Family Encounters Programme 2023

Family Encounters opens the Children's Festival on 27 May from 10am to 5pm in the lovely setting of the National Museum. There will be a printed programme with a museum map available on the day. You will be able to also download it here soon.

All events are free and drop-in! Some events have a specific starting time while others will be happening throughout the day. 

Download the programme here

c. Max Crawford
c. Max Crawford

The Chosen
Sadiq Ali and Hauk Pattison
Two men become friends and support each other to traverse a vertical landscape using dance and circus movement. This unique take on circus, performed on two 5-meter-high Chinese Poles, is emotionally candid with moments of humour and joy.
Grand Gallery: 11:30; 14:30; 16:15
Performance (10 min)

c. Ruth Armstrong
c. Ruth Armstrong

Caught up! (all ages)
Bridie Gane and dancers
Ever wondered what happens to your rubbish after you throw it away? Perhaps it sprouts arms and legs? What if it started to dance? Caught Up! Is an intriguing, playful and joyous dance performance exploring how to reduce, reuse and recycle in style. Supported by Catherine Wheels.
Grand Gallery: 11:00; 12:15; 14:00; 15:45
Performance (10 min)


Brain on, Game on (5 yrs+)
Clare Adam & Lesley Howard
The cognitive circuit of an Autistic brain: Spinning, Whirling, Turning. The brain is connected with lots of colourful tangents. Sometimes they mix and create fabulous new colours, other times the colour disappears. Can we work together to get the brain back on track…  Watch the BSL version
Grand Gallery: 10:30; 11:45; 13:30; 15:15
Performance (15 min)

c. Brian Hartley
c. Brian Hartley

The Party Shrimp (all ages)
An enchanting theatrical experience that is both alien and recognisable, combining physical theatre and inventive costumes to explore the bonds of friendship, hierarchy, otherness and wonder. Originally developed with support from Puppet Animation Scotland’s Creative Fund.
Grand Gallery and other rooms: 10:00; 11:45; 14:00; 15:30
Walkabout (30 min)

c. Anna Broomfield
c. Anna Broomfield

Hat, Hat, Hat (3 yrs+)
Cynthia Cheung, Ursula Cheng, Ellen Renton and Marie-Gabrielle Koumenda
A celebration of Hattie's collection of magical hats. Come along and discover the weird and wonderful designs, and the power of each hat! Created in collaboration with children from Forthview Primary School.
Grand Gallery and other rooms (walkabout): 10:15; 11:00; 13:45; 14:30
Hawthornden Court (performance): 12:30; 16:00
Walkabout (30 min) & Performance (10 min)

c. Ruth Armstrong
c. Ruth Armstrong

Experts Radio lab (5 yrs+)
Alice Mary Cooper
Are you an expert in something? Want to share your advice? Come to Experts Radio Lab and jour our live radio show. Whether it’s how to make a mud pie or tips on playing Hide and Seek – all expertise welcome! Supported by Catherine Wheels.
Hawthornden Court: All day (10:00-12:00; 12:30-13:45; 14:15-15:15; 15:45-16:45)
Drop-in activity

c. Alex Rigg
c. Alex Rigg

Roarie Bumlers (all ages)
Suzi Cunningham, Jen Cunningham, Ceylan Hay, Dylan Read
An exploratory journey into how to turn the volume up on the earth. A polyphonic spree with 3 bodies buried in the ground who, like seed to tree, form into creatures who wish to tell tales of a lost connection to the earth.
Hawthornden Court: 10:30; 12:00; 13:45; 15:15
Performance (20 min)


With Catastrophic Consequences (5 yrs+)
Taylor Han and Simone Seales
A celebration of joy and an acknowledgment of struggle, this playful improvisation bridges the gap between interactive dance theatre and live music. Dancer Taylor Han and cellist Simone Seales create a joyful world to indulge in live music close up and appreciate human connections.
Early People Gallery (Level -1): 11:15; 12:45; 14:30
Performance (25 min)

c. Minttu Mantynen
c. Minttu Mantynen

Seashells (3 yrs+)
Greg Sinclair
A short film featuring tongue twisters in eight languages, from Arabic to Urdu. Inspired by the bizarre imagery in the words, each tongue twister has its own specially designed costume. Humorous, colourful, rhythmical and odd, the film is a celebration of the musical beauty of language.
Dunfermline Room (Level -1): All day
Film (10 min)