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The Tiger Who Came to Tea – West End Musical for Kids

The Tiger Who Came to Tea - Alan Atkins (Tiger)Adapted from Judith Kerr’s award-winning picture book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea stage show promises to be the most exciting stage show for young children this spring and summer! With sing-along songs, magic and plenty of audience participation… not to mention an enormous tiger… this is one show your children will truly enjoy.

Songs and Lyrics by “The National Children’s Dramatist”

Dubbed “the national children’s dramatist” by The Times, David Wood OBE is the country’s leading writer and director of plays and musicals for children, with over 70 plays for children performed around the world. His many successes include Goodnight Mr Tom¸ Shaun The Sheep, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Gingerbread Man, BFG, The Witches, Meg and Mog, Spot and Babe the Sheep Pig.

Beautifully Absurd, Timeless Story

First published in 1968, Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea is one of the most successful children’s books of all time, and with good reason. There is something beautifully absurd about a Tiger knocking politely at the door at tea time, only to eat up all the food and drink up all the water in the tap so that Sophie can’t even have her bath. Inspired by a trip to the zoo with her three year old daughter, the story has touched many generations and is still a favourite today – its popularity and timelessness evident from the success of the special The Tiger Who Came to Tea exhibit at Seven Stories in Newcastle.
A stage show such as this will no doubt be something our children will remember for years to come.

Our review of the Tiger Who Came to Tea

Since writing the original article, I have had the pleasure of taking my two young children to see The Tiger Who Came to Tea Live in the West End. Here’s what I thought of the show:

The Tiger Who Came to Tea was an absolute winner from before the actors even reached the stage. They wandered along the aisles, stopping every so often to ask the kids if they had seen a tiger anywhere. My children, aged 3 and 4, eyes as wide as saucers, duly looked under the seats to see if perhaps Tiger was hiding. Once on stage, the three actors take us on a musical journey through a series of knocks on the door, each one building more suspense before Tiger arrives. We had a good giggle at Daddy, the Postman and the Milkman acting quite silly, and the children really enjoyed the “A knock on the doooooor…. who could it beeeee?” sing-along. When Tiger himself finally made an appearance, the children were in stitches and joined in shouting “Tiger!! Tiger!!”.

I loved the used of clever props which made all the food disappear as Tiger gobbled it up, and Tiger’s costume was fabulous. I also liked how the play itself stays true to the book for the most part, so my young children felt really at ease knowing what was coming next – important when there is a Tiger involved! All in all I thought the show was really sweet, uncomplicated, and just the right thing for young children. I’m also fairly pleased about the side effect on my children who have since been gobbling up their meals quickly and without a fuss!
4 stars out of 5 from me!

The Tiger Who Came to Tea West End Show is recommended for children aged 3 and above. Running time: Approx. 55 minutes – no interval. More details and a sneak preview are on The Tiger Who Came to Tea Live website.

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Written by Janis P.


  1. We hated it. My 3 year old was bored and I guess patronised by the shrill, gormless overacting and banal audience participation. My friend and her 3 year old felt much the same. Why so much theatre for kids feels it had to have actors talk like Mr Tumble crossed with a teletubbie is beyond me. Young children are capable of relating to and understanding normal delivery. Of course slapstick, silly songs and 30 year olds pretending to be 6 with a constant rictus grin have their place – just not on our cultural calendar. 2 stars. Both for the tiger costume.

    • Oh, what a shame – sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy it. One thing is that we had the pleasure of seeing one of the first performances, so the actors genuinely seemed to be having a good time. Perhaps a few weeks in, it’s lost the freshness.

      For us, the silliness was the point – when we want something with more subtlety we go to the Little Angel theatre – their shows are usually superb. Fantastic Mr Fox was incredible. Simon’s review here:

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