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Best of Family Shows at the Fringe


Opinion

Stewart McLaren rounds up the best things to see with the wee nippers.

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Keeping the kids entertained through the remainder of the summer holidays has just become that little bit easier thanks to the wealth of family shows on offer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

So, what’s worth taking the kids along to? Well, here’s a few recommendations for you…

My favourite family show of the festival so far is Better Together – this is a skilfully performed piece of physical theatre that truly highlights the artistry of clowning. The plot can be written on a bus ticket (three clowns wait for a bus) but the performance by Aca Theatre create an ingenious wild, wacky and downright hilarious clowning epic that will truly appeal to all ages. In fact, I would even recommend this to anyone interested in physical theatre, with or without the kids.

Meanwhile there is bubbles galore all over the children’s theatre listings – every kid loves bubbles and there’s no better way to keep them entertained than an hour of fantastical bubble blowing. Act Up present the endearing story of Poppy Bubble’s adventures in the interactive Bubble Trouble at the Sweet Grassmarket, Festival regular The Amazing Bubble Man continuously lives up to his name at the Underbelly and the gloriously colourful Bubble Show: Milkshake and the Bubble Flower from Bubble Laboratory can be found at C Venues. In fact, Bubble Laboratory even have an adult bubble cabaret for those parents who want to have their own bit of fun with bubbles with Bubble Show for Adults Only.

As for comedy there’s plenty to keep the kids laughing with Fringe regulars Comedy Club 4 Kids causing an uproar at Assembly Roxy alongside Mouths of Lions at the same venue with their delightfully snotty adventure, Ellie and the Enormous Sneeze. Meanwhile absurd theatre legends, Mad Etiquette, take time out from their fantastic adults shows (as The Establishment) to treat the kids to the madcap adventures of Captain Cauliflower and Marvin the Mischievous Moose.

More animals can also be found with the return of Animalphabet! The Musical from Hit the Mark Theatre a chirpy, upbeat musical with songs you will be singing for the next 12 months and Modest Predicament have a charming and elegant piece of puppetry with The Dragon and the Whales.

The Free Fringe continues to impress every year and it’s the same case with family shows. Of course, it is worth mentioning that although it is free, its only polite to drop some cash in the bucket at the end of the show if the kids have been entertained. Some of the free kids shows surpass expectations and are even better than some of the costlier shows at the festival so always worth helping the hard working artists out.

Leading the way is the Free Sisters with a huge amount of children’s activities going on throughout the day. Highlights of the free shows here include the hilarious Defrosted – a likeably silly take on one of Disney’s most popular films and Andrew Roper’s Superheroes for Kids has a wacky PowerPoint presentation which involves plenty of audience interaction and dressing up of everyone’s favourite superheroes. Fans of video games can be treated to some tongue-in-cheek humour with Game On 2.0 by Matty Grey and Calum MacInnes Absolute Legends is an interactive RPG adventure full of dice rolling and mastering weapons.

Staying with our Free Fringe over at the Laughing Horse highlights include some fabulous comedy routines for the kids in New York comedian Peter Michael Marino’s Show Up, Kids! and Martin Mor’s FunnyHappyStuff presents String Theory.

Finally, one of the best experiences you can have with the kids is going along for a bit of Scottish dancing with the appealing CeilidhKids at the Fringe – it’s a great way to start the morning with the kids at this family workshop.

So, with all this to offer, and before the schools are back, get them kids off their iPad and tablets and take them out to experience some of the finest in family entertainment from around the world, as it’s all right there on our doorstep. YouTube can just wait.

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