Dr Dolittle Edinburgh Playhouse until Sat 4 Mar.

The theatrical adage about never working with children or animals is rarely adhered to, with musical theatre often throwing caution to the wind to bring us such corkers as Annie and The Sound Of Music. And when it comes to animals, you’d be hard pushed to find a show more jam packed with furry creatures than Dr Dolittle, with no less than 92 of them gracing the stage. On the road following a twelve month spell in London, this musical menagerie is ably kept in check by one time broom cupboard occupier Philip Schofield.

So, how do they compare to the cuddly Gordon the Gofer then? ’These are a littie bit more sophisticated than dear Gordon,’ says Schofield wryly. ’Things have moved on quite a bit since his day - but it certainly helps having had that sort of relationship in the past.’ The animatronic animals started life at Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop, and are responsible for injecting a large part of the humour into the show, ’Initially we thought the animals

Animal crackers: Philip Schofield

should behave in a very animal fashion and not be at all human, but we’ve relaxed that hugely now’ Schofield explains. ’I think we're coming out on the road with a better show than we had in London, because the animal operators have got a lot more freedom so there's far more humour

in it now.’

With almost a hundred puppets on the cast list, competition for the limelight must surely be fierce, but the man who talks to the animals assures us otherwise: ’A lot of the critics came to the show and said 'what a shame for the actors, they’re being upstaged by the animals’, which is of course what we count on, they missed the point completely. There are scenes where we almost play second fiddle to the animals.’

And if there's one creature worthy of such stature, it’s Polynesia the parrot, voiced by none other than Julie Andrews. So how did Schofield feel about performing with the legendary Mary Poppins? ‘I thought she was just going to record the stuff and send it over from America, but she was in the rehearsals with us for three weeks. I spent three days in the studio with her and she was an absolute delight - my children were very

impressed.’ (Kelly Apter)

Activities And Fun

Jock And Elizabeth's Adventures Permanent attraction. Wed 11am—4pm. £3.50 (£2.95); family ticket £6.95—£9.95. The Tall Ship at Glasgow Harbour, 100 Stobcross Road, 339 0631. All aboard the Clyde-built sailing ship Glenlee for a whole host of children’s activities. School Mid-Term - Activities For Children Mon 21 & Tue 22 Feb, 11am-5pm. The Tall Ship At Glasgow Harbour, 100 Stobcross Road, 339 0631. Help Jock search for the mischievous ship’s cat at this special two-day activity session at the Ship.

Mid Term Arts And Crafts Mon 21 & Tue 22 Feb, 9.30am—12.30pm & 1.30—4.30pm. £10 per three-hour session. Napiershall Street Centre, 39 Napiershall Street, 341 0024. Ages 5—10. Impact Arts are running a two-day workshop for the mid-term school holidays featuring painting, drawing, clay modelling, collage making and printing.

A Giant Sculptor's Workshop Sat 26 Feb, 10am—noon (ages 5—7);

78 THE LIST 17 Feb—2 Mar 2000

12.15—2.15pm (ages 8—10); 2.30—4.30pm (ages 11-13). £4. Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, 221 6362. Giant Productions present this fun introduction to clay relief. Focusing on the internal space of the Lighthouse building, through drawing, clay mould making, plaster casting and modelling, participants will be able to develop the aesthetic sense and appreciation of their surroundings.


Felix The Cat (U) Sat 19 Feb, 2.30pm and Anastasia (U) Sat 26 Feb, 1pm. £2.25 (family ticket £9). Glasgow Film Theatre, 12 Rose Street, 332 8128. See Film Index.


The Elf And The Shoemaker Sat 19 Feb, 2pm. £3 (£2). Scottish Mask & Puppet Theatre Centre, 8—10 Balcarres Avenue, Kelvindale, 339 6185. Shona Reppe’s lively and humorous version of the classic Brothers Grimm tale about a down-on-his- luck cobbler who is struggling to make ends meet. But his life is soon to be transformed when a little elf starts assisting in his shoemaking.

Magic Bob Tue 22 Feb, 11am—1pm. £4 (£2). Paisley Arts Centre, New Street, Paisley, 887 1010. Ages 3—12. Join master magician Magic Bob for a feast of tricks and magic at this special half-term performance.

The Happy Gang Got The Giggles Sat 26 Feb, 11am & 2.30pm. £5 (£4); family ticket £16. Paisley Town Hall, Abbey Close, Paisley, 887 1010. Ages 9 and under. It’s giggles galore in the Happy House, but Spatz, Nicky and Mr P can’t find where they’re coming from. Help the gang solve the riddle of the giggles in this fun-filled musical show.

The Golden Elephant Sat 26 Feb, 2pm. £3 (£2). Scottish Mask & Puppet Theatre Centre, 8-10 Balcarres Avenue, Kelvindale, 339 6185. SMPC in-house production captures the atmosphere of the Orient in a tale of a young boy’s journey through India and Tibet with his elephant companion.


Actrvrtres And Fun

Dino's Dynamos Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, 550 7800. Every Saturday, 10am—noon (until Jun 2000). Free. Ages 6—12. Dino’s Dynamos, an exciting new club for children, offers free entry to the venue on Saturday mornings, fortnightly workshops in the Dynamic Earth Discovery Rooms, a free T-shirt when you join and Dino’s newsletter. Bring along a passport-sized photograph on the morning or call Dynamic Earth for further details.

Doodles Ceramic Workshop Doodles Ceramics Workshop, 29 Marchmont Crescent, 229 1399. Tire-Thu 11am—9pm; Fri 11am-6pm; Sat 10am-6pm; Sun noon—6pm. £5 (£4). This new workshop, created by Holly Peters, offers both adults and children the chance to ‘paint-your- own’ ceramics. Choosing from a selection of unglazed white pottery items, you can create your own personalised piece of

ttery. Tile Jelly Club The Jelly Club, (the former Jolly Giant Superstore), Peffermill Road, 652 0212. Sun—Thu 10am—7pm; Fri & Sat 10am—8pm. £2.95 (off-peak two- hour play sessions, Mon-Fri 10am-3pm); all other times £3.95. Scotland’s largest children’s play and party centre opens its doors offering 470 youngsters up to the age of 12 the chance to indulge in pure, jellytastic fun. Comprising five different zones targeted at different age groups, the centre has everything from ball pools and a jelly jungle to an inflatable assault course. Quickies For Kids Royal Museum Of Scotland, 2 Chambers Street, 247 4219. Free entry to museum for visitors aged 18 and under. Ten-minute talks for children held every Saturday at 2.15pm and every Sunda at 3.15pm. Start The Net Competition To celebrate the opening of the Sustrans National Cycle Network, SPOKES, the bothians cycle campaign is launching a Lothian- wide art competition on the theme of ‘Enjoying The National Cycle Network’. Divided into age groups 7 and under, 8-12, 13—16 and adult, you can enter a painting, photograph, collage, sculpture design, poem and prose to a maximum size of A4. The best entries will appear in a touring exhibition in May and June, and the winner in each category will receive a brand new bike. All entries should be sent in by Sun 30Apr to: Start The Net Competition, PO Box 23296, Edinburgh, EH6 8WL For more information call 229 7190. Fun 8: Games Sat 19 Feb, 9.45am. £2 (£4 for both sessions). Columcille Centre, 2 Newbattle Terrace, 447 7404. Ages 5—9. Tickets from the Mulberry Bush, 77 Momingside Road or on the door. Saturday mornin fun and games. Storytelling 81' atercolour Painting Sat 19 Feb, 11am—12.30pm. £3 (£4 for both sessions). Columcille Centre, 2

Newbattle Terrace, 447 7404. Ages 4+. Tickets from The Mulberry Bush, 77 Momingside Road or on the door. Storytelling followed by watercolour painting.

Rockwatch Club Sat 19 Feb, 10.30am-12.30pm. £1. Royal Museum, 2 Chambers Street, 247 4219. Ages 8—16. Discover more about the incredible earth forces that build mountains, cause volcanoes and make continents move at this new geology club for children. Japanese Art Sat 26 FeHat 25 Mar. Every Saturday at 10.30am-12.30pm (ages 5—8); 2-4pm (ages 9s-12). £45 for five weeks. Old St Paul’s Church, 63 Jeffrey Street, 556 3332. To book a place call 554 1999. Artist Jenny Smith leads this fun workshop focusing on Japanese art and culture. Starting off with a drawing trip to the Royal Museum, participants will have the chance to make a Japanese pot and have a go at oriental paintings and design.


The Parent Trap (PG) Sat 19 Feb, 2pm and Paulie (U) Sat 26 Feb, 2.30pm. £4.50 (£2.50). The Lumiere, Royal Museum, Chambers Street, 247 4219. See Film Index.


Children's Classic Concert Sun 20 Feb, 3pm. £8 (£4—£6); £22 family ticket. Festival Theatre, 13—29 Nicolson Street, 529 6000. Ages 4—14. Bring along a comb and paper or kazoo to this fun classical concert presented by Floella Benjamin. Joining Floella for Musical Menagerie, are the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and conductor Nicholas Kok for a programme of works including Prokofiev’s Peter And The Wolf, Rimsky-Korsakov’s F light Of The Bumblebee, Stravinsky’s Firebird, and Bugs!, a new commission by Sally Beamish.


Prince Rama And The Demons Tue 22 & Wed 23 Feb. Tue 1.30pm & 6.30pm; Wed 1.30pm. £5—£9 (£3.50). Festival Theatre, 13—29 Nicolson Street, 529 6000. In their first piece to be specially created for younger people, Scottish Ballet have been inspired by Javanese and Balinese traditions in their interpretation of the Indian story of the Ramayana. This legend tells the tale of Prince Rama and how he is helped by Hanuman the monkey god to rescue his kidnapped wife.


Doctor Dolittle Until Sat 4 Mar (not Sun). Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm & 7.30pm; Thu 17 Feb 2.30pm & 7.30pm. £8—£29.50 (£8—£22). Playhouse, 18—22 Greenside Place, 0870 6063424. Fun for all the family as Philip Schofield stars in this new musical featuring a host of animatronic animals, including a parrot, Polynesia, voiced by Julie Andrews. See preview.

The Magic Flute Sat 26 Feb, 2.30pm. £5 (£4); family ticket £16. Brunton Theatre, Ladywell Way, Musselburgh, 665 2240. Ages 5+. Music, puppets and fun combine in Blue Tiger Music Theatre company’s adaptation of Mozart’s opera. It tells the story of Papageno, who is rescued from the clutches of a menacing dragon by the woman of his dreams, Pamina.


Artworks: Faces And Things Until Sat 27 May, City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, 529 3993. Aimed primarily at young children, this hands-on exhibition explores themes of portraiture and still life.


Actrvrtres And Fun

Birdbox Workshop Sat 19 Feb, 10—11.30am. Free. Calderglen Country Park, Strathaven Road, East Kilbride, 01355 236644. Ages 8—12. Your chance to make a bird nesting box and Ieam all