Children's Festival unveils 2018 programme

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Presenting a carefully crafted selection of top-class theatre and dance for young people, Edinburgh International Children's Festival has launched its 2018 programme.

The 29th edition of the Festival (26 May - 3 June 2018) features an international cast, with companies from New Zealand, Canada and for the first time South Africa (below), joining counterparts from Scotland, the rest of the UK and around Europe.

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Across the collection of 14 shows from 12 countries, there are shows for young people of all ages, from babies to teenagers and beyond. 

Edinburgh International Children’s Festival’s director Noel Jordan said:

2018 promises to be another spectacular year for the Festival. Where else can you share the lives of two young refugees from Syria, thrill to the rebellious curiosity of a boy made entirely of clay or delight in watching childhood toys infiltrate and disturb the lives of busy executives?

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The fourteen shows at this year's Children's Festival are:

  • Beautiful immersive dance show Toddler Room (above, ages 0-3) presented by Norway's Dybwikdans in a white tented dome.
  • Loo (2-5 years) from Ponten Pie (Spain), the story of a transformative hot wind moving across land and water.
  • French company Le Vent des Forges present Não Não (2-5 years) the tale of a mischievous little boy made of clay

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  • Things to Wear (2-6 years) from Theaterhaus Ensemble (Germany) features two opera-trained performers singing and dancing their way through a range of costumes.
  • From Canada, Théâtre des Petites Âmes bring Ogo (above, 2½-6 years) a magical show of friendship found with the help of a strange puppet.
  • Stick by Me (3-6 years) a quirky new show from the creators of international hit, White, Andy Manley & Red Bridge Arts (Scotland)

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  • Canada's Le Carrousel takes a fresh look at a classic fairytale with Gretel and Hansel (6-10 years)
  • Expedition Peter Pan (above, 7-12 years) from Het Laagland (The Netherlands) explores the joys of play, free from the responsibilites of being a grown up.

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  • A collaboration between Scotland and Australia, Shona Reppe, Christine Johnston & Rosemary Myers present Baba Yaga (above, 7-12 years) a commission for Imaginate and Windmill Theatre Co. which will also tour Scotland.
  • In The Road That Wasn’t There (8-13 years), Trick of the Light & Zanetti Productions (New Zealand) tell the story of a young woman drawn into a parallel paper world.
  • Scotland's Catherine Wheels Theatre Company present Eddie & the Slumber Sisters (8-13 years) featuring a singing trio monitoring the dreams of a grieving boy.

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  • A Feast of Bones (9-15 years) reimagines the classic fable Henney Penny set in a French cafe during the First World War. From Theatre Lovett (Ireland).
  • NIE (Norway/England) follows the remarkable journey of 2 boys travelling from Syria to Norway in search of refuge, in We Come from Far Far Away (10-15 years) 
  • Mbuzeni (+12 years and adults) from Koleka Putuma (South Africa) tells the tale of four orphan girls fixated by burials.

Noel Jordan continued:

Whilst the stories they create are incredibly unique and offer different perspectives of the world, at their core is a belief that children - no matter what their circumstances may be - deserve the best art possible.

The Children's Festival begins with a free family weekend event at the National Museum of Scotland, featuring live music, pop-up performance, storytelling arts activities and more.

The weekend's lineup has been curated with the help of six Young Associates, aged between 17 and 24, recruited by Festival organisers Imaginate as part of the celebrations in Scotland's Year of Young People.

And taking the Festival beyond Edinburgh, the newly comissioned international co-production Baba Yaga will tour Scotland, bringing its "retro-futuristic" take on an old Russian folktale to audiences around the country. 

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said:

I recognise the importance of young people engaging with the arts and the significant benefits gained by increasing access and opportunities for all our young people particularly this year, as we celebrate the Year of Young People. The 2018 festival will deliver a high-quality programme of work in Edinburgh and beyond including Baba Yaga, which was funded through £100,000 provided by the Scottish Government EXPO fund.

Edinburgh International Children's Festival runs from 26 May to 3 June 2018 and tickets are on sale now.

Find out more about the Children's Festival at

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