Scottish International Children's Festival

PREVIEW Scottish International

Children's Festival

Tue l8—Sun 24 May. Edinburgh: various venues.

Last year's move from the tarpaulins of Inverleith Park to the city's theatre venues proved to be a popular choice for the Children's Festival. Attendance figures increased and research showed that 86% of festival goers preferred its new home.

After providing quality children's theatre for almost a decade, Britain's largest performing arts festival for young people continues to grow from strength to strength. And with four Arts Council grants totalling £129,084 allocated this week to theatre groups targeting children, it would seem people are finally taking notice of what the genre has to offer.

’There's a real sense that the Scottish Arts Council and local authorities, particularly Edinburgh, who we work with, are taking children's theatre very very seriously.’ festival director Tony Reekie explains.

’Organisations like the Children's Festival, the MacRobert Arts Centre and Tag Theatre have been pushing and pushing and doing really good quality stuff. We're able to say to people that what we do is actually very good, and not only is it good but it's being shown all over the world.’

One of the festival’s previous participants, Visible Fictions, are about to become the first Scottish company to make it to the bright lights of Broadway with their hit show, The Red Balloon. And this year sees the world premiere of David Greig’s new musical Danny 306 + Me (4 ever), performed by the Traverse Theatre Company - their first venture into young people's theatre in their 30-year history.

The quality of the shows are of great importance to Reekie, with international companies making their presence felt again this year. He believes that part of the festival's success is how the shows work on two levels, engaging the parents as well as catching the imagination of the young people, in a way that doesn’t patronise.

'It’s not childish, but child-like,’ says Reekie. ’The ability to take your audience back to being a child, is really, really special. And when it works there's nothing like it.’ (Helen Monaghan)

Storybox Theatre present The Half Chick And Two Tales at the Traverse Theatre


The Scottish International Childrens Festival runs from Tue 18-Sun 23 May. Edinburgh: Various Venues. Festival Box Office 0131 220 4349.

Tickets Tickets for theatre/puppetry cost £5 for adults and £4 for children and concessions. For Dunni- 300. all preview tickets are £2.50 and the workshop costs £ 1. For storytelling. tickets for children are £4 and adults go free. Workshops: dance and comedy are £4 and photography £10. Exhibitions and The Octobus Play Bus are free.

Special Festival Savers Available when you book tickets for three or more events. saving 50p on every ticket (excludes film and free events) from SlCF Box Office only.

Groups Theatre/puppetry events for registered groups and clubs (minimum of ten) £3 (adult helpers. l in IQ free). For private groups (minimum of eight) - £3.50/£4.50 (organisers ticket. 1 in 8 free)

Booking Your Tickets Tickets are available by calling the Festival Box Office on 0131 220 4349 (Mon-Sat l0am-5pm) or by faxing a booking form (see official programme) to 0|3l 220 I996. Alternatively. you can send postal bookings (by using booking form in official programme) to: SlCF Box Office. The Assembly Rooms. 54 George Street. Edinburgh. EH2 2LR. Or in person until Sat 22 May at the SlCF Box Office at the Assembly Rooms. 54 George Street, Edinburgh (Mon—Sat 10am—5pm) and from Mon l7-Sun 23 May at SlCF Box Office at the Usher Hall. Lothian Road. Edinburgh (Mon—Fri lOam—5pni; Sat 9.30am—5pm; Sun 10.30am—4pm). Or in person I hour before the show (Fri 2 l—Mon 23 May) from the venue box office only.


. one of the leading UK creators of animated theatre. present this adaptation of a traditional Spanish tale. it tells the story of a chick. hatched with half a body. who goes in search of the king. Martha Sat 22 & Sun 23 May. Sat 1.30pm; Sun 3.45pm. £5 (£4). Ages 5+. Meet Martha the obstinate. eccentric old woman who lives by the sea. Self-reliant in her nature. she doesn't need any friends or family around her until one day. her life begins to change when a seagull lands at her windowsill. A touching story about friendship and trust from new children's theatre company Catherine Wheels.

Morgan’s Journey Sat 22 & Sun 23 May. Sat 4pm; Sun ll.45am. £5 (£4). Ages 4+. This award-winning comedy from Canada's Roseneath Theatre Company tells the story of Morgan The Clown and his search for happiness. Performances at Theatre Workshop, 34 Hamilton Place, 013] 226 5425. Tickets front venue and Festival Box Office 013] 220 4349. Taking A Line For A Walk Fri 2 l—Sun 23 May. Fri 2pm: Sat 3.30pm; Sun |l.30am. £5 (£4). Ages 6+. inspired by Swiss artist Paul Klee. interplay Theatre

; combine dance. music anti storytelling in

The Half Chick And Two Tales Fri 1 this highly visual performance. where

2 l—Stin 23 May. Fri 3.45pm; Sat llam; f nothing is quite what it seems.

Sun l.-l5pni. £5 (£4). Ages 5+. Storybox

Theatre. award-winning company and ;



Theatre Performances

Theatre performances are listed by venue. then by date order. Performances at Traverse Theatre. Cambridge Street, 013] 228 1404. Tickets from venue and Festival Box Office 0131 220 4349.

Danny 306 + Me (4 Ever) Hi I4 May. 7pm; Sat 22 & Sat 2‘) May. 3.30pm; Sun 23 8.: Sun 30 May. I l.3()am & 2pm. £5 (£4). Ages 9+. A new musical with live animation from David Greig. specially commissioned by Traverse Theatre Company. in this their first ever play for young people. it tells the story of Stella. an international superstar. who returns to the Grand Hotel. where she first met bell boy Danny 306. After show workshops are available on Sun 23 May. 1.45pm & 3.45pm at Central Halls. Tollcross. See preview in Theatre section. page 55. Book Of Miracles Fri 2| .v Sat 22 May. Fri 1.30pm; Sat 10.30am. £5 (£4). Ages 8+. See photo caption.

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TIGGERS DON‘T CLIMB TREES Fri 21-Sun 23 May. Fri 4pm; Sat 11am; Sun 1.30pm. £5 (£4). Ages 4+. Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404. In the true spirit of A.A. Milne’s wonderful stories, PoohBear and friends are recreated using soft toy puppetry by Richard Medrington's Puppets.