My Top Ten Children’s Shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018…

Blimey, this year, choosing my top picks has been even more difficult than before – we are blessed with hundreds of fantastic shows every year, and they all look so good !!!

It’s overwhelming and incredibly exciting all at the same time…I am certain each year my top picks gets bigger, and this year I’ve struggled even to whittle it down to ten…and as before, I’ll cheat a little by putting some of my other favourites in a feature about shows for littler little ones I will post later. I’m almost tempted to do a whole separate Kids Circus top picks too as that genre keeps expanding and this year, there are more circus shows for children and families than ever before !

I’ll start with an firm favourite company of mine and with only a few performances, it looks like you should get in quick ! :

  • How To Spot An Alien – Paines Plough have brought some of my total festival highlights these last few years in their unique Roundabout venue situated at Summerhall. I’m hoping this show will bring some of the same imaginative, magic storytelling – What do you do if you think your aunt is an alien? Twelve-year-old Jelly and her brother Jonjo have their suspicions. She won’t let them leave the house. Or ask questions. And she definitely won’t let them in the attic. Join Jelly and Jonjo on their quest to discover the truth in a rip-roaring adventure through space full of friendship, fun and flying saucers.      4th/5th, 11th/12th, 18th/19th and 25th/26th August

 

  • The Bear – It may be because I’m biased as  my daughter is called Tilly, and so I love this book so much, but I can’t wait to see this show. I’ve seen some pictures on twitter and think everyone may just fall a little bit in love with this big bear ! One night when she’s fast asleep, an enormous white bear climbs into Tilly’s bedroom. It has a big black tongue and a yawn as big as your head. But Tilly’s not scared.   1st – 27th August (not 20th )

 

  • Circa: Wolfgang – Following their huge success with Humans last year, Circa are bringing a children’s circus show to the Fringe this year and I literally cannot wait to see it ! Circa are so extremely talented, weaving acrobatics, strength, circus and humour together effortlessly and I am sure this show mixing these talents with Mozart’s music will be a winner ! Straight from the score and onto the stage, the man known as Mozart appears amidst a puff of powder, wigged and ready to throw musical madness into a crescendo of dives, swoops and twirls. Featuring mischievous acrobats and musicians, Wolfgang reinvents the composer’s magical music with circus twists.   4th-7th, 9th-12th, 14th – 19th, 21st – 25th August

 

  • Duckie -This looks great – delivering some powerful messages along the way – on for a limited run so catch it while you can! Duckie is a reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling with a message of tolerance and self acceptance at its core. Family-friendly glamour and glitz takes centre stage as critically acclaimed cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat breaks out of his shell in his first work for children, a classic tale of identity and belonging. Set in an animal circus, we join him on an adventure of self-discovery, asking questions of the ‘happy ever after’ in a celebration of difference. Walking a little differently? Sounding a bit strange? Watch Duckie triumph by realising these are his strengths.     1st – 12th (not 2nd)

 

  • Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams – One of our total surprise highlights from last year ! – we LOVED this vibrant, high energy circus show last year (read our full review here ). An unashamedly joyful mix of astonishing stunts and enchanted adventure, Circus Abyssinia follows the journey of two Ethiopian brothers whose dream of joining the circus became a reality. Plunged into a world of daredevil wonders, they encounter a host of other circus dreamers: dancing, contorting, gravity-defying figures, all weaving tales of their own.   4th – 25th August (not 13th and 20th ) 

 

  • Splash Test Dummies – Woo hoo !! I’d heard the murmurings of this show last year and am delighted we are being treated to an aquatic themed show with the trio of lovely Dummies this year following the Trash Test fun !  Splash Test Dummies are here, ready to roll out their beach towels and spring into a brand-new hour of circus-filled hilarity for the whole family. See a brilliant array of catch-your-breath stunt work, acrobatics, juggling and the side-splitting, slapstick comedy for which the Dummies are famous.  4th – 25th August (not 13th )

 

  • Ellie and the Enormous Sneeze – If you were lucky enough to catch Dr. Zeiffal, Dr Zeigal and the Hippo that can never be caught last year then you’ll know the kind of brilliant and creative shows Mouths of Lions produce. This year’s offering looks equally bonkers ! ‘A sneeze is a powerful thing, a dangerous thing, you never know what might happen with a sneeze…’ Join Ellie on a wild snot-filled adventure as she sets out to help her friend Stanley to sneeze for the very first time.  2nd – 27th August (not 14th and 21st )

 

  • AnimAlphabet: The Musical – Returning with last year’s musical extravaganza, this comes highly recommended. Read our review here – its a captivating, colourful show with a fab soundtrack.  Join Colin the Country Cockatoo, Hip-Hop Donkey and Geoff the Geordie Jazz Giraffe on a fantastic family musical adventure.  1st – 27th August (not 13th )

 

 

  • The Showstoppers’ Kids Show –  Fringe favourites and Olivier Award-winning improvisers, The Showstoppers, take your kids’ ideas and transform them on the spot into interactive musical adventures. Harry Potter in space? Done! Dora and the Gruffalo meet dinosaurs under the sea? No worries! Kids (and only kids!) decide who we meet and where we go to create a show tailor-made to their imaginations.  1st – 19th August

 

 

  • Reversible – If you can cast your mind back to 2015, you’ll remember the breathtakingly brilliant show Traces ?? Well- the performance group 7 Fingers return with this unique, riveting mix of theatre, circus, dance, music and acrobatics. A reversible world where everyday life is turned upside down into new, spectacular universes filled with beauty, emotion and yes, hope. Imagine your grandparents and what they lived through when they were your age. Reversible is dedicated to a generation who forged the world that we live in today and whose stories might hold the key to a better tomorrow.   2nd – 26th August (not 8th, 13th or 20th )

 

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Final week !!!!

Gosh, August is flying by and soon we’ll be saying goodbye to the hundreds of shows and the cool circus tents until next year…sniff. But, luckily there is still time to squeeze in a few shows and events this week. Here are some top recommendations ! :

The BBC tent is still open until Friday 25th. Events this week for families include :

Sparkle Arts - Under the SeaSparkle Arts – Under the Sea (Ages 2-6) Tues 22nd August 10.45am – 11.30am / 11.45-12.30pm

Make sure you have your swimming kit and goggles with you, because today we’re going on an ‘Under the Sea’ adventure. During this class, the magical rainbow fish introduces children to all her mystical sea friends including Sally the Seahorse and Christopher the Crab. Find out more

Book BugBookbug (Ages 0-4)  23rd August: 10.30am – 11.15am / 12 noon -12.45pm and 25th August: 10.30am – 11.15am / 12 noon -12.45pm

Sing along with traditional nursery songs and action rhymes in an event hosted by Edinburgh City Libraries. Find out more

Volcano Day: Geology RocksVolcano Day: Geology Rocks (All ages) Thurs 24th August: 10.30am – 4.30pm

Come explore the Earth and learn about the world we live in. Erupt a volcano or become a paleontologist and discover your own fossil. Fun for all the family courtesy of the University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences.   Find out more

Great shows to check out :

Dr. Zeiffal, Dr. Zeigal and The Hippo That Can Never Be Caught – We loved this show, it’s engaging and quirky and again with plenty of interaction, with the audience wearing their Hippo google goggles and assisting in the search of the elusive Hippo !!  On until the 28th..

Arr We There Yet ? – A total treat of an hour – pirates, sea shanties, swashbuckling sword fighting fun and lots of impressive acrobatics !! Add to the mix some silly puns and its entertaining for the whole family ! Climb aboard and enjoy the fun….On until the 26th

Circus Abyssinia – This was soooooooooo fun !! A great family friendly circus show, with plenty of colour and energy, spectacular pole acrobatics, crazy contortion-ism and lots lots more !  ….On until 26th …

The Road That Wasn’t There – Wonderful, immersive storytelling with dark edges….a beautiful tale of adventures and maps, with a haunting soundtrack, intricate puppets and lots of mystery !  …  On until the 27th…

Morgan and West’s : More Magic For Kids which we loved , you can read the review here – they are such a fantastic duo, charming the audience with their wit and had the children non stop giggling with their rather silly magic ! I’d definitely recommend it , but like last year, it was busy so get tickets early !   …On until the 27th…

China Goes Pop ! Again I would suggest getting tickets early as the queue was massive !! It was very quirky and very fun, with some amazing acrobatics, an infectious pop soundtrack and lots of very smiley, happy performers bringing us an hour of hoops, scooters, circus and hats !! …On until the 27th…

AnimAlphabet the Musical – We really enjoyed this – one for the littler ones, with plenty of music, song and dance and great animal costumes and puppets….On until the 28th…

 

And not forgetting our old favourites from last year !!! :

Trash Test Dummies – These guys are a firm favourite with my family – dustbins, acrobatics and much silliness ! What more do you need ? (read  review  here)…On until the 26th..

Children Are Stinky – Children are also scaredy cats, lazy, unimaginative and uncoordinated in this madcap hour of acrobatic fun with loveable Australian clown duo ‘Kylie and Jason’. We loved this show last year (see here ), so if you missed it, do do check it out. Expect daredevil stunts, incredible acrobatics, lighting-fast hula hoops, loads of laughs and mischievous fun …On until the 28th…

And if all that wasn’t enough, there is still time to check out our favourite hot donut stall in Assembly George Square Gardens too !!!

First Week Highlights….2017

So, it’s probably not technically the first full week of the festival- but with previews shows that we were seeing last week, it has been for us; and what an amazing first week it’s been ! We’ve seen such a variety of shows and been out exploring all the family friendly places to hang out at the festival and sampling some of the rather tasty treats on offer too!! How great to get some sunshine aswell….

For now my highlights have been :

Arr We There Yet ? – A total treat of an hour – pirates, sea shanties, swashbuckling sword fighting fun and lots of impressive acrobatics !! Add to the mix some silly puns and its entertaining for the whole family ! Climb aboard and enjoy the fun….

The Road That Wasn’t There – Wonderful, immersive storytelling with dark edges….a beautiful tale of adventures and maps, with a haunting soundtrack, intricate puppets and lots of mystery !

Mavis Sparkle– It’s hard not to love Mavis Sparkle, with her glitter, her impressive cleaning trolley with all the little doors and surprises, her cheeky cuckoo clock and her friend Spike!

Circus Abyssinia – This was soooooooooo fun !! A great family friendly circus show, with plenty of colour and energy, spectacular pole acrobatics, crazy contortion-ism and lots lots more !

Other hot tips on the family friendly grapevine are :

The Listies Make You LOL – With plenty of poo jokes, alien attacks and dirty underpants, these guys are well worth checking out !!

Nick Cope – Our family loves Nick Cope – and you’re never too young to discover the wonder of his brilliant, humorous and melodic songs about such things as dragons named Keith, pirates, dinosaurs and of course…poo ! Read our review from last year here

 

Super Spectacular Circus Hub 2017

Image result for edinburgh circus hubThe rather fantastic Circus Hub has returned to the Meadows this year, bringing with it a huge range of family friendly circus shows and some old favourites like the Trash Test Dummies ! I’ve already been lucky enough to check a few of the shows out, and also sample the delicious churros on sale !!

It feels like the variety of circus shows grows at the festival every year, and this year we have a bumper crop of superb circus to choose from, and rather fantastically, most of the shows are family friendly – yay !!

My top five picks are :

Arr We There Yet ? – Head first Acrobats bring us a kids show full of pirates, swashbuckling adventures, some amazing acrobatics and lots and lots of fun ! We had a fantastic time and the kids couldn’t stop giggling ……(and these guys have the most amazing and fun show for adults – Elixir – I’ve seen it twice now and it’s absolutely hilarious-just don’t bring the kids! )

Trash Test Dummies – These guys are a firm favourite with my family – dustbins, acrobatics and much silliness ! What more do you need ? (read  review  here)

 

All The Fun – A hypnotic, tongue-in-cheek antidote to the glittering circus world. You’re invited beyond the everyday 1, 2, 3 of juggling in an ever-changing space, with the performers balancing objects and throwing bodies, rendering failure just as visible as sweat.

Circus Abyssinia:Ethiopian Dreams – An unashamedly joyful mix of astonishing stunts, astounding circus skills and enchanted adventure, Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams follows the magical journey of two little Ethiopian brothers whose dream of joining the circus is made real by the Man in the Moon.

Kin – The boys from the 2015 smash Bromance are back in this red-hot, five-star circus show… and they’ve brought friends! Lots of humour makes this circus piece really accessible for families, and children will be amazed at the talents and skills of the performers. Highly recommended….