Imaginate goes Hybrid

Apr 21 2021 | By More

Children’s Festival announces outdoor and online programme

The Edinburgh International Children’s Festival has announced a hybrid programme of online and live outdoor theatre and dance for this year’s event, running from Tuesday 25 May to Sunday 6 June 2021.

The outdoor shows will take place on the two weekends of the festival in the Royal Botanic Gardens as well as in site-specific venues in Granton and Craigmillar. Tickets will be free, although audiences will have to pre-book a time slot to get into the Botanic Gardens.

Removed. Pic Ciaran Bagnall

The online digital programme will include streamed performances such as Removed, by Prime Cut Productions from Northern Ireland, the story of a young man’s experience of the care system, aimed at children of secondary school age.

There will also be ‘live’ digital interactions such as The University of Wonder & Imagination, a live magic show over Zoom by Cahoots NI who will broadcast live from an extensive, purpose built set “where magic and illusion have no boundaries”, for an audience of 6 to 11 year-olds.

New Productions

Imaginate, which runs the festival, has also commissioned two new productions from Scotland.

Drawing on stories and experiences of disabled children and adults, The Super Special Disability Roadshow by Birds of Paradise Theatre Company is a humorous multi-media show contrasting what it’s like growing up disabled today and in the 80s by the only disabled-led theatre company in Scotland.

Mixed Up (co-produced by Starcatchers) is an interactive performance which explores the mixed-up feelings young children experience in turbulent times. Using painting, music, and hip-hop dance, artist Katy Wilson has created a unique experience for families to engage online and outdoors.

One of the pop-up performances featured during the outdoor Family Encounters part of the programme.

Family Encounters, the live outdoor events, are a series of free pop-up performances happening in outdoor spaces across Edinburgh in the first and last weekend of the Festival.

The specially commissioned and curated events will showcase the talent of Scotland-based artists who have created a range of innovative and inspiring site-specific encounters for families and seen the practical challenges brought on by Covid-19 as an opportunity for experimentation.

Families can expect exciting adventure trails, a basket-ball inspired hip-hop workshop, a giant swing, a mysterious tree spirit or even a unicorn, hidden in the gardens. All events are free but visitors to the Botanics will need to pre-book a time slot to comply with Covid restrictions.

a world of wonder, curiosity and connectedness

Launching the festival, its director Noel Jordan said: “There are so many things to celebrate about this year’s Children’s Festival. We are proud to be able to offer paid work to so many Scottish artists, freelancers and companies, from an industry that has almost been at a standstill for over a year.

“Most importantly, we are appreciative and inspired by the opportunity to be able to present much need arts and culture to children, young people and their families at this time of need. As our community re-emerges from lockdown now is the time to enjoy the world of wonder, curiosity and connectedness that the arts can offer us.”

Full details of the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival are available on its website. Click here for details.


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