Summerhall Festival 2016 – family shows

With our spacious and accessible café, bright courtyard area and Zoom Club events throughout the week, Summerhall is already a destination venue for families across the local area.  As ever, our Fringe programme will include plenty of shows for children and young people that are equally enjoyable for grown-ups.

Sure to be as talked-about as our offerings for adults, is Us/Them (ages 9+) by Bronks, the leading Belgian theatre company making work for young audiences. Taking the 2004 school siege in Beslan, Russia as its starting point, it doesn’t offer a straightforward account of this terrible drama, but instead looks at the entirely individual way children cope with extreme situations using humour and a matter-of-fact approach.

Also for older audiences is Mikey and Addie (ages 9+), created by Scots theatremaker Andy Manley (White, Huff), which tells of a sunny young boy called Mikey, who’s blind to the secret his mother is hiding, and his new friend Addie, a girl who always tells the truth. Part of this year’s Made in Scotland programme, it’s a tale which delicately tells of the moment when we learn about facing up to reality. Snakes and Giants (ages 12+) is the new show from the Flanagan Collective (creators of last year’s Fable and York Theatre Royal’s all-female version of Romeo & Juliet) with Joanne Hartstone, a fusion of spoken word, dance and a heavy, soulful soundtrack.

Recommended for all ages are the entirely wordless Squirrel Stole My Underpants by American company the Gottabees, which follows a girl called Sylvie as she enters a magical world of puppetry and physical theatre in an attempt to get her underpants back from the squirrel who stole them from the washing line, and the Taiwanese The Adventure of Puppets. Using everyday objects like a mop, a hammer and a homemade ship, the latter’s aim is to conjure a DIY universe of the imagination.

The Paines Plough Roundabout venue includes a brand new play for families from award-winning writer Katie Douglas, I Got Superpowers for my Birthday (PG). Northern Stage bring People of the Eye (12+) by the Deaf and Hearing Ensemble, a story about a family finding their way through the Deaf world, told using British Sign Language, spoken English and creative captioning.

Finally, Alice Mary Cooper’s solo show Waves (PG) tells a compelling story of lifelong determination which may or may not be true, that of young Australian woman Elizabeth Moncello, the unofficial ‘inventor’ of the butterfly stroke in the 1930s, and the inspiration she took from the animal kingdom in doing so.

All Summerhall Festival 2016 shows are on sale now at  and most of the shows listed above have special ticket offers for families (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children).