New Imaginate Festival Director launches 2016 programme

Imaginate 2016 Launch 975x400

The world's leading festival of performing arts for children and young people, Imaginate, has launched its first programme under new Festival Director, Noel Jordan.

The festival, which runs from 28 May to 5 June 2016, showcases theatre and dance made for children and teenagers, with a lineup which includes 14 shows from 9 different countries.

Productions at Imaginate 2016 include performers and companies from Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, as well as talents from Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Looking at the first festival of his tenure, Noel Jordan said:

This year’s festival, and my first as festival director, offers a feast of international performances for all ages and tastes, hand-picked by outgoing festival director Tony Reekie... Dedicated artists are creating stunning and adventurous works that the Festival aims to showcase.

Events at this year's festival include a magic show with a twist, a retelling of the history of Scotland, a high-energy dance duet about friendship,  a lonely man who befriends a dog, a friendly forest creature who goes on an adventure, and dancers on stilts bedecked with giant wings. 

Mr Jordan added:

Children have huge emotional and intellectual capacities and their ability to connect with really complex stories and artistic concepts is incredible. Imaginate Festival’s role is to feed audiences hungry for great theatre and dance that’s deeply engaging and beautifully presented.

2016 will be Imaginate's 27th and this year the festival will open with a new Family Fringe weekend (28-29 May) at the National Museum of Scotland, with performances from festival acts, free drop-in activities, live music, storytelling and more. 

Laura Mackenzie-Stuart, Head of Theatre at Creative Scotland said:

At 27 years young, this year’s Imaginate programme continues to reach new audiences by taking the festival out and about.  The Family Fringe at the National Museum of Scotland is a tremendous opportunity to offer taster sessions and for the team to sprinkle their festival magic over a new generation of festival goers.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, added:

Edinburgh is known as a world-leader in festivals and the Imaginate Festival has played a significant role in securing our international reputation for children and young people’s theatre. This year’s programme will continue this hard work by bringing high-quality storytelling from around the world to our doorstep in what I’m sure will be an exciting nine days for both children and adults alike

Imaginate Festival 2016 runs from Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June, and tickets are now on sale. Find out more about Imaginate, including links to programme and ticketing details.

Images (clockwise from top left):

  • Imaginate Festival Director, Neil Jordan (credit: Imaginate)
  • Blue Block Studio (credit: Geraldine Heaney)
  • The Book Binder (credit: Philip Merry)
  • Go Get 'Em Kid (credit: Eion Carey)
  • Fluff (credit: Sean Young)
  • Tales of a Grandson (credit: Brian Hartley)

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