Bouncing, bopping, blue-grass and the power of the spoken word

Imaginate Festival launches its 2015 programme

The Imaginate Festival, Scotland’s international festival of performing arts for children and young people will run from Monday 11 to Sunday 17 May 2015 at venues across Edinburgh. This year’s week-long programme features fourteen inspiring and entertaining productions from the UK and Europe.

Supported by Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, the Festival provides a national and international stage for outstanding work produced by Scottish companies and includes two brand new shows from Scottish artists commissioned through funding from the Expo Fund.

Paul Fitzpatrick, Imaginate’s newly appointed, Executive Director said: “Imaginate was my inspiration to start working in the performing arts for children and young people. Now, twenty years since I started out, I am thrilled, delighted and very, very proud to be attending the festival in my new role as Imaginate’s new Executive Director. Imaginate was my inspiration and I look forward to finding more ways to inspire even more people of all ages.”

Tony Reekie, Festival Director said: “Our children and young people deserve the very very best, and I’ve strived over the years to bring productions from around that world that will excite and entertain. In my 21st and last programme I hope our offer is as packed full with exciting theatre as always; something to thrill and move everyone, young and old.”

Leonie Bell, Director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland, said:

“We are delighted to continue our support of Imaginate Festival as they announce another diverse programme of extraordinary work from Scotland, the UK and Europe, which is sure to capture the imaginations of the young and the old.  We wish Tony Reekie all the best in his new endeavours and welcome Paul Fitzpatrick to the festival. “

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

“It’s important children have opportunities to experience high quality arts and culture, allowing their imagination, appreciation and creativity to grow. There are well-established links between cultural engagement and life satisfaction, which show that those who start young and are encouraged to take part in cultural activities as young people are far more likely to engage in them as adults. This is why I am pleased continued Scottish Government Edinburgh Festivals Expo funding of £89,700 for Imaginate will help inspire that love of the performing arts in our young people.

“For more than 25 years, this festival has been a proud trailblazer, working hard to ensure that children and young people are not forgotten in this great festival city by offering access to high quality arts and culture, helping to capture imaginations and nurture creativity. I look forward to seeing it continue to delight, surprise and educate its audiences, whatever their ages, for many years to come.”

Last year, Imaginate celebrated a milestone with its 25th anniversary and this year is as pivotal with the organisation seeing the departure of its CEO and Festival Director of 21 years, Tony Reekie.

The 2015 Imaginate Festival programme:

Starcatchers and RSNO present Hup, an enchanting classical music experience for 0 – 24 month olds.

Stillmotion presents We Dance, wee groove, a very special, stimulating and enriching dance experience – think Salsa meets Hip-Hop, think Scotland meets space, for 6 month – 5 years olds!

Grinagog Theatre presents The Edibles, a show, full of magical ingredients, songs and comedy, especially created with minimal language for early years’ audiences and children with additional support needs (for everyone 3 – 7 years old).

Lou Brodie presents Bounce, an interactive dance and acrobatic performance and shameless, joyous celebration of bouncing that takes place on a custom-built inflatable (for 5 – 8 year olds). Bounce is commissioned by Imaginate, produced by Platform and supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.

Alice Mary Cooper presents Waves tells the story of Elizabeth Moncello: of her youth growing up on a small Australian island in the 1930’s and how she came to be the unofficial inventor of the butterfly stroke (for everyone 8 + years). Waves is supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.

Tortoise In A Nutshell and Oliver Emanuel present The Lost Things. Performed in a unique dome structure, The Lost Things is about losing things and finding things you didn’t even know you were looking for. This is a dark fairytale set in a fantastical world, where nothing is quite as it seems (for everyone 9 years old and older).

The Lost Things is commissioned by Imaginate and supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, with early development funding from Puppet Animation Scotland.

From England, Ireland and Europe, we are delighted to welcome:

From Denmark, Teatret Møllen presents The Gold Digger – the tale of the urban legend Laust Eriksen, who leaves his wife and child to travel to America in search of gold and to find his fortune. Laced with live blue-grass music, Laust and his fellow gold diggers sing and tell stories about their dreams of a better life and their longing for the land they left behind. (for everyone 10 + years).

From England, Unicorn Theatre presents Henry the Fifth – a thrilling modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, written especially for younger audiences. From sandpit to playground to battlefield this is a story, wittily told, that every child will recognise (for everyone 8 +).

From England, Polarbear and Battersea Arts Centre on Tour present Mouth Open, Story Jump Out. Introducing the master makerupper, Polarbear. Stories, jokes, adventures, he makes them up. Mouth Open, Story Jump Out is a vivid and absorbing show celebrating the craft of storytelling from one of the UK’s most exciting spoken word artists (for everyone 8 years and older).

From England, Caroline Horton & Co and China Plate present Mess – the powerful and illuminating story of a girl battling anorexia. A show that tackles a serious subject without ever straying from entertaining the audience with its originality and playfulness, Mess is a perfect production for everyone 13 years old and older.

From Germany and Switzerland, a co-production from Junges Ensemble Stuttgart, Theater Winterthur and Theater für ein wachsendes Publikum present Johannes & Margarethe. Ever wondered what happened to Hansel and Gretel? Here is our chance to find out in this magical story of their past and present (for everyone 6 years old and older).

From Ireland, Barnstorm Theatre Company presents The Bockety World of Henry and Bucket, the wonderful story of two best pals… although sometimes you wouldn’t think so! Like all good friends they have their ups and downs, their battles and reconciliations, their shared adventures and, at times, their need for their own space (for 4 – 8 year olds).

From the Netherlands, De Dansers presents Dream City (Droomstad). De Dansers excel in creating the most stunning and invigorating dance and live music, as exhilarating and thought-provoking as the fairground it is inspired by – Dream City, Iraq (for everyone 6 years old and older).

From Spain, El Patio Teatro presents By Hand (A Mano), a story of a very special hero told with beautifully crafted clay characters and remarkable artistry, By Hand is a touching and life affirming story about love, small failures, a potter’s wheel and four hands at play… (for everyone 6 years old and older).

Imaginate Festival Family Fringe

Once again, the organisers are pleased to offer an invitation for families to join us for our fifth Family Fringe on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 May 2015. Free, fun packed and full of variety, this is always a very popular event and takes place in the nooks, crannies and open spaces of the Traverse Café Bar during the Festival weekend.

The Imaginate Festival Programme is below.

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