:— No kidding around

George’s Inivellous Hedlcine at the Cabernnuld Theatre

‘We were the first Scottish International children’s festival,’ claims Dennis Clifford, of Cumbernauld’s Festival of Theatre for Children, perhaps with some )ustlflcation. It was originally

conceived six years ago (a full year before the Scottish lntemational Children’s Festival burst onto the scene in Edinburgh), and was the brainchild of liobert Robson (now director oi Mayfest) and David Taylor (general manager of the Tron). The result of their fruitful union is now lacing up to the big bad world. ‘In the first three or four years, we got grants and sponsorship,’ says Clifford. ‘Ilow the Festival has to wash its face financially which is . . . difficult.’

Luckily, the two-week programme, entitled Just Kidding, shows none of the strain. Like its Edinburgh cousin, the Festival of Theatre for Children aims to get beyond the panto strait- ]acket of children’s ‘entertainment’. ‘Singlng Kettle in our second week satisfies popular demand and gets big audiences, allowing us to present a broader range of quality in our first

week,’ says Clifford.

That range includes three shows direct from the Scottish International Children’s Festival, plus two Glasgow and Edinburgh-based companies: the quality provides parents with the opportunity to either provoke children to explore and question, or just enjoy being entertained, or, frequently, both. (Gabe Stewart)

The Sixth Festival of Theatre for Children, Sun S-Sat 18 June. See listings for details.

mama— Peacemaker

Seen at Brunton Theatre. On tour. A three-year-oid left the theatre wailing: ‘But i was waiting for the Peacemdter to come.’ Ah, if only things were that simple.

David Holman is one of children’s theatre’s best—known writers and Visible Fictions is a Glasgow-based professional children’s theatre company with impressive credentials ml during its three-year existence. Between them they’ve produced a play that precisely captures the essence of those first tentative steps towards communication and trust.

Thepremiseisthiszthelledsand Blues build a wall to stop their constant fighting. Biuey (a blue) and Slmp (a red) meet by accident, overcome their mutual fear, and become friends. Iloiutan‘s script, despite being ten years old, is fresh, relevant, and, thanks to the company’s keen sensitivity, not at all tub- thnmplng. A less skiltul rendering might have reduced It to a dreary

‘lssue-based’ play. Instead, laughter


g... ‘s

tension, but also in appreciation of Slaip’s wonderful gangliness, captured by Andy Eyiman’s wide-eyed innocence. All credit also to the anonymously sampled theme-tune, which dlstils all the poignancy of the piece into a bittersweet essence. Throughout the 50-minute show, children remained attentive, even the three-year-old waiting patiently for the Peacemaker’s entrance. The implicit moral is that the audience themselves are the peaceinaker. Children in the recommended five-to- night-year range should get it. The explicit moral is, stick to the recommended flve-to-eight years age range. (Gabe Stewart) Peacemaker, Cinnbernauld Theatre, Friday 10 June.

liain or shine, our at-a-glance guide will see you through. Events are listed under outdoors or indoors columns, and then divided by city. iiids listings compiled by Gabe Stewart.

Outdoors tits" v ram-

Activities and Fun

I Dowsing for Iloubters Craigend Visitors Centre. Mugdock Country Park. Craigallian Road. near Milngavie, 956 6100. Sun 5 June. 2-3.30pm. Free. Bring your own wire coat-hangers and see if it really works.

I Bees, Bugs and Boring Beetles Craigend Visitors Centre. Mugdock Country Park, Craigallian Road. near Milngavie. 956 6100. Wed 15 June. 6.30—8pm. Free. Peep into the lives of creepy crawlies. '


Activities and Fun

I Meadows Festival The Meadows. Melville Drive, 228 9108. Until Sun 5 June. Free. This child-friendly event includes a soft play area. creche for 3—10- year-olds. games. face-painting and a baby feeding and changing tent. Special highlights will include: the Special Needs Fun Fair. Fri 3 June, from 10.30am; Primary school five-a-side football. Sat 4 and Sun 5 June. all day; Festival of Kites. including kite-making workshops. Sat 4 June. all day; Edinburgh Samba School parade and performance of whirling puppets. Sun 5 June. 3pm.

I Children’s Street Theatre City Chambers Quadrangle and Mercat Cross. 220 1637. Sun 12 June. 2—5pm. Free. As part of Old Town Week. enjoy street theatre featuring Kidzone Theatre‘s Treasure Island. the Linlithgow Players' play about Mary Stuart. Scott Lovail‘s Punch and Judy. and Rickv the Magician.


Activities and Fun

I Action Stations Partick Burgh Halls. Burgh Hall Street. Partick. 357 5000. The children's events series continues with puppet performances at 10am, £1.50 (75p); followed by puppet-making workshops at 1 1.15am, £1.50 (children only). Sat 4 June: The Amazing Mr Bones, 4—12 years, workshop, 6—12 years. Sat 11 June: Perfect Chaos Puppet Co, 5—12 years. workshop, 8—12 years.


Activrttes and Fun

I Clambers Adventure Play Area Royal Commonwealth Pool. 21 Dalkeith Road. 667 7211. Mon—Fri. 10am-8pm; Sat and Sun 10am—5pm. £2.50 for one-and-a-half

hours. 3-8 years. This multi-level adventure area is soft. safe. and a young person’s dream come true (particularly suitable for children with special needs). it can also be booked for children's parties.

I Teen Step Gracemount Leisure Centre. Gracemount Drive. 658 1940. Every Fri. 3—4pm. £2.35. 12—16 years. New to Gracemount. teen-step encourages both sexes to work out all the week‘s pent-up aggression. and keep fit too. The centre also offers junior badminton and basketball coaching.


I Filmhouse Matinees Lothian Road. 228 2688. £2. Films start at 2.30pm. 4 June Genevieve (U) or a children‘s guide to car maintenance; 11 June Cool Runnings (PG). John Candy’s epitaph as manager of the first Jamaican Olympic bobsled team.


I Elinor M. Brent-Dyer Museum of Childhood. 42 High Street, 225 2424. Sat 4 June-Sat 16 July. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Free. The Chalet School girls‘ stories centenary is celebrated in this exhibition which includes a children’s quiz and activity sheet.


Activities and Fun

I Wildlife Activities Killiecrankie Nature Reserve. near Pitlochry. Tayside. 557 3136. Sat 11 June. 10am. £5. 8+ years. A day packed full of wild activities and woodland games includes a barbecue lunch.

I Cunninghame Storytelling Festival Largs Library. 0294 469137. Sat 11 June. 2-3.30pm. Free. 6+ years.

I Discovery Dome Eglinton Park. Kilwinning, 0294 274166 ext 2550. Sat 4—Sun 12 June. 9am—5pm. 75p.


I Festival of Theatre for Children The Village Theatre, Kildrum, Cumbemauld, 0236 732887. The festival offers a wonderful selection of children's goodies. See panel.

Gala Dav (Outside the theatre, weather permitting) Sun 5 June. 2pm. Free. Comedian Stu Who competes an afternoon of free children‘s entertainment including Whizz Kids and Mr Trix. George ’3 Marvellous Medicine Mon 6 June. 10am and 1.30pm. £3. 5—11 years. Jonathan Rickard’s Theatre's adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel.

The Legend ofFairy Hill Wed 8 June. 10am and 1.30pm. £3. 5—11 years. Hopscotch Theatre Company's exploration into the real-life disappearance of the Rev Robert Kirk. Orjan, The Eagle Afraid of Heights Thurs 9 June. 10am and 1.30pm. £3. 4—9 years. Swedish Teator Pero perform, in English, a tale of the eagle afraid of flying. Peacemaker Fri 10 June. 10am and 1.30pm. £3. 5—8 years. Visible Fictions' play about ignorance and bigotry is both funny and poignant. See panel.

The Belly Button Show Sat 11 June. 1.30pm and 4.30pm. £3. 3-7 years. Heather Bishop comes fresh from Edinburgh's Children’s Festival.

The Time Machine Tue 14—Thurs 16 June. 10am and 1.30pm. £6 (£5. schools £4.50). 2—10 years. The Singing Kettle continues its touring exploration of past and future.

I Ilessie the Loch iless Monster Purves lntemational Puppets on tour. £2.20. 3—8 years.

Ardrossan Civic Centre, 0294 469682. Mon 6 June. 10.30am.

Irvine Library, 0294 274/66 ext 2550 Tue 7 June. 10.30am.

Walker Hall, Kilbirnie Library, 0294 274166 ext 2550 Wed 8.1une. 10.30am. James: You can cut Javanese Workshops (Glasgow) and Clambers (Edinburgh) if you need to.

__121h1LlSt 3—16 June 1994