Children’s Theatre Fest

Mar 23 2017 | By More

Tickets on sale from today

Tickets for the newly renamed Edinburgh International Children’s Festival 2017 go on sale today, Thursday 23 March, with a total of 15 shows from nine different countries available to the public.

The 28th edition of the festival, previously known as the Imaginate Festival, runs Saturday 27 May to Sunday 4 June in venues around Edinburgh, opening with a weekend of free events in the National Museum of Scotland.

Barrowland Ballet’s Little Red. Photo: Ian Watson

The festival has been re-named to reflect the Imaginate organisation’s wider role in the sector as year-round organisation, supporting artists to make new work as well as producing the flagship Edinburgh International Children’s Festival.

Three Scottish companies are represented this year, including two pieces of new work.

Night Light (Assembly Roxy: Tue 30 – Sun 4) is a collaboration between Andy Manley, co-creator of White, and Danish company Teater Refleksion. This festival commission is aimed at three to six year-olds and is opening in Aarhus before touring Scotland and coming the festival.

MamaBabaMe (Southside Community Centre, Tue 30 – Sat 4) is aimed at children aged 18 months to three years and sees early years specialists Starcatchers team up with Curious Seed in a dance, theatre and live music experience made for toddlers and their grownups.

irreverent and contemporary

The third comes from Glasgow-based Barrowland Ballet which is reviving its 2015 show: Little Red. (Traverse, Fri 2 – Sun 4) Aimed at seven to 12 year-olds it takes an irreverent and contemporary twist on the old story of a girl who succumbs to the urge to step off the path…

Up & Over It’s Into The Water. Pic: Jonny Reed

Festival director Noel Jordan took over the role in 2015 and this will be the first that he has curated.

Speaking at the festival launch he said: “This is a programme I have lovingly created from the viewing of over 300 productions”

However two of the shows have been curated by a group of 10-15 year old children from Craigmillar who attended eight productions at the 2016 fringe and, following heated discussions about what they had seen and liked, selected two productions for the festival.

Evil (Lyra Theatre, Mon 29 – Tue 30),  aimed at 10 to 15 year olds, is a monologue by Danish company Folketeartet that is an unflinching exploration of bullying in a Swedish boarding school. It focusses on the anatomy of evil, asking whether you become evil by being treated as evil.

Into the Water, (North Edinburgh Arts, Mon 29 – Tue 30),  aimed at five to 12 year olds, is from Welsh folk dance duo Up & Over It. A foot-stomping, hand-tapping adventure through dance, percussion and video, it is a modern interpretation of the story of Líf and Lífþrasir, the only survivors of the Nordic mythological apocalypse.


Speaking of the power of theatre to engage with young people’s lives, Jordan added: “It is our obligation to give them the opportunity to attend the very best the world has to offer. We do not need to hold back over what is too difficult for them or indeed too slight.

“We need to allow them to make up their own choices and be confident that the world of theatre and dance will provide them withe a safe place to test out their thoughts, their ideas and their own moral compass.

“Theatre, by its very nature, has to be a little bit brave, and inspiring for the young people and children that it is made for.”


Full details of the festival are on the website:


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