Edinburgh International Children’s Festival Launches 2023 Programme

The Edinburgh International Children’s Festival (EICF) launches its programme with an exciting lineup of activities, events and performances for young people, schools, families and industry professionals.

Showcasing world-leading work from across 11 different countries, the renowned festival offers a packed programme of circus, comedy, dance, storytelling and theatre for young people.

This year, the programme remains international and includes a regional focus on Flanders, the Dutch-speaking Northern part of Belgium, that is one of the world’s leaders in producing innovative theatre and dance for young audiences.

The 2023 programme presents work that shines a light on topics of conversation taking place in the world right now such as identity, mental health, environmentalism, power, protest and war. It includes two new Scottish commissions funded by the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund that will be touring and reaching children beyond Edinburgh.

Protest by Hannah Lavery, directed by Natalie Ibu is co-commissioned and co-produced by Fuel, Imaginate and Northern Stage in association with National Theatre of Scotland.

Too Close to the Sunby Barrowland Ballet is inspired by the Greek legend of Icarus, and tells the story of a girl weighed down by the responsibility of the climate crisis who learns to fly through sheer determination.

Other highlights this year include, for younger audiences, BullyBully, a funny musical about childish world leaders who throw tantrums, or Murmur, an immersive show featuring an acrobatic composer and a world full of sound.

There is also plenty for children aged 7 yrs+ including A Very Old man with Enormous Wings, a dark comic tale told through storytelling, music and puppetry or The Problem with Pink, that questions gender stereotypes with humour.

Festival Director, Noel Jordan said “We are delighted to announce this year’s Edinburgh International Children’s Festival programme which will present performances that are full of big ideas, epic stories and flamboyant physicality, which will help young audiences make sense of our sometimes conflicted world.

The Festival cements its reputation for pushing the boundaries of what is expected of children’s theatre and dance, exploring important themes like mental health, war, identity and gender, all in joyful, visual and accessible ways. Some shows can be experienced as a whole family, while others focus on specific age ranges. We hope audiences will find the right adventure for them, whether at the free Family Encounters day at the National Museum of Scotland or at one of our 14 productions representing 11 different countries.”

EICF opens with the accessible Free Family Encounters day that takes place at the National Museum of Scotland on Saturday 27th May 2023, with the festival running until Thursday 4th May 2023.

Festival tickets are now on sale.

For full programme and booking information, visit: imaginate.org.uk

Tickets can be booked online or by calling 0131 226 0019.

Irene Brown

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