My Top Ten Children’s Shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019

As always, I really struggle to whittle down the fantastic array of children’s shows to a concise ‘top ten recommendations’ – in 2019 we are being treated yet again to a growing number of brilliant and entertaining shows aimed at the younger audience. When I first started reviewing, the choice was much smaller, and now there are literally hundreds to choose from, covering all genres including musicals, magic, circus and theatre….

The abundance of shows makes this task difficult, but as before, I will do a top ten for ‘littler little ones’ which gives me some more room to pick some firm favourites ! I’d like to also explore the slightly older, almost ‘teen’ category a bit more this year, and I am bringing in a new ‘not so mini- reviewer’ to assist with this in August !- so do please get in touch if you’re working on something for older children that you think we should be seeing !!

I get that tingly exciting feeling in my stomach when writing this as I’m so excited for August and all the amazing theatrical experiences it will bring….

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

image of eventDexter And Winter’s Detective Agency – Paines Plough have brought some of my absolute festival highlights over the years in their unique Roundabout venue situated at Summerhall. I’m hoping this show will bring some of the same imaginative, magic storytelling that really does blow me away !!  ”When Dexter’s mum is sent to jail for getting mixed up in a jewellery robbery, it’s up to Dexter and his best friend Winter to get her out. On their journey to uncover the truth and free mum, their detective work leads them to some surprising discoveries. ”                 3/4th, 11th/12th, 17th/18th, 24th/25th August

 

image of eventChildren Are Stinky – Yay !! These guys are back – we LOVED this show when we saw it (check our review here)….they will surely bring their madcap, hilarious, mischievous magic back to the Piccolo tent this August – and it’s up to you to prove them wrong that children are infact stinky – are you up to the challenge ?? ”Expect daredevil stunts, incredible acrobatics, lightning-fast hula hoops and loads of laughs”  1st – 26th August (not 7th/14th/21st) 

 

image of eventThe Listies: Ickypedia – We are DELIGHTED that the Listies are returning to Edinburgh this year !!!!!!! Our mini-reviewers still talk about their last show ALOT (review here )…and we listen to their CD in the car on repeat it feels !! This new shows looks like it will be more of their same hilarious, silly and slightly bonkers entertainment !  ”Australia’s kidult comedians are back with a new show filled with trademark bottom-waggling anarchy! Based on The Listies best-smelling book, Ickypedia aims to answer all of life’s unimportant questions, like: How do you take a smellfie? What are udderpants?* How many bubble machines are too many? What’s the Snot Ness Monster? What happens if you never ever clean your room?”   31st July – 18th August

 

image of eventBlizzard – Yay, yay, yay, yay, yay………….Flip Fabrique are back to weave some more magic into our lives – Attrape Moi last year was a total, total highlight of the fringe for us and we are beyond excited to see what they have to offer this year with Blizzard !! ”What if winter has taken over? With Blizzard, Flip Fabrique take you on a crazy, poetic and gentle journey in the dead of winter, and invite you to lose yourself in a moment of complete wonder. ”  1st – 26th August (not 7th, 12th, 19th)

 

image of eventMustard Doesn’t Go With Girls – I really appreciate shows with a strong female lead or narrative, and this year we have plenty to choose from – this musical number looks like it will deliver – being billed as a feminist fairy tale with an original soundtrack ! The piece follows a young girl with a passion for science as she goes up against a society which believes girls should only be seen, never heard.  ”When the children of Bow-on-Tie start mysteriously disappearing, Abigail decides to investigate further. She embarks on a music-filled adventure to uncover the town’s secrets, topple the cabinet of treacherous animals in charge and prove girls are made of more than just sugar and spice.”  31st July – 23rd August (not 13th )

 

image of eventMorgan and West: Unbelievable Science – We are big fans of Morgan and West and the mini-reviewers always enjoy their magic tricks and illusions …so we are excited to see they have a new show for the festival this year  – and something a bit different as they are bringing scientific experiments this time !! ”Unbelievable Science is an interactive science show for the whole family, where experiments take place right before your eyes! Captivating chemistry! Phenomenal physics! Bonkers biology! Magicians, time-travellers and all-round spiffing chaps Morgan & West have a secret past – they are genuine, bona-fide, legitimately qualified scientists and now are bringing their knowledge to the stage! ”  31st July – 25th August (not 21st)

 

One Duck Down – With the school strikes for climate, and the increase in climate action, it is unsurprising that this year, quite a few shows are featuring an environmental message or using sustainable props and costumes -One Duck Down is one of these shows doing just that, and it looks like it’ll be inspiring for any environmentalists out there –  ” 7000 rubber ducks. Seven Seas. One big adventure! Inspired by a true tale (featured on Blue Planet II) that saw 7000 rubber ducks cast adrift in a mighty storm, jam packed with music, clowning and puppetry and with a set and props which are recycled from the lost and found of rubbish both on land and at sea, join us on an ocean clear-up adventure that would make David Attenborough proud.”      31st July – 26th August (not 20th)

 

image of eventThe Showstoppers Kid’s Show – This is another firm favourite of ours – a fully improvised show so you have no idea where it’ll go next !! ”Fringe favourites and Olivier Award-winning improvisers, The Showstoppers, take your kids’ ideas and transform them on the spot into interactive musical adventures. Captain Underpants underwater? Done! SpongeBob and the Gruffalo on the moon? No worries! Kids (and only kids!) decide who we meet and where we go to create a show tailor-made to their imaginations.”  31st July – 18th August

 

image of eventSparkle – I’m hoping this show may be a little like the fabulous Duckie last year .. bringing with it a powerful message about identity, choices and being your full true self. ”Sparkle, who loves to dress in tutus, tiaras and sparkly dresses, finds on his first day of school that not everyone wants to let him shine. In this playful and poignant show, Sparkle discovers the magnificence of standing up for himself and being unique – even in his own sparkly slippers.”    31st July – 25th August (not 12th/19th)

 

image of eventErth’s Dinosaur Zoo – This looks like it will be spectacular and totally not to be missed for any young dinosaur fans out there !! Erth’s dinosaur puppets walk, roar and blink at audiences and they are unmistakably ‘alive’ and keen to play! ”Get right up close and personal with an amazing array of prehistoric creatures, from baby dinos to some of the largest carnivores and herbivores that have ever walked the planet. Erth’s dinosaurs are unmistakably “alive” and mostly friendly in this fun, educational and original performance, connecting young audiences to the real science of palaeontology.”  31st July – 26th August (not 12th ) 

 

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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 )