• 14 productions from 12 different countries, including for the first time, South Africa
• A range of shows suitable for all - from babes in arms to teenagers
• Free festival opening weekend at the National Museum of Scotland, programmed by six Young Associates
• Record number of schools bookings with over 5,500 school pupils expected over 5 days
• 300 industry professionals attending from 23 different countries
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. In the Year of Young People, six Young Associates aged 17-24 yrs helped programme the Opening Weekend.
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.
“In a year where Scottish children’s theatre has been under threat while being praised globally, the Festival is a great opportunity to celebrate our home grown talent. It is also a unique opportunity to welcome the best of what the world has to offer onto our Edinburgh stages for local audiences to enjoy. I have relished putting this programme together over the last 18 months and hope many children and their families will experience together the wealth of stories and visual treats on offer,” said Edinburgh International Children’s Festival’s director Noel Jordan.
The school programme is a sell out with over 5,500 school pupils expected over the week, including some from as far as Inverness, thanks to the Festivals’ subsidised transport policy.
The festival is also attracting industry professionals and artists – this year 300 delegates are coming from 23 different countries to see, discuss and book work and take part in professional development activities.
“I came to the festival because it has a reputation as the best festival in the world. It’s very unique that someone will curate 14 of the best shows from all around the world and put them in one place. We’re very lucky at the Opera House, we can have an international programme and festivals like these where it’s almost a one stop shop are absolutely perfect.” Jamie Dawson, Sydney Opera House, Delegate 2017
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.
Looking to reach new customers? We offer a variety of advertising options with prices starting from just £30 per month!