What the Ladybird Heard - Palace Theatre

London theatre news: Wednesday 21 April 2021

Kids/ family - London West End

The stage show of the much-loved picture book by Julia Donaldson and award-winning illustrator Lydia Monks flies into the Palace Theatre for a limited summer season.
What the Ladybird Heard at the Palace Theatre

Image courtesy Palace Theatre

There's not been much chance for family audiences to enjoy the magic of live theatre over the past year.

With most venues closed for more than 13 months now, family shows have melted into the darkness that coronavirus has brought about.

Last year's panto season - often the first time children get to see a live show - was largely cancelled and other, more irregular, shows were also postponed or cancelled completely.

In normal times (remember those?) family shows crop-up throughout the year, especially during the school holidays, including the long summer break.

And there are (usually) plenty of examples of the genre that turn-up in London's famous West End, at big-name theatres.

So, it's an encouraging sign that family entertainment is starting to appear once again in the theatre schedules.

One such show, announced today, is the stage show of the much-loved picture book What the Ladybird Heard.

The show, which has live original music from a quartet of actors, puppetry and a whole farmyard of fun, will play at the Palace Theatre from 15 July to 29 August.

What the Ladybird Heard is based on the much-loved picture book by Julia Donaldson, bestselling author of The Gruffalo, and award-winning illustrator Lydia Monks.

Recommended for ages 3+, the story revolves around Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len who have a cunning plan to steal a farmer's prize cow.

But they reckon without the tiniest, quietest creature of all - the Ladybird, who has a scheme of her own!

Apparently, Julia Donaldson conceived the work on a countryside walk with her son, imagining a quiet Ladybird outwitting bigger, brawnier creatures.

Producer Kenny Wax said ...

"I am delighted that What the Ladybird Heard is returning to the stage and I'm looking forward to welcoming family audiences back to the West End for a much needed treat this summer.

It will be wonderful to see smiling faces in the glorious Palace Theatre once again."

Show listing information


Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan to steal the farmer's fine prize cow.

But they reckon without the tiniest, quietest creature of all: the Ladybird has a scheme of her own!

Join the clever Ladybird as she leads the animals on their quest to save the day in this joyous stage adaptation of What the Ladybird Heard, the bestselling picture book by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks.

With live music, ​puppetry and a whole farmyard of fun, this 55-minute family favourite is the perfect summer treat!


Author: Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks, adapted by Graham Hubbard
Composer: Jon Fiber and Andy Shaw for JollyGoodTunes
Lyricist: Jon Fiber and Howard Jacques
Director: Graham Hubbard
Designer: Bek Palmer
Lighting: Ric Mountjoy
Puppetry: Bek Palmer (designer)
Production: Kenny Wax Family Entertainment in association with Matthew Gregory


Palace Theatre
Shaftesbury Avenue


From: Thursday 15 July 2021

Closes: Sunday 29 August 2021


Standard: From £12.50

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Show website
ActDrop full listing for What the Ladybird Heard

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