Although the Fringe can seem like it's a bit of an adult's only playground, there are also plenty of shows aimed at kids hiding beneath the swearwords and risqué cabaret. Edinburgh's Southside venues, Pleasance, Summerhall and ZOO, have an especially spot on selection of shows that will keep the little ones quiet for hours at a time. Enjoy everything from musicals, theatre and dance, with themes to get the whole family thinking.
MamaBabaMe (Starcatchers and Curious Seed supported by Made in Scotland) MamaBabaMe is a beautiful dance, physical theatre and live music experience created especially for babies and children aged 0–3 and their grown-ups. With the soothing sounds of live cello and intimate lighting and set design, the show explores the profound connection between parent and child and how this eternal bond evolves and grows. Part of the Made in Scotland showcase 2018. MamaBabaMe, Pleasance @ EICC, Fri 3–Fri 17 Aug (not 6, 13), 10.30am & 1.30pm, £8. Previews Wed 1 & Thu 2 Aug, £6.
AnimAlphabet: The Musical (Hit The Mark Theatre) Join Colin the Country Cockatoo, Hip-Hop Donkey and Geoff the Geordie Jazz Giraffe on a fantastic family musical adventure that features high-energy actors, colourful puppets, and amazing characters. AnimAlphabet is funny, fast-paced and bursting with witty songs by Al and Sam of platinum pop band The Hoosiers, with Kerry Ingram (Free Rein, Game of Thrones, Matilda The Musical) as the voice of Metro The Gnome. Supported by Arts Council England. AnimAlphabet: The Musical, Pleasance Dome, Sat 4–Mon 27 Aug (not 13), 10.40am, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10). Previews Wed 1–Fri 3 Aug, £7.
Wilde Creatures (Tall Stories) A motley crew of storytelling musicians bring Oscar Wilde's classic fairy tales to life in Tall Stories' magical new show, direct from London's West End. Characters from The Happy Prince and other stories spring to life as the pompous mayor, the petulant princess and the love-sick student compete to become the new town statue. Hauntingly beautiful tales for everyone aged 5–105, told with live music and a generous dash of comedy. Wilde Creatures, Pleasance Courtyard, Sat 4–Sun 26 Aug (not 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21–23, 25), 2.50pm, £9–£11 (£8–£10). Preview Thu 2 Aug, £6.
Michael Morpurgo's Kensuke's Kingdom (WildChild Productions) Off on the adventure of a lifetime, Michael, his parents and their faithful dog Stella set sail around the world. Then, the night before his 12th birthday, disaster strikes and Michael finds himself stranded on an island in the Pacific. Stuart Paterson brings Morpurgo's classic children's book to life in this captivating adaptation with storytelling, puppetry, music and a voiceover recorded by Jenny Agutter. Join Michael, Stella, a buffoonery of orangutans and Japanese war survivor Kensuke in their fight to protect the Kingdom. Michael Morpurgo's Kensuke's Kingdom, Pleasance Courtyard, Sat 4–Mon 27 Aug (not 13), 12.30pm, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10). Previews Wed 1–Fri 3 Aug, £6.50.
Katie & Pip (Tin Can People) Katie & Pip celebrates the relationship between Katie, a 15-year-old Type 1 Diabetic girl and Pip, her five-year-old border collie, trained by Katie to save her life on a daily basis. Led by performance-making duo Charlotte and Rob alongside Katie (Rob's little sister) and Pip, the performance explores compassion and companionship between humans and dogs. On a journey of extreme highs and extreme lows, the cast celebrate freedom and living life to the full despite life's significant obstacles. Watch dogs be humans and humans be dogs as this chaotic and unpredictable collision of youth unfolds. Katie & Pip, Summerhall, Fri 3–Sun 12 Aug, 1.20pm, £10 (£7). Previews Wed 1 & Thu 2 Aug, £5.
Duckie (Le Gateau Chocolat) Critically acclaimed cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat breaks out of his shell in his first work for children, a classic tale of identity and belonging. Duckie is a reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling with a message of tolerance and self acceptance at its core. Set in an animal circus, we join him on an adventure of self-discovery, asking questions that celebrate difference. Walking a little differently? Sounding a bit strange? Watch Duckie triumph by realising these are his strengths. Duckie, Summerhall, Wed 1–Sun 12 Aug (not 2), 2pm, £12 (£10).
Katie & Pip
Woogie Boogie (BRUSH Theatre LLC) BRUSH Theatre, last seen at Summerhall with The Overcoat, are back with another vivid and inventive show for younger audiences. A lonely boy Woogie and his troublemaking pet turtle Boogie experience their first sea adventure. What will happen to them in this beautiful but scary new watery world, and will they return home safely? Woogie Boogie, Summerhall, Fri 3–Sun 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 10am, £9 (£8). Preview Thu 2 Aug, £6.50.
The Ballad of the Apathetic Son and His Narcissistic Mother (21Common) This high-energy performance features real-life mother Lucy and her 15-year-old son Raedie. Not much connects them anymore, but they both love the singer Sia. They love her music, her videos and her hair, especially when it moves in a choppy, black-on-platinum swivel. They decided to use the iconic motifs of this Australian pop superstar to make a show about their relationship. So, hold on for dear life through this all-singing, all-dancing journey of rejection, nurture, transforming, hurting and becoming. For ages 12+. The Ballad of the Apathetic Son and His Narcissistic Mother, Summerhall, Tue 14–Sun 26 Aug (not 20), 1.45pm, £12 (£8).
Stoel (Chair) (Nyash) Using a set made of chairs and the rhythm of cello and voice, two dancers revisit these familiar objects. They organise, transform and move around the space and as it gets installed and shared in various ways, the chair becomes a playground, a place for fancy, an opportunity for meetings. Be it stable or unstable, light or brutish, between building and undoing, dance appears. Recipient of the Minister for Children and Media award during the Rencontres Théâtre Jeune Public de Huy in 2015 and Critics' Prize for Best Young Audience Play 2015–2016. Stoel (Chair), ZOO Southside, Sun 5–Tue 14 Aug, 1pm, £12 (£10). Previews Fri 3 & Sat 4 Aug, £6.
Located in the heart of Edinburgh's Southside, Summerhall is a multi-arts venue with a varying programme of events that take place all year round, from exhibitions and workshops to gigs and club nights. With a range of spaces including the TechCube, a…
Dance, theatre and live music experience for toddlers and their grown ups which explores, through playful movement and sound, the relationship between a newborn and a mother and how this bond grows. Ages 1.5-3 years. Presented by Starcatchers and Curious Seed.
#KensukesKingdom @WildChild_UK 1st - 27th August (not 13th), 12:30pm - Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Join Michael, Stella, a buffoonery of orangutans and Japanese war survivor Kensuke on their fight to protect the Kingdom. With enchanting storytelling, puppetry and original music this production is sure…
Nyash Choreographic duet from three years ago. Recipient of the Minister for Children and Media award during the Rencontres Théâtre Jeune Public de Huy in 2015 and Critics' Prize for Best Young Audience Play 2015-2016. Using a set made of chairs and the rhythm of cello and voice, two dancers revisit these familiar…
Tin Can People Katie & Pip celebrates the relationship between Katie, a 15-year-old Type 1 Diabetic girl and Pip, her five-year-old border collie, trained by Katie to save her life on a daily basis. Led by performance-making duo Charlotte and Rob alongside Katie (Rob's little sister) and Pip, the performance explores…
21Common This high-energy performance features real-life mother Lucy and her 15-year-old son Raedie. Not much connects them anymore, but they both love the singer Sia. They love her music, her videos and her hair – especially when it moves in a choppy, black-on-platinum swivel. They decided to use the iconic motifs of…
BRUSH Theatre LLC The vividly stunning screen show of BRUSH Theatre. Fantastic ocean with a lyrical story and vivid illustration. Shiny, sandy beach with live sound effects. Touching story singing the sorrow of parting and expectation of new meeting. Theatrical imagination and an abundant variety of attractions. 'Waves…