Edinburgh Children’s Festival (27 May-4 June)

From toddlers to teenagers, the International Children’s Festival has a performance or event for everyone.

This year, there are 14 productions representing 11 different countries, as well as free Family Encounters days at the National Museum of Scotland. The works span circus, comedy, dance, music, performance art, spoken word and theatre.

At a glance, some of the highlights include:

Too Close to the Sun by Barrowland Ballet is inspired by the Greek legend of Icarus, and tells  the story of a girl, who weighed down by the responsibility of the climate crisis, learns to fly. 

Protest (8-13 yrs), a new play from Dunbar-based Hannah Lavery and directed by Natalie Ibu. It explores what it takes to make a difference, the power of friendship, and the importance of believing in your own voice.

Too Close to the Sun and Protest are both commissions for Imaginate, and will be on tour prior to showing in Edinburgh – see the website for details.

I…er…Me, (8-15 yrs) promises to feature an incredible rotating set and a fast-paced show exploring a daily routine going wrong and what it’s like to lose your grip on reality.

There is also plenty for children aged 7 yrs+ including A Very Old man with Enormous Wings, a dark comic tale told through storytelling, music and puppetry or The Problem with Pink, which humorously questions gender stereotypes.

The Edinburgh International Children’s Festival reaches an audience of around 19,000 children and young people, their teachers and their families, as well as programmers and artists from all over the world.

This year the programme delivers performances with big ideas, epic stories and flamboyant physicality which will help young audiences make sense of our sometimes-conflicted world. The Festival cements its reputation for pushing the boundaries of what is expected of children’s theatre and dance, exploring important themes like mental health, war, identity and gender, all in joyful, visual and accessible ways.

Noel Jordan, Festival Director

The Edinburgh International Children’s Festival runs from 27 May – 4 June 2023

Imaginate is Scotland’s national organisation which promotes, develops and celebrates professional theatre and dance for children and young people.

For more details and to book tickets, go to www.imaginate.org.uk/festival/  

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