Family-friendly events coming to the UAE, from Matilda the Musical to Bluey’s Big Play

A series of shows and performances will take place in Abu Dhabi and Dubai for crowds of all ages

Matilda the Musical is coming to Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi in June. Photo: Matilda the Musical
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Beloved characters from children's favourite TV shows and books are coming to life on stage.

Families have plenty of choice in the coming weeks. They could choose to be enchanted by Matilda the Musical, charmed by Bluey and his family, entertained by Dubai's own Magic Phil or mesmerised by Disney on Ice performances.

Here's a selection of family-friendly performances and events already available or coming soon to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Fontana Circus Tent, April 7 to June 20, Yas Island

When: Thursdays to Sundays, various timings

The travelling water circus has made its way to Yas Island with a stop at Yas Creative Hub. Produced by Lebanese group Cirque Du Liban, the show was inspired by the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy, a famed attraction where visitors often toss in a coin for luck.

A musical dancing fountain is the centrepiece of the performance, as water jets and colourful lights dance together in sync with music. Other highlights include the air cube performance, where three aerial acrobats perform mid-air; Duo Del Comedia, a Spanish comedic pair; and motorcycle daredevils who perform dangerous stunts.

There are performances from Thursdays to Sundays with various timings but the final week will have performances every day starting from June 13. Tickets start at Dh100; platinumlist.net

Magic Phil, May 26, Manarat Al Saadiyat

When: 1.30pm

The little ones don’t have to be left out of Abu Dhabi Comedy Week. As part of the inaugural event, children’s entertainer and radio host Magic Phil will host a show at Manarat at Saadiyat. He’ll perform a comedy magic show and there will be a meet-and-greet afterwards.

Tickets are Dh125; platinumlist.net

The Gruffalo’s Child, May 18 and 19, Theatre by QE2

When: Saturday and Sunday; 10.30am, 2.30pm, 4.30pm

The one-hour long show that has been adapted from the popular children’s picture book of the same name by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

On a wild and windy night, the Guffalo’s Child disregards her father’s warnings about the Big Bad Mouse and ventures into the deep, dark woods. Tracking snowy footprints and encountering enigmatic creatures along the way, she begins to wonder: Is the Big Bad Mouse merely a figment of imagination?

Tickets are Dh135; www.theatrebyqe2.com

Matilda The Musical, June 20 to 23, Etihad Arena

When: Thursday and Friday, 6.30pm; Saturday and Sunday, noon and 5pm

The critically-acclaimed musical from The Royal Shakespeare Company has won more than 100 awards since its debut in 2010 including the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Based on Roald Dahl’s 1988 novel Matilda, the musical tells the story of Matilda Wormwood, an extraordinary young girl with a love for books. She faces challenges at home with her neglectful and abusive parents, as well as at school with the tyrannical headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. Despite these obstacles, Matilda discovers her own resilience and inner strength, along with the power of friendship and kindness.

Tickets start at Dh150 on weekdays and Dh200 on weekends; www.etihadarena.com

Bluey’s Big Play, August 30 to September 1, Etihad Arena

When: Friday, 4.30; Saturday 10.30am, 1.30pm, 4.30pm; Sunday at 1.30pm, 4.30pm

The theatre show is based on the popular Emmy-award winning Australian children’s series. It follows Bluey, a six-year-old blue Heeler puppy, her sister Bingo and their parents Bandit and Chilli. Together they use their imaginations to create extraordinary adventures to go on.

Tickets start at Dh95; www.etihadarena.com

Disney on Ice – Let’s Celebrate, October 16 to 20, Etihad Arena

When: Wednesday and Thursday; 6.30pm; Friday 2.30pm, 6.30pm, Saturday 10.30am, 2.30pm, 6.30pm; Sunday 10.30am, 2.30pm

Celebrate Mickey and friends as they dazzle on the ice with skating performances and vignettes to some of Disney’s most popular songs. Expect to see characters such as Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Moana as well as Anna and Elsa from Frozen, other Disney princesses and characters from Toy Story.

Tickets start at Dh95; www.etihadarena.com

Updated: May 11, 2024, 12:07 PM