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The best Easter holiday family shows for all ages

PUBLISHED: 09:30 29 March 2013 | UPDATED: 09:31 29 March 2013

Dora The Explorer!

Dora The Explorer!

Archant

The Easter holidays are here and there is plenty to enjoy — and keep the kids happy — on the Norfolk stage over the next two weeks. SIMON PARKIN picks the best family shows not to miss.

The Tinderbox

Norwich Puppet Theatre, March 29, 2.30pm, £7.50 (£6 cons), £5.50 children, £22 family, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk

A roguish soldier acquires a tinderbox, which gives him the power to magically summon three extraordinary dogs to do his bidding. Watch the soldier’s remarkable roller-coaster adventure reach dizzy heights and plunge dark depths; will he survive and win the love of the beautiful princess? The Tinderbox is a captivating and visually inventive retelling of the classic Hans Andersen tale, which has been especially created by Norwich Puppet Theatre.

Thumbelina

Norwich Puppet Theatre, March 30, 10.30am/12pm, £7.50 (£6 cons), £5.50 children, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk

A show that has been delighting boys and girls (and their grown-ups) for the best part of two decades returns to Norwich Puppet Theatre. Thumbelina is Joy Haynes’ delightful take on the Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a girl no bigger than a thumb and her encounters with a frog, mouse, mole and swallow. This show, suitable for over-twos only, is a gentle introduction to the magic of live performance.

Cirque du Hilarious

Hippodrome, Great Yarmouth, until April 4, 2.30pm/6.30pm (April 4 2.30pm only), £16-£12 (£12 cons), £10 children, ££40-£36 family, 01493 844172, www.hippodromecircus.co.uk

Father and son comedy duo Clive Webb and Danny Adams, winners of the Ken Dodd Comedy Award and the CFA Award for Best Comedy, return to the Hippodrome with a brand new show this Easter. It’ll be their only appearances in Great Yarmouth this year.

They’ll be joined by The Three Wizards, the world’s craziest rock band Clownforce and Dynamite Roulette plus a host of new gags from Clownforce, creating side-splitting humour, magic and mayhem.

The show also features a cast of familiar slapstick characters as well as some new faces including daredevil Sasha Williams from Switzerland on the high rolla rolla, chainsaw juggler Anthony from Australia and Danny Adams who will emulate the great Houdini in attempting the famous milk churn escape whilst chained and padlocked.

They promise to have us rolling in the aisles for eight days over the Easter holidays.

Expect lots of magic and illusions; music and special effects; and lots of mayhem from the kings of anarchy.

Pied Piper

Norwich Puppet Theatre, March 30, 2.30pm/4pm, £7.50 (£6 cons), £5.50 children, £22 family, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk

The Puppet Theatre revives its much loved production of the favourite fable directed by Bob Percy with music by Jonathan Lambert and performed by Jonathan Storey. The peaceful town of Hamelin is being disturbed by an endless army of rats. The people turn to the Pied Piper and his bewitching flute, but will the mayor be able to keep his promise? This is a humorous and irresistible one person show. It’s back in Norwich after a successful autumn tour of the UK. Suitable for ages 3 and upwards.

Dora The Explorer Search for the City of Lost Toys

Norwich Theatre Royal, March 31, 4pm/April 2-3, 10am/1pm, £16-£5.50, £12-£5.50 under-18s, under-1s free, 01603 630000, www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

Every child’s favourite explorer steps into her hiking boots and throws on her backpack in this live musical adventure. It tells the story of Dora who has lost her favourite teddy bear Osito, and the search is on to retrieve her huggable friend from the City of Lost Toys. But what will happen when the sly fox Swiper tries to ruin Dora’s mission and steal all the toys? If you are looking for an upbeat, interactive show, designed to teach children to overcome obstacles and solve puzzles, then this it.

The Chuckle Brothers

Norwich Theatre Royal, April 4, 2pm, £14-£5.50, 01603 630000, www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

In this new adventure from every eight-year-old’s favourite comedy brothers a theatre manager is in trouble because a ghostly presence is scaring all the people away. He calls Paul and Barry for help and as you’d expect things don’t exactly go to plan? The Chuckle Brothers Meet The Phantom promises more of the usual slap-stick, plus some spectacular magic, songs and puppets.

Cloud Man

Norwich Puppet Theatre, April 4-6, 11am/2.30pm, £7.50 (£6 cons), £5.50 children, £22 family, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk

Cloudia has always had her head in the clouds. A cloud expert, she has dreamt all her life of seeing a Cloud Man - extremely rare creatures that live a quiet life high up in the sky…

In this delightful show from Ailie Cohen Puppet Maker, the audience follows the clues to the very top of Cloud Mountain.

Annie

Sheringham Little Theatre, April 5-13, 01263 822347, www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

This year’s community production at the Sheringham Little Theatre, starting mid-way through the Easter holidays, is the ever-popular musical Annie. Just in case you don’t know, it tells the story of an orphan who slowly melts the heart of an irascible billionaire while on a quest to find her parents. As ever it is set to be a real community production. Dozens of singing and dancing youngster attended auditions for the roles hoping to be performing such catchy numbers as Tomorrow and It’s the Hard-Knock Life.

Peter Pan

Seagull Theatre, Pakefield, Lowestoft, until April 6, £8 (£6 cons), £28 family, 01502 589726, www.theseagull.co.uk

A magical production of the famous J.M. Barrie British musical ‘Peter Pan’ from Lowestoft-based B&B Theatre Company, who won plaudits for its previous two shows Oliver! and Annie. The enchanting tale, featuring a cast of about 40 young people, follows the boy who won’t grow up through his encounter with the Darling family and his adventures through Neverland.

Rumpelstiltskin

Norwich Arts Centre, April 11, 12pm/3pm, £8 (£6 cons), 01603 660352, www.norwichartscentre.co.uk

Following their last sell out national tour with The Owl and the Pussycat, Hiccup Theatre return with a new version of Rumpelstiltskin by Olivier Award winning writer Mike Kenny. Follow the troubled Miller’s daughter as she tries to outwit the greatest trickster of them all…or will rotten Rumpel double cross her once and for all? Live music, puppetry and mischievous storytelling.

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