Imaginate Family Encounters

May 24 2023 | By More

Full listings for all-day opener of pop-up events

This year’s Edinburgh International Children’s Festival opens this Saturday 27 May 2023 with a day of free pop-up performances and artist interventions for families in the National Museum of Scotland.

Events run at the museum from 10am to 5pm with some having a specific time-slot and others running all day. Here is a listing of the day’s events. You can download a pdf copy of the programme including map and timetable here.


Family Encounters
National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, EH1 1JF.
Saturday 27 May 2023
Daytime events: 10am – 5pm.
Free, drop in events. Further details.

The Chosen (all ages)

The Chosen. Pic: Max Crawford

Sadiq Ali and Hauk Pattison
Two men become friends and support each other to traverse a vertical landscape using dance and circus movement. This unique take on circus, performed on two 5-meter-high Chinese Poles, is emotionally candid with moments of humour and joy.
Grand Gallery: 11:30; 14:30; 16:15
Performance (10 min)

Caught up! (all ages)

Caught Up. Pic: Ruth Armstrong

Bridie Gane and dancers
Ever wondered what happens to your rubbish after you throw it away? Perhaps it sprouts arms and legs? What if it started to dance? Caught Up! Is an intriguing, playful and joyous dance performance exploring how to reduce, reuse and recycle in style. Supported by Catherine Wheels.
Grand Gallery: 11:00; 12:15; 14:00; 15:45
Performance (10 min)

Brain on, Game on (5 yrs+)

Brain on, Game on

Clare Adam & Lesley Howard
The cognitive circuit of an Autistic brain: Spinning, Whirling, Turning. The brain is connected with lots of colourful tangents. Sometimes they mix and create fabulous new colours, other times the colour disappears. Can we work together to get the brain back on track…
Grand Gallery: 10:30; 11:45; 13:30; 15:15
Performance (15 min)

The Party Shrimp (all ages)

The Party Shrimp. Pic: Brian Hartley

An enchanting theatrical experience that is both alien and recognisable, combining physical theatre and inventive costumes to explore the bonds of friendship, hierarchy, otherness and wonder. Originally developed with support from Puppet Animation Scotland’s Creative Fund.
Grand Gallery and other rooms: 10:00; 11:45; 14:00; 15:30
Walkabout (30 min)

Hat, Hat, Hat (3 yrs+)

Hat, Hat, Hat. Pic: Anna Broomfield

Cynthia Cheung, Ursula Cheng, Ellen Renton and Marie-Gabrielle Koumenda
A celebration of Hattie’s collection of magical hats. Come along and discover the weird and wonderful designs, and the power of each hat! Created in collaboration with children from Forthview Primary School.
Grand Gallery and other rooms (walkabout): 10:15; 11:00; 13:45; 14:30
Hawthornden Court (performance): 12:30; 16:00
Walkabout (30 min) & Performance (10 min)

Experts Radio Lab (5 yrs+)

Experts Radio Lab. Pic: Ruth Armstrong

Alice Mary Cooper
Are you an expert in something? Want to share your advice? Come to Experts Radio Lab and jour our live radio show. Whether it’s how to make a mud pie or tips on playing Hide and Seek – all expertise welcome!
Hawthornden Court: All day (10:00-12:00; 12:30-13:45; 14:15-15:15; 15:45-16:45)
Drop-in activity

Roarie Bumlers (all ages)

Roarie Bumlers. Pic: Alex Rigg

Suzi Cunningham, Jen Cunningham, Ceylan Hay, Dylan Read
An exploratory journey into how to turn the volume up on the earth. A polyphonic spree with 3 bodies buried in the ground who, like seed to tree, form into creatures who wish to tell tales of a lost connection to the earth.
Hawthornden Court: 10:30; 12:00; 13:45; 15:15
Performance (20 min)

With Catastrophic Consequences (5 yrs+)

With Catastrophic Consequences

Taylor Han and Simone Seales
A celebration of joy and an acknowledgment of struggle, this playful improvisation bridges the gap between interactive dance theatre and live music. Dancer Taylor Han and cellist Simone Seales create a joyful world to indulge in live music close up and appreciate human connections.
Early People Gallery (Level -1): 11:15; 12:45; 14:30
Performance (25 min)

Seashells (3 yrs+)

Seashells. Pic: Minttu Mantynen.

Greg Sinclair
A short film featuring tongue twisters in eight languages, from Arabic to Urdu. Inspired by the bizarre imagery in the words, each tongue twister has its own specially designed costume. Humorous, colourful, rhythmical and odd, the film is a celebration of the musical beauty of language.
Dunfermline Room (Level -1): All day
Film (10 min)


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