Edinburgh International Children’s Festival opens with a fabulous line-up and a free family weekend at the National Museum of Scotland
You don’t have to be a child to have fun here: I’m going, and I expect to have a great time! The 29th Edinburgh International Children’s Festival (26 May – 3 June 2018) which is produced by Imaginate and funded by Creative Scotland opens this Saturday (26 May) with a family weekend at the National Museum of Scotland featuring free drop-in events throughout the building including live music, pop-up performances, storytelling, hands-on arts activities and more.
The festival is running from 26 May to 3 June and will welcome over 10,000 people over 9 days, with a programme of innovative theatre, dance, multi-media and puppetry performances from all over the world. From intimate, immersive theatre specifically designed for babies, through to high-energy and thought-provoking shows for teenagers, the Festival presents the gold standard of theatre for young audiences. The 2018 programme features 14 shows from 12 countries including Norway, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, South Africa, Scotland, and the rest of the UK.
Some highlights from this year’s programme include:
Loo (for 2-5 yrs) by Ponten Pie (Spain) Loo is a hot wind from Asia that moves the desert sand dunes, dries up wetlands and leaves ships buried in sandy oceans. Set around the bow of a wooden sunken ship, the show explores the changes this wind can cause with music, a set full of sand and stunning visual effects.
Ogo (for 2.5-6 yrs) by Théâtre des Petites Âmes (Canada) Three strangers have received an invitation to travel with Ogo. But Ogo never comes. This magical show about strangers becoming friends thanks to a mysterious puppet is a wonderful tribute to creativity and imagination, accompanied by live music.
Expedition Peter Pan (for 7-12 yrs) by Het Laagland (The Netherlands) A group of office workers find themselves transported to a strange world where marbles appear in briefcases and paper planes emerge from filing cabinets. Can they regain their power of imagination and rediscover the joys of play? A laugh-out-loud family romp full of joy, music, dancing and special effects.
Eddie & the Slumber Sisters (for 8-13 yrs) by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company (Scotland) The Slumber Sisters, an all-singing trio whose job is to monitor dreams, decide to intervene when Eddie’s nightmares become increasingly wild and chaotic, following the death of her grandmother. This interactive show explores grieving with warm-heart, songs and humour.
Mbuzeni (12+ yrs and adults) by Koleka Putuma (South Africa) Mbuzeni tells the story of four orphan girls and their fixation with burials. From one of South Africa’s most acclaimed young black female voices, this visually evocative journey explores tradition, burial rituals, African folklore, sisterhood and mortality.
There are still public tickets for sale for most shows, especially over the final weekend (1-3 June). For full programme and booking information, go to www.imaginate.org.uk/festival or call box office on 0131 228 1404.
Preview by Mary Woodward