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The Festival takes place in an enormous tented village in lnverleith Park, in the north of Edinburgh next to the Royal Botanic Garden. The site will be open Mon 22-Fri 26 May 9.45am-4pm; Sat 27—Sun 28 loam—4pm. Entrance to the site is tree to all theatre ticket holders, £1 to others. Prices oi individual shows are listed below. To book write to the Festival ottice at 22 Laurie Street, telephone 0131 553 7700, or until Sun 21 May visit Waterstone’s Festival box ottice at 83 George Street. listings compiled by Ellie Carr.


Activities and Fun

I The Big Book Tent Mon 22--Fri 26 May. 9.45am—4pm; Sat 27/Sun 28 May. 10am—4pm. Free. All ages. All the best people are in the book tent: Asterix. Wally. Tintin. Kipper and many. many more. Pop-up book making. competitions. stories and author visits brought to you by the combined force of Edinburgh City Libraries. Books Trust Scotland and Readiscovery.

I Celtic Tales Storytelling Tent. Mon 22. Wed 24. Fri 26 May 11.15am. 1.15pm. 3.15pm; Tue 23. Thurs 25 11.15am. 1.15pm; Sat 27/Sun 28 noon. 2pm. £3 (£2). All ages. Jane Ford and Laure Paterson invite you on a night ride into a Scottish fairytale with Molluka the storyteller who has travelled the globe collecting legends as she goes.

I Happy Tent Mon 22—Thurs 25 May 10am—4pm; Fri 26 10.30am—4pm; Sat 27/Sun 28 11am-4pm. Free. All ages. A brand new performance tent for the Festival. run by popular Edinburgh based children's entertainers The Happy Gang and sponsored by the Post Office. inside you'll find clown. comedian and quizmaster Mr Strr . . . etch; Scotland‘s Miss Motivator. Max; Japanese drumming from Akatsuki Daiko; Spanish one-man circus. indigo. and last but not least The Happy Gang.

I Naughty Stories For Good Boys and Girls Storytelling Tent. Mon 22. Wed 24. Fri 26 May l0.15am. 12.15pm: Tue 23. Thurs 25 10.15am. 12.15pm; Sat 27/Sun 28 11am. lpm. 3pm. £3 (£2). All ages. Outrageous. irreverent Australian children's author Chris Milne. who is published in Britain for the first time this month. reads some of his triumphant tales. Dog's Breath Doris. Clumsy Clive. The Girl Who Ruled The World and more. See review.

I Face Painting Tent Mon 22—Fri 26 May. 9.45am—4pm (50p); Sat 27/Sun 28 May. lOam—4pm (£1). Bored of being a kid‘.’ Pay a visit to the Face Painting Factory and start a whole new life as a zebra. a tiger or the invincible Batman.

I Festival Video 30! Mon 22—Fri 26 May. 9.45am—4pm; Sat 27/Sun 28 May. 10am—4pm. Free. All ages. The festival's own Takeover TV. Get behind the box and tell it like it is. ' I lions and Unicorns Mon 22—Fr‘i 26 May. 9.45am—4pm; Sat 27/Sun 28 May. 10am—4pm. Free. All ages. Why do people have coats of arms? Why do countries have flags? And most



The closest most kids ever get to the

i opera is watching car ads with booming

soundtracks on TV. And if you ask them it‘s probably as close as they ever want to get. With this in mind. Aussie company Victoria State Opera have designed a new show aimed

specifically at children. and one that 3 has more in common with Dungeons and Dragons than La 'I‘raviata.

Sig/mare A Computer Opera is the tale of Valerie. a twelve—year—old girl who loses her mother's earrings on the way to school and. in a superb twist of cyber-age fantasy, is plunged into an electronic world on the other side of her computer screen where the earrings become the Lost Disks of Avalon and Val becomes Valerie the Virtual Valkyrie. Now a cyber-hero in her own computer game she is faced with a series of life-threatening challenges before she can carry away her prize —- the ‘Lost Disks‘ she needs to pacify her earringless mother back in the real world.

Slugs and snails

Kids can smell a moral message as easily as they can sniff out humbug, hypocrisy and hot dogs. They also know that tile isn’t always lair, adults are not always right and that moral messages usually equal patronising claptrap. Unfortunately most

'; children’s literature tends not to

mirror this, preterring to take the moral high ground and wallow in the bland and the anodyne.

Fairy tales in their original torm were otten packed with sex, subversion and

dripping with blood. Through the centuries they have been diluted to

produce the limp parodies of their

tormer selves which pass today as I ‘suitable’ for children. Chris Milne’s

The story has its roots in some of the world's greatest myths and fables. Val‘s search for the lost disks is intended to represent King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail; her friend Megabyte. Master of the Matrix is the magician Merlin. and Val‘s persona as Virtual Valkyrie is taken from ancient Scandinavian mythology. VSO librettist Evelyn Tsitas explains ‘There is already a tradition of using mythic references in computer fantasies. interactive software and role-play games. Dungeons and Dragons is the most established example of this. A cursory look at most computer games will reveal just how steeped in this tradition they are. Valerie becomes a Valkyrie because one of the ‘rules‘ of electronic bulletin boards is that users adopt fantasy names and characters.‘ (Ellie Carr)

Software -- A (.‘mnpurer Opera. Victoria Stare Opera. Thea/re Tent Two, Tue 23-7'ltttrs 25 May. See listings for details.

series of books, entitled Naughty Stories For Good Boys and Girls, are dilterent - his characters have ‘butts’ where their laces should be, they make ‘rotten, disgusting smells’, they iab drills into dentists’ buttocks causing their pants to twist and giving them the ‘wedgie oi the year’.

Milne knows that kids are more interested in the disgusting and the depraved than social niceties. He wrote his stories for his two sons recognising that it they were to enjoy the tales then they would have to appeal to their tastes rather than trying to toist his own ideals on to his children - ‘lt children’s publishers are trying to “protect” our kids by feeding them sanitised pap, they are doing both themselves and the children of the world a great disservice. They are turning our kids off literature tor good.’ (Jonathan Trew)

Chris Milne will be reading at the Storytelling Tent Mon 22—Sun 28 May. See listings tor details.

importantly what do the Hibs. the Hearts. the BBC and the Bank of Scotland have in common‘.’ Find out the answers to these questions and more. and design your own tlag to take home at the museuttis all- action .lL‘llHl} tent.

I Under Fives Village Mon ll—Fii 20 May. ‘).~15;IIII 4pm; Sat 27/Sun 28 May. l0am—4pm. Free. Ages 3--5. A friendly. fun. safe play area specially designed to meet the standards of the most discerning under-fives. Hide inside the rainbow inflatable colour maze. dive Into the multi-coloured dragon ball pond orjust jump around on that amazing inflatable bouncy rainforest.

I Meet The Author Big Book Tent. Free. Aileen Paterson Mon 22, we 24. Fri 26 May. 10—] lam. Gather round for a tale or two from the creator of Maisie.

Sandy McCall-Smith Tue 23. Thurs 25 May. 10-1 lam.


I Discovering Japan Japan Tent. Mon 22—Fri 26 May. 9.45am—4pm; Sat 27/Sun 28. 10am—4pm. 1 rec. Ages 7-12. A taste of Japan past and present. right here in lnverleith Park. Try on a kimono; make a wish at the Shinto shrine; have your fortune told; design a miniature Japanese garden: create a kanji; visit a space hotel. and grate and rehydrate Japanese food. I The File Art Bus Mon 22-—Fri 26 May. 9.45am-«4pm: Sat 27/Sun 28. 10am—4pm. Free. All ages. What do you get inside a black. white and red double decker bus with knitted hubcaps‘.’ A weird and wonderful craft exhibition. that's what.


I Adl Zausmer Sat 27/Sun 28 May. noon. All the way from sunny Israel. Adi Zausmer presents A Hot Hippo and Other Stories three myths woven into one using visual theatre. puppets and play.

I Aesop’s Fables Theatre Tent Two. Mon 22 May. 1.30pm. 3.30pm; Tue 23. 10am; Thurs 25. noon; Fri 26. 3.30pm: Sun 28. l lam. £4.50 (£3.50; £2). Ages 6-10. Hullaballoo Children‘s Theatre leap into action with mask and original music to bring Aesop's famous fables ofcunning foxes. bone-headed donkeys and silly goats to life.

I Africa Tent Mon 22—Thurs 25 May 10.15am. 11.15am. 12.15pm. 1.15pm; Fri 26 May l0.l5aIII. 11.15am. 12.15pm. £3 (£2). All ages. Get down to the sounds of Africa with the exuberant performers and musicians from The Project for African Arts and Culture.

I A Night to Remember Theatre Tent ()ne. Sat 27 May. 10.30am. 12.30pm. £4.50 (£3.50; £2). Frank Nigel Earnest is a writer with a deadline and he needs YOU to help ignite his creative spark. Wacky Scottish company Clown Jewels present another crazy show where the final outcome lies in the hands of the audience. Be prepared to shout!

I The Adventures at Peter Rabbit BP Performance Tent. Mon 22—Wed 24 May. 3.15pm; Thurs 25/Fri 26. i0. 15am. 12.15pm; Sat 27/Sun 28. 11am. lpm. 3pm. £3 (£2). Ages 3-7. Scottish puppeteer lan Turbitt and his accomplished company present a charming adaptation of all your favourite tales from Beatrix Potter.

14The List 19 May-l Jun 1995