First Week Highlights 2019

Phew..we have been super bus this week and have crammed in ALOT of shows…we have also managed to have many ice-creams, some hot donuts and spent some great creative time in the Pleasance Kidzone making shrinkies and tea-light holders….

We have seem some spectacular circus, hilarious comedy and seriously impressive storytelling….some of our top picks this last week have been :

image of eventThe Listies: Ickypedia – If you go and see one children’s show- make it this one ! Hilarious, messy fun…you won’t be disappointed.

 

image of event360 Allstars – For high octane, fast paced impressive tricks, this is the show for you ! Basketball tricks, break dancing, cyr wheel, beat boxing and more…

 

image of eventMorgan and West: Unbelievable Science – For all science enthusiasts out there – they will amaze you with some optical illusions and their usual trickery. Highly entertaining.

 

image of eventSplash Test Dummies – They are lovable, silly and very very funny ! Baywatch style lifesaving, beach volleyball and synchronised swimming all get a Dummies makeover !

 

image of eventTroll – Only on until the 11th August -a  compelling, captivating story , with such  imaginative, creative puppetry and set.

 

For the little ones, we loved:

image of eventFox- tot ! – Multi-sensory adventure where your wee one can get fully involved meeting the playful characters and listening to the beautiful music.

 

For the whole family, we’ve loved these two circus shows – both have been breathtaking:

image of eventBlizzard – fantastic acrobatics with very funny and silly snippets inbetween – try and sit near the front if you can !!

 

image of eventBackbone – Evocative, astoundingly beautiful – stunning acrobatics made to look so graceful and effortless  imaginative sequences and use of limited props and incredible laser lighting that our mini reviewers especially loved !

 

 

 

 

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Book Festival 2019 Opens this weekend….

Image result for edinburgh international book festival 2019Festival season is in full swing, personally it feels likes it’s been going for weeks already – and yet another one opens this weekend – it is truly exhausting !!  The Edinburgh International Book Festival – bringing with it a host of fantastic events, free arts and crafts activities, two beautiful bookshops and a gorgeous space to hang out in Charlotte Square…it is also a very tranquil oasis away from the hecticness of the Fringe and I highly recommend it simply for the change of scenery and pace alone !!

There are lots of free arts and crafts activities every day in the fabulous Story Box area and the opening weekend has the following brilliant sounding drop-in events :

50 Years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar50 Years of the Very Hungry Caterpillar Both Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th August 11.00am – 4.30pm  Feeling peckish? Celebrate 50 years of Eric Carle’s classic picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by dropping into Story Box for lots of exciting colouring and craft activities inspired by the much-loved tale. You might even get the chance to meet the greedy insect himself.

Join the Super Power AgencyJoin The Super Power AgencyBoth Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th August 11.00am – 4.30pm : Super Power Agency Bus On George Street.  Hop aboard the Super Power Agency Bus and become a literacy superhero! Special agents show you how to take a book out of your head and onto the page, where it can change the world, with fun bookmaking and storytelling activities.

Full listings of all the free events for children and young people can be found here ….enjoy!

 

What makes certain shows so special ?

Barely one week in, and I’m not sure that I would call it fringe fatigue as such, but I am aware that it can be hugely overwhelming seeing so many  spectacular shows in such a short space of time that it can make reviewing shows really tricky…

I am so incredibly grateful that I live on the doorstep of the world’s largest, most impressive and eclectic arts festival. I have to constantly remind myself that this month of seeing so much world class talent is pretty rare, and try and rate each individual show on its own merits and on its own unique style. This becomes difficult I find, once we have seen a few circus or physical theatre shows and I catch myself sometimes looking at someone standing on someone’s head, or performing a intricate aerial trick and not having the awestruck wonder that others may be experiencing.

Tonight I found myself seated infront of some amazingly talented performers and I was almost bored. I can totally appreciate the skill, the effort and time that has gone into making the production – and I was questioning what was making me feel this way – have I seen too many shows ? Am I suffering fatigue ? Am I overloaded ? Then I realised it’s as much about what energy the performers are giving out as they are taking –  what makes a show special is the ability of the audience to give and receive, and connect with the performers on any level. Much of the magic of the fringe is the smaller venues, or the spaces that allow lines to be crossed. Tonight’s performance was slick and uber professional but also felt cold- interaction was lacking, smiles appeared forced and I felt like I could have been any old face, sat amongst the viewers – which infact I was.

The beauty of much of the children’s theatre and circus we have been seeing this past week is that the boundaries between audience and performer are fluid – they are pretty much crossed in every show I’ve seen. Children are invited to shout out, to get on stage, share their ideas, sing songs – performers run through the audience, spray us with water, ask us our names…..the energy is shared, performers smile – if something is tricky – you can see the concentration on their faces – if something goes wrong, they try it again. Spontaneous heckling from a child is fully embraced and celebrated. That’s what I love, that’s what makes this all so special…

I admit it’s easier in a children’s show to share the energy, and some genre’s obviously lend themselves to the blurring of boundaries also, but it’s the simple smiles, the touches of humour, the personalities shining through – that’s what makes a show special, the performers who feel like friends….

 

Bureau Of Untold Stories…returning for another investigation

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If you missed out on this last year – then you are in for a treat – The Bureau Of Untold Stories is returning to the Fringe for it’s longest run yet from 12th August ! We really enjoyed being part of the investigation last year and would encourage all other young adventurers to go along and check it out…(read our review here )…

The intrepid inspectors of ‘The Bureau Of Untold Stories’ will return to the Museum of Childhood, on Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile, to launch an investigation into the world’s missing stories as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from August 12, 2019.

The family friendly production follows the escapades of two detectives as they attempt to track down a notorious criminal mastermind, known simply as The Eraser. Using outrageous accents, live sound effects, some unconventional storytelling skills, and the ridiculous suggestions and ideas of the Bureau’s newest recruits; the audience, ‘The Bureau Of Untold Stories’ sees performers Sean and Hollie Bryan create a series of entirely original tales throughout the sixty minute duration of the piece.

“Innovative, imaginative and importantly fun – this is one mystery you will love helping to solve!…”

Pleasance Kidzone… 2019

Image The wonderful Pleasance kidzone has returned…and it’s as great as ever – offering lots of arts and crafts at very reasonable prices, providing picnic tables, a coffee and cake stall and new for this year – a rather yummy ice cream kiosk !! What more could we ask for ??

My daughter spent around two hours painting a beautiful candle holder – whilst I managed to sit in the sun with a beer and contemplate all the great shows the Pleasance has on offer for the kids this year- total win !!

A trip to the Kidzone can be combined with seeing one or two of the brilliant children’s shows at the Pleasance this year – they have 23 this year for us to choose from, so there is bound to be something for everyone !! Some top picks are :

The Listies : Ickypedia – The Listies are back – they are silly, hilarious and superbly awesome. You may just learn a few new words along the way too! Don’t miss this show….

 

The Showstoppers' Kids Show The Showstoppers’ Kids Show – These champions of Improvisation are back and no two shows will ever be the same – expect some whacky stories as the kids come up with all the ideas!

Mustard Doesn’t Go With Girls – This production seeks to poke fun at fairy tales from the past whilst creating new storylines for the young generation of today. Once definitely worth checking out…

 

One Duck Down – One Duck Down. 7000 rubber ducks. Seven Seas. One big adventure! An environmentalist tale set to inspire the little ones..

 

Rave And Behave – Come help Bella and Blue on their quest to become legends before lunchtime in this interactive sound journey. A must-see for all the mischievous music makers in your family.