So, once again it’s that time of year where you are inundated with programmes, flyers and posters and hundreds of fantastic looking shows to choose from. The number of children’s shows seems to be increasing each year which is absolutely brilliant and also means it is more overwhelming to try and decide what to see…
I’ve put together this Top 6 (as a top 5 was too hard), which was pretty difficult to do given the great choice and variety this year…and as it is a bit of a work in progress, I am always open to suggestions of what should have made the list too !
Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs 2: The Magic Cutlass – Captain Flinn is back ! And this looks like a fantastic sequel to the Captain Flinn show that Les Petits Theatre Company brought to us before. When Flinn is in the middle of his school play his old nemesis, Mr T the T-Rex, appears and kidnaps his friends forcing them to hunt for the Magic Cutlass: a sword that grants any wish! 3rd-29th August (not16th)
Lords of Strut : The Family Show – I was lucky enough to catch this show last year and I LOVED it (see feature here)…with only eleven shows this year, its one not to be missed. Brothers Famous Seamus and Sean-tastic will do anything to be famous, really anything. Charm, sharp wit and good humour, with flashes of surprising acrobatic skill and just enough naughtiness to keep kids and adults guessing. Silly and bonkers – absolutely bonkers! 4th – 14th August
Nick Cope’s Family Songbook– We have been lucky enough to see Nick Cope a few times before and we have all enjoyed every single second- he sings gorgeous songs about everything from socks, supermarkets, bears and dragons. Audience participation is included and the kids will love him ! If you haven’t heard his songs or seen his shows before, come and find out what you’re missing. 3rd-21st August (not 17th)
Shark in the Park – This well loved book should be perfect for the stage and I’m really looking forward to seeing Timothy Pope and his telescope ! From the producers of The Hairy Maclary and Friends Show – see all three of Nick Sharratt’s Shark in the Park books live on stage! 4th-29th August (not 15th)
The Snail and the Whale – I have seen this production before when it was last in Edinburgh and its a delight, with lovely music and song and a gentle and engaging version of Julia Donaldson’s well known book. Tall Stories really do great children’s theatre and this is no exception. 3rd-21st August (not 6th/17th)
The Many Doors of Frank Feelbad– From the folk that did ‘The incredible Book Eating Boy’ this looks like an imaginative and evocative tale about what to do when things go missing- join Frank on an adventure to find out. Dealing sensitively with grief and loss, this interactive performance looks charming. 10th-28th August
As I’ve said before- I get very, very excited in the run up to festival season, and once all the programmes are printed and launched, I enjoy flicking through all the possible show choices but I also find it immensely overwhelming. Venues are increasing the number and variety of their children’s shows each year and it is becoming so very difficult to select which shows to see amongst such a wonderful, creative collection.
I have managed to create this top five but it is very much a work in progress and I’m keen to hear your opinions too if you see something which you think should have made the list:
Alfie White : Space Explorer – Brought this year by Tall Stories who came to Edinburgh last year with ‘Emily brown and the thing’ which was extremely enchanting- this shows looks worth a peek. Alfie White is crazy about space. And his dad is training to be the first man on the moon. At least that’s what Alfie tells his schoolmates. In fact, Alfie’s dad has disappeared without trace… A cosmic tale of adventure and discovery. 5th-30th August (not 19th)
The Secret Life of Suitcases – The storytelling centre is a hidden delight of puppetry during the festival and for the past few years some of my absolute favourite shows have been hosted here – the venue is small and cosy and perfect for engaging with puppets. This story about the mysterious arrival of a suitcase in an office looks like another enchanting tale… 8th-23rd August (not12th/17th)
Trash Test Dummies – Circus seems to be a bit of a theme this year at the fringe and this show looks ace – as these three dexterous dummies take out the trash and take to the stage in their family friendly show which won Best Children’s Presentation at Adelaide Fringe 2015. 7th – 29th August (not 17th/24th)
Brush – I think this show looks intriguing, imaginative and unique… Paintings are created live on stage and brought to life right before your eyes. They tell a bewitching story filled with weird and wonderful characters through live music, dance, fanciful puppets and a company of engaging performers. 6th – 30th August (not 18th)
Every year I pick up the Fringe brochure and I am so excited, but also totally overwhelmed by the number of shows available to see and the huge amount of choice and variety….and maybe it is because I’m a libra, or it’s actually down to the fact there are sooooooooo many good things to go see and so little time to see them all, but I find it very hard to make any decisions….
So, this year I’ve had a little look and have narrowed it down to this list (give or take a few extras !)…
Emily Brown and the THING – Tall Stories are the company that brought us all The Gruffalo which I thought was fantastic, so I’m hoping this new production will also be just as fun. Based on the Cressida Cowell’s much loved book, its about Emily’s night time adventures and promises to be a magical, musical show……….From 30th July – 24th August (not 7th).
Pirate Gran – ‘She knits, she bakes, she drinks sherry’ – all sounds good so far ! This production is brought to you by Scamp Theatre who are the team behind Stick Man and the fantastic Tiddler. Based on the Pirate Gran series of books, this looks to be a swashbuckling show ! 31st July – 25th August (not13th)
Dinosaur Zoo – Direct from the West End, this looks like an awesome live show with fantastic puppets – perfect for any dinosaur loving little ones…. 30th July – 25th August (not 2nd )
Red Riding Hood – For the past two years I have been to see puppet shows during the festival at the Storytelling centre and they have been amazing and a total highlight. The venue is small and cosy and you feel fully engaged as the audience and can really appreciate the gorgeous puppets – this show looks to be just as enchanting with a retelling of this classic tale. 31st July – 17th August (not 11th)
Big Red Bath (and The Snow Dog) – So I am kind of cheating by having these two productions, but the are by the same theatre company – Full House- and are performing on alternate days and both look great ! Big Red Bath are on a bubbly, barmy bath time adventure in a vibrant adaptation of the book, and The Snow Dog looks to be a playful exploration of love and loss with a real husky on stage which sounds exciting! 30th/31st July – 23rd/24th August