News: Children's Festival announces its 2024 programme

20 March 2024



  • 14 productions that represent work from 9 different countries unite in a programme that spans circus, dance, music, storytelling and theatre
  • The programme explores timely topics such as the environmental crisis, consumerism, war and racial discrimination, in a way that make them accessible to children
  • A new Expo-funded commission, early years circus show So Far So Good by SUPERFAN, will be touring Scotland including in a number of small rural venues in Strathspey
  • The Edinburgh International Children’s Festival opens with the accessible Free Family Encounters day at the National Museum of Scotland on Saturday 25 May.
  • Children from Forthview Primary and Pilton Youth have been involved in programming some of the works featured at Family Encounters.

The Edinburgh International Children’s Festival launched its programme today, with an exciting line up of performances. The Festival which runs from 25 May – 2 June, will offer a jam-packed programme of circus, dance, storytelling and theatre for young people, their schools and families.

As the place for the celebration of quality theatre and dance for young audiences, the Festival will once again push boundaries, exploring the highs and lows of the human condition, while always considering the perspective and viewpoint of the child.

Highlights include:

  • Intimate sensory works for babies Univers and Be Kind, that will delight young audiences with their beautiful design and gentle interactions.
  • Family pleasers By Trial and Error, where a couple of hapless acrobats will have children roaring with laughter at their circus antics.
  • A focus on the environment with TRASHedy which humorously looks at freedom of choice and our consumerist behaviour, An-Ki, an immersive promenade experience performed in a tent exploring greed and deforestation, and Shō and the Demons of the Deep, the tale of a river poisoned by nightmares which explores the impact one generation can have on the next.
  • Black, an emotional dance performance chronicling the freedom movement and reflecting on the violence of being Black today, which will give teenagers food for thought and an opportunity to discuss and reflect. All school pupils attending the show will take part in workshops exploring African urban dance styles and explore some of the themes of the show including racism and its relevance to Scotland.
  • A regional focus on Catalonia, with three stunning productions representing the unique vision of artists from this region, as well as four new works and premieres from Scottish companies.
  • A new Expo-funded commission, early years circus show So Far So Good by SUPERFAN, which will be touring Scotland including in a number of small rural venues in Strathspey

Festival Director, Noel Jordan said: “I am delighted to be unveiling this year’s programme which once again pushes the boundaries of what’s expected of children’s theatre and dance. Themes of curiosity, connectedness and care for the environment abound, with characters learning to communicate across languages, cultures and borders to establish friendship and play. We also investigate what to do with our nightmares, our losses and witness the impact of racial discrimination. From babies to teenagers, there is something for everyone this year and I hope the Festival is full of special moments for children and their families.”

Dana MacLeod, Executive Director of Arts, Communities and Inclusion at Creative Scotland commented: “Edinburgh International Children’s Festival presents an enriching opportunity for children and young people to be immersed in world class performance. It’s a testament to the skill of the artists and producers that such bold and complex themes are explored in ways that are accessible and educational for young audiences. The festival also runs a highly-regarded industry programme which brings international programmers, producers and artists to Edinburgh to connect and collaborate.”

Culture Minister Kaukab Stewart said: “The Edinburgh International Children’s Festival is an annual highlight with an array of entertaining shows and performances that bring joy to young and old alike. In line with our belief that the arts are for everyone, and in recognition of the festival’s ongoing success, the Scottish Government is proud to continue our support for this year’s fantastic programme with funding through our Expo fund, which aims to raise the international profile of Scotland’s festivals and help enhance their programmes through innovation collaborations.”

Festival tickets are now on sale. Full programme and booking information here.

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