24th August
7:30pm Performances: 27th July, 3rd August, 11th August, 16th August, 24th August
Join the fun at Mamma Mia!, the world’s sunniest, most exhilarating smash-hit musical! . Fall in love with the irresistibly funny tale of a mother, a daughter and three possible dads on a Greek island idyll, all unfolding to the magic of ABBA’s timeless songs. The worldwide phenomenon has now been turned into two record-breaking movies – ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.’ Whatever age you are, you can’t help but have the time of your life at Mamma Mia!
Ages 5+
Please note that our allocation of tickets is in the balcony so unfortunately it is not suitable for people with limited mobility, vertigo or fear of heights.

Alice in Wonderland

Berberis Dell, Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE
Dates Available:
11:00am Performances: 29th July, 2nd August, 10th August, 16th August, 28th August
2:00pm Performances: 30 July, 4th August, 13th August, 19th August, 25th August
Journey down the rabbit hole and enter a fantastical world! Join Alice as she searches for a way home, meeting the disappearing Cheshire Cat, the beautifully dressed Mad Hatter, and the bad-tempered Queen of Hearts who is busy painting the roses red. Set within the enchanting surroundings of Kew Gardens, this play is led by a talented cast of actor-musicians.
Ages 5+ 
Babies in arms are allowed. Please specify in your application if this applies to you. 


Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Ct Rd, London W1T 7AQ
Dates Available:
2:30pm Performances: 27th July, 3rd August, 10th August, 17th August, 24th August
7:30pm Performances: 27th July, 4th August, 8th August, 16th August, 21st August
Have a blast this summer as Grease The Musical  returns to the West End for another strictly limited season!
After a whirlwind summer romance, leather-clad greaser Danny and girl-next-door Sandy are unexpectedly reunited when she transfers to Rydell High for senior year. But can they survive the trials and tribulations of teenage life and find true love once more?
Ages 7+ 

The Wizard of Oz




Cambridge Theatre, Earlham St, London WC2H 9HU
Dates Available:
7pm Performances: 25th July, 26th July, 3rd August, 10th August, 16th August, 24th August
Matilda The Musical is the record-breaking musical masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by Roald Dahl’s beloved book.
With book by Dennis Kelly, and music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.
Winner of over 100 international awards, including 24 for Best Musical, Matilda has been delighting audiences in London’s West End for over a decade.
Ages 6+

The Spongebob Musical

Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Dates Available:
2:00pm Performances: 3rd August, 9th August, 16th August, 23rd August
7:00pm Performances: 27th July, 4th August, 9th August, 17th August, 23rd August
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea and became the hottest star on Broadway? It’s SpongeBob SquarePants, in an all-singing, all-dancing, hilarious new musical, coming to London’s Southbank Centre for 5 weeks only from 26 July – 27 August 2023!
Ages 6+

Ain’t Too Proud

Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4HS
Dates Available:
7:30pm Performances: 27th July, 11th August, 18th August
Ain’t Too Proud is the exhilarating new musical following the remarkable journey of The Temptations from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. TONY Award-winning choreography and Grammy Award-winning music tell a thrilling story of brotherhood, loyalty and betrayal set to the beat of the group’s most treasured hits, including My Girl, Just My Imagination, Get Ready, Papa Was a Rolling Stone and so many more. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, The Temptations rose to the top of the charts with a staggering 42 Top-Ten Hits and 14 Number Ones. The rest is history. Experience the sound of genius in the making.
Ages 12+



The Play That Goes Wrong

Duchess Theatre, 3-5 Catherine St, London WC2B 5LA
Dates Available:
7:30pm Performances: 26th July, 2nd August, 9th August, 16th August, 23rd August
Don’t miss Mischief’s award-winning THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG as it crashes into its ninth chaotic year in the West End at the Duchess Theatre.
In a classic whodunnit, an inspector is called to find the culprit of a murder at Haversham Manor. However, when this plot is given to the accident-prone thespians at The Cornley Drama Society, everything that can go wrong… does!
Ages: 8+ 

2:22 A Ghost Story

Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 7EZ
Dates Available:
7:30pm Performances: 25th July and 23rd August
This award-winning supernatural thriller continues its phenomenal West End run – now playing to packed houses at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave, starring Sophia Bush, Ricky Champ, Clifford Samuel and Jaime Winstone. Following four record-breaking seasons at the Noël Coward, Gielgud, Criterion and The Lyric Theatres, this critically acclaimed new play has become London’s must-see theatre event. 2:22- A Ghost Story is written by award-winning writer Danny Robins, creator of the hit BBC podcasts Uncanny and The Battersea Poltergeist, and is directed by Matthew Dunster.
Ages 12+
*Please note this show is not suitable for younger audiences*


Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet

Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Angel, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN
Dates Available:
7:30pm, 15th August
Passion and heartbreak collide in Matthew Bourne’s contemporary take on the timeless tale of two star-crossed young lovers. Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet gives Shakespeare’s timeless story of forbidden love a scintillating injection of raw passion and youthful vitality. Confined against their will by a society that seeks to divide, our two young lovers must follow their hearts as they risk everything to be together. A masterful re-telling of an ageless tale of teenage discovery and the obsession of first love, Romeo and Juliet received universal critical acclaim when it premiered in 2019. Directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, collaborating with the New Adventures Artistic team; Etta Murfitt (Associate Artistic Director), Lez Brotherston (Set and Costume design), Paule Constable (Lighting Design), Paul Groothuis (Sound Design) and Arielle Smith (Associate Choreographer) with Terry Davies’ thrillingly fresh orchestrations of Prokofiev’s dynamic score.
*Please note, this show is only suitable for ages 14+ and will not be suitable for a younger audience.*

Click here to read the content warnings for all the shows.

Extra Offers

Free Family Day at The Wallace Collection

Date: Friday 28 July 2023
Time: 11.00-16.00
Location: The Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN

Free exhibition visit and drop-in creative workshops for families with children aged 5+.

Discover our hit Portraits of Dogs exhibition, which explores our devotion to canine companions through art. See a host of wonderful paintings by artists from Leonardo da Vinci to David Hockney.

In order to take part, participating FFN families need to register their interest by contacting 0207 563 9577 or community@wallacecollection.org.

Please bring a copy of your FFN show confirmation email to get free entry.

Pick up our free interactive handset, designed by children from our local primary school, to use as part of your visit. Families can enjoy musical storytelling in the exhibition and take part in dog sculpture workshops on the day.


Details of the workshops: 


Musical storytelling sessions in the exhibition:


Studio sculpture workshops:


Family Resources

Successful families will receive email confirmation with information including:

Going To The Theatre – What To Expect

Things To Do In London and other Theatre Access Programmes

Get in touch

Got any questions about this year’s Family First Nights? Please email ffn.admin@golivetheatre.org.uk or fill in the form below. 

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