festkids their mitts on the musical instruments and are even encouraged to bring their own. There are some enchanting and rather special pieces of theatre on offer; Paperbelle (Royal Botanic Garden) is sure to delight, set in a world of white paper it’s a gentle yet magical exploration of colour; Night of The Big Wind (Uderbelly, 56 Cowgate) sees a young Irish boy battle with the weather using innovative props and puppetry; Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales (Underbelly, Bristo Square) promises an engaging mega-mix of Julia Donaldson’s popular titles whilst the gorgeous Bubblewrap & Boxes (Gilded Balloon ,Teviot Row House) return to tell their story using acrobats, clowning and, of course, cardboard boxes. Sesame Street Live - Elmo Makes Music (Meadows Theatre Big Top) needs no introduction and will no doubt appeal to the very young and their nostalgic parents alike. Other recognisable and likely hits are Andy and Mike’s Tick Tock Time Machine (Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance), which
teams the CBBC front man with his childhood pal Mike in what promises to be a madcap crazy ride, and Hairy Maclary and Friends (Assembly George Square) for musical canine capers of every shape and size. The Ugly Duckling (C, Chambers Street), Magic Porridge Pot (Spotlites, The Merchants Hall) and The Enormous Turnip (The Merchants’ Hall, Hanover Street) all promise ideal introductions to little theatre goers; interactive with storytelling and music. Children’s puppetry is a timeless medium that has a magical ability to engage young audiences; Ronnie LeDrew’s Brilliant Bag Show (Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance), Pips and Pandas Meet the 3 Bears (Fairmilehead Parish Church, 1a Frogston Road West) and The Red Bus Puppet Shows (The Meadows, by the cricket pavillion), which plays out on the top deck of a double decker bus, will all delight even the youngest of children.
dash Galaxy (Uderbelly, 56 Cowgate) looks to be energetic and chaotic as comedic puppeteer Jeff Achtem creates shadow puppets using only bits of rubbish and household objects, whilst the audience of The Machine (Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance) is asked to help the clowning assistants in this latest visual piece by well loved company Little Cauliflower Theatre. For those looking for a more traditional offering, Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and the Whale (Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance) is a sure hit with its familiar rhyming words, live music and touching story; the delightful puppet show Cloud Man (The Netherbow, 43-45 High Street) will capture young imaginations with tales of the rare Cloud Men whilst two separate shows by one company Polly and William (both C nova, India Buildings,
Victoria Street), can’t go wrong with their interactive tales of a girl, a fairy and a magical bookshop. Champion of Champions! (National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street) makes sure the Olym-
pics are never far from our minds as it presents its own mythological Games musical featuring Viking, Greek and Celtic teams; even the pirates of Captain Codless and the Legend of Plunge Island (C too, St Columba’s by the Castle) romp through the Olympics as they head to their treasure. If you suspect you’re raising a future drama queen or king then get them in the mood with some classic Bugsy Malone (C too, St Columba’s by the Castle) then let them have a bash themselves at Drama Workshops for 5-12s (The Merchants’ Hall, Hanover Street). With a different theme every day, from Darth Vader School to Mamma Mia, it’s sure to suit every taste. Wannabe singers and dancers too can try their hand at The BIG Sing-a-long! (St Mark’s artSpace, 7 Castle Terrace) and Flamenco for Kids (C eca, Edinburgh College of Art).
George Square) and presenting a variety of comedians are Comedy Club 4 Kids (The Bongo Club, Holyrood Road); both popular and acclaimed choices are sure to crack even the toughest of young audiences. The Showstopper’s Family Matinees (Gilded Balloon, Teviot Row House) are comedy improvisation at it’s best and will have the whole family amazed at their quick wit. Traditional with a modern twist, there are a selection of circuses to get involved with; Mother Africa Circus (Assembly Hall, Mound Place) is a high energy African display of acrobatics, stunts and live music; ACE – A Circus Extravaganza (Royal Botanic Gardens, Inverleith House Lawn) showcases young UK circus artists and kids can even give it a go by signing up for their circus school, Circus for Success (Bonaly Outdoor Centre, Bonaly Road).
James Campbell Comedy 4 Kids
edinburgh festival preview guide 2012 fest 87
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