Children's Festival 2024: What Shows - What Ages?

From babies to teenagers, this year's Festival caters for all ages! Below is a quick guide to help you decide which shows might be most suitable for your child's age. 

Pre-schoolers [0-5 years]

For little ones, a visit to the Festival this year could well be their first trip ever! And, the shows we have hand-picked for their age group will make it a magical experience they’ll remember for years to come. Performances are all fairly intimate (60 to 80 max), with children sitting on benches or cushions close to the stage and performers. Some even have the opportunity to interact and play on the set after the show for a full immersive experience.

Univers [from Spain]
A sensory experience for early childhood where performers and beautiful objects move around and slowly draw the children into the space to observe or interact. What our school-in-residence children said: "Univers looks soooo calming and cute. We're excited about the music which makes us feel like we want to hug something

Be Kind [from The Netherlands]
A performance of sound, colour and movement where babies experience acrobatics and juggling up close, following the rhythm of the day. What our school-in-residence children said: "Even though I’m not a baby I would love to crawl through the set of Be Kind. I never imagined there could be circus for babies!"

So Far So Good [from Scotland] 
An adventurous circus show which celebrates the joy of dancing along the edge, scaling the heights and discovering the secret places and views along the way. What our school-in-residence children said: "We love that this show was created with help from children in the North of Scotland as this doesn’t happen very often"

Curious Little Minds [5-9 years]

Acrobatics, slapstick, moving stories of loss and accepting differences – when it comes to primary-aged children, they’ll be spoiled for choice this year!

By Trial and Error [from France]
A delightful show full of humour, where two disorientated circus artists stumble to try and save a seemingly well-oiled routine gone wrong. Children from our school-in-residence said: "These acrobats just can't their moves right and get stuck in funny positions. Everyone gets it wrong sometimes..."

An Ant Called Amy [from Ireland]
A charming and moving story about a hard-working ant who has won "Employee of the Month" and just doesn't know how to to slow down... until she learns to appreciate the world around her. Children from our school-in-residence said: "We're really intrigued by the set and how the one performer is going to manage to tell loads of different characters".

Kish Kush [from Italy]
Sitting in the round, the audience slowly gets to know two performers separated by a paper wall, unable to communicate. With humour, shadow games and using whichever ways they can, they get to know and appreciate the other. Children from our school-in-residence said: "We're curious to see how these two will get to know and play together... and also what the name means!"

Big Kids, Big Questions [7-12 years]

As citizens of the world, children know what’s going on around them and we believe they should have access to inventive theatre that explores the topics and questions already on their minds. From the environment crisis guilt to learning to accept outsiders, the programme of performances for older children is curated to inspire and open up conversations, just as much as they are to excite and entertain.

An-Ki [from Spain]
An immersive promenade performance with the audience moving between spaces inside a tent to get close to the performers manipulating gorgeous intricate puppets - a story about greed and deforestation and an experience like no other!

Sho and the Demons of the Deep [from Scotland]
The gorgeously visual tale of a young girl trying to save her city and its river, poisoned by the nightmares people are throwing into it. Children from our school-in-residence said: "We’re excited to see how the performers will throw their nightmares in the water and how the river will affect their lives and the story. And it shows how something you did in the past can impact people in the future."

Suppose you Had a Portable Gramophone [from Denmark]
Three master storytellers sitting at a table, tell the story of a village in the far north, where people dress in black, look down and speak quietly… until a stranger comes to town and things start to change. A show full of humour and wit about living out your dream!

Teenagers [11 years+]

The following shows are perfect for young people who want to understand the world around them and question it. From issues war to the environment and racial discrimination, this year's festival is a feast for teenagers... and there's humour in it too!

The Yellow Canary [from Scotland]
Combining live storytelling, testimony, and digital animation, the show uncovers the journey of a young Jewish boy forced to leave his home in Paris with just his parents and pet canary for company.

TRASHedy [from Germany]
A high-energy spectacle about human evolution with two performers taking a humorous look at freedom of choice  and our consumerist behaviour using a mix of animated drawings, dance and sound collage.

Black [from Ivory Coast/Spain]
An emotional dance and music chronicle of the freedom movement which reflects on the violence and emancipation of being Black in today’s world through the use of explosive urban African dances. 

The Edinburgh International Children's Festival runs from 25 May to 2 June 2024, and you can browse the programe and buy tickets online HERE

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