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Focus on: Imaginate

Originally the Scottish International Children’s Festival, Imaginate was re-launched in 2000 as a year-round organisation promoting and developing performing arts for children across Scotland. The Scotsman describe it as ‘committed to ensuring a bright future for children’s theatre in Scotland’.

Imaginate has two clear visions:

  • that all children in Scotland, by the age of 14, will have had a positive experience of performing arts and
  • to help to raise the standard of Scottish Children’s theatre to that of world class.
TPO's Children's Cheering Carpet; Photo: Davide Venturini

Imaginate and the Children's Festival

Introdands Ensemble for Youth's Party; Photo: Hans Gerritsen

The flagship event is still the Children’s Festival, which celebrated its 15th year in 2005. This unique seven-day Performing Arts Festival is not only the UK’s largest theatre festival for children and young people but also offers the best in world theatre. It is the showcase of Imaginate’s reputation and expertise.

Since the Festival's inception, Imaginate have enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the Bank of Scotland, a major supporter of the arts in Scotland.  The Bank became its title sponsor in 2001 now known as the Bank of Scotland’s Children’s International Theatre Festival.

Imaginate throughout the year

As well as the Edinburgh-based festival, Imaginate is dedicated to ensuring that children across Scotland can experience and benefit from the joys of watching a live performance. Each year, it tours Scottish, national and international companies throughout Scotland. This element of its work is integral to achieving Imaginate’s first vision statement, by bringing quality international theatre to their local venues. 

As well as the tour, Imaginate extends the reach of the Festival by taking performances into schools and community centres across Edinburgh, the Lothians and other areas of Scotland.

2005 Bank of Scotland Children's International Theatre Festival

Tuesday 24 May – Monday 30 May

Guaranteed to go off with a bang…. more dogs, clowns, ugly ducklings and ugly sisters than any other…. Oh yes, and there’s that stack of dynamite…

There is No Doubt About It; Photo: Soeren PagterWee Stories' Labyrinth; Photo: Kevin Low

The 2005 festival proved to be a theatrical delight for three-to 14-year-olds across Scotland. Over seven days, in five venues across Edinburgh, there was an opportunity to see 14 critically acclaimed and award-winning productions from throughout Europe and beyond.

Highlights in 2005 included a new Scottish Arts Council Lottery-funded dance piece, specially created for five-to nine-year-olds by Scottish-based dancer and choreographer Ruby Worth.  From the Netherlands, Introdans Ensemble for Youth offered a modern ballet with lots of attitude.  There were performances from Scottish favourites Wee Stories and Catherine Wheels. The Festival marked the debut from newcomers Cat in a Cup, described by the Festival’s director as ‘fresh and inventive’.

The Festival also celebrated the bi-centenary of Hans Christian Andersen’s birth with There is No Doubt About It from the award-winning Danish company, Randers EgnsTeater. For children as young as three, there were two special shows from Det lille Turnéteater (Denmark) and Theatr Iolo (Wales). From Italy, the Festival offered Children’s Cheering Carpet – an interactive sensory theatrical experience to discover the wonders of the Japanese Gardens and Snow and White – a thrilling new take on one of our favourite stories. From Canada, Theatre T & Co presented Jamie Adkins, a former member of the Montreal’s prized Cirque Eloize.  From Belgium, Les Argonautes made a welcome return with Zouff!, a hit from the 2003 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Another delight was Ultima Thule’s version of Allessandro Baricco’s wonderful novella Novecento.  This year the Festival also welcomed its first Russian Company – Ekaterinburg Theatre Company with Chekhov’s wonderful play for children, Kashtanka.

For a brochure contact Imaginate on 0131 225 8050.

Children's theatre
* Theme - Children's theatre
* Profile - Xana Maclean and Jo Timmins
Related links
* Imaginate
* Bank of Scotland Children's International Theatre Festival
* Wee Stories
* Catherine Wheels
* Introdans
* Theatr Iolo
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