Curriculum for Excellence Resources

A sensory and interactive performance, this is a playful show designed for a small audience with complex needs. The Unexpected Gift will provide opportunities for creative expression and connection with the performers, covering aspects of Expressive Arts and Health and Wellbeing.

Opportunities for learning and curriculum links

Expressive Arts
I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and being part of an audience for other people’s presentations/performances. EXA 2-01a / EXA 3-01b

Inspired by a range of stimuli, and working on my own and/or with others, I can express and communicate my ideas, thoughts and feelings through musical activities. EXA 1-18a / EXA 2-18a

Health and Wellbeing
I know that we all experience a variety of thoughts and emotions that affect how we feel and behave and I am learning ways of managing them. HWB 1-02a / HWB 2-02a / HWB 3-02a

As I encounter new challenges and contexts for learning, I am encouraged and supported to demonstrate my ability to select, adapt and apply movement skills and strategies, creatively, accurately and with control. HWB 2-21a / HWB 3-21a

Class Stage
ASN (P3-S3)
Curriculum Links
Expressive Arts
Health and Wellbeing
Duration: 45 min
Seating: Theatre seating
Artspace, Edinburgh, EH16 4NX
  • Tuesday 28 May 10:30
  • Tuesday 28 May 13:30
  • Wednesday 29 May 10:30
  • Wednesday 29 May 13:30
  • Thursday 30 May 10:30
  • Thursday 30 May 13:30
  • Friday 31 May 10:30

The Unexpected Gift celebrates the art of play and curiosity, taking ordinary objects and making them extraordinary and magical. This is a story reversing the idea that it is the wrapping paper, the cardboard boxes and ribbons that should be discarded, and reveals that playfulness, creativity and imagination are the true gifts. Bursting with energy, acrobatic dance, textures, sounds and colour to create a multi-sensory wonderland from the left-over boxes, ribbons and wrapping.

This highly interactive and inclusive dance-theatre performance is made especially for and with children with complex needs such as autism. Playfulness within the work creates space for live response between the audience and performers, with its adaptable approach allowing the individuality of each child to be celebrated. The Unexpected Gift is designed for a small audience to be able to accommodate and engage young people who experience the most barriers to access. It was inspired by Barrowland Ballet’s production The Gift, a co-commission by Aberdeen Performing Arts, Capital Theatres and Eden Court.

"The Gift is technically superb, narratively charming, beautifully staged, and genuinely funny." ★★★★★ - The Quinntessential Review

Access Information:

  • Set design: Various sized presents, cardboard boxes, wrapping paper and streamers.
  • Performers: 3 performers. 1 female portraying a young girl. She is in her pyjamas; 2 male portraying brothers dressed in costumes with elaborate ribbons.
  • Lights: The lights will be low to allow you to see the performance better. 
  • Experience: The show is mostly dancing and music with a few spoken words and a songs. The music is mostly gentle. It can sometimes get quite loud and rhythmic. The performers play with the cardboard and paper - creating characters, animals, different beats and sounds. At points throughout the show children will be invited into the performance space to dance and play.
  • Capacity: 8 children, their carers and delegates (Total max: 30)

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