Live classical music experience for Festival Fringe’s youngest audiences

Hup's� Musical show for babies at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Hup's� Musical show for babies at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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Starcatchers are making sure the Festival’s youngest audience members have something to enjoy, with a classical music and theatre experienc for 0 – 24 month olds.

As part of the Made in Scotland showcase, Hub has created the opportunity for all families to get involved in the Festival activities, created in association with the RSNO and presented in association with Pleasance Kids and Made in Scotland.

Edinburgh childrens theatre company Starcatchers brings a five-star live classical music and theatre experience

Edinburgh childrens theatre company Starcatchers brings a five-star live classical music and theatre experience

Edinburgh based Arts and Early Years organisation Starcatchers, specialises in creating performances for babies, toddlers and young children under five. In 2015, they devised with support from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) this classical music experience. Co-created by Starcatchers Associate Artist Hazel Darwin-Edwards and Musician and Composer Abigail Sinar, Hup combines live classical music, with a heart-warming storyline in a beautiful performance specially designed for very young children.

In the theatrical performance a trio of musicians perform an original score composed by Abigail Sinar, intertwined with a non-verbal narrative presented by dancer Hannah Venet, which takes the audience on a journey in pursuit of the story’s lead character, a very inquisitive raccoon.

The setting for the music-led story is a forest designed by Theatre Designer Karen Tennent, with the audience seated on set, drawing them into the story and breaking away from traditional ways of enjoying both theatre and classical music.

The concept for Hup was inspired by the delivery of the Arts and Business Scotland People Award-winning residency project Nickum, piloted by Starcatchers and the RSNO in 2013/14 and supported by TOTAL E&P UK Limited and Vibrant Aberdeen.

In the show a trio of musicians perform an original score composed by Abigail Sinar

In the show a trio of musicians perform an original score composed by Abigail Sinar

During the Nickum project, Hazel and Abigail worked in two childcare settings in Aberdeen for six months, with babies aged 0-24 months. Through this process they simultaneously developed a classical score and a new play for babies which embarked on a mini-tour of nurseries in 2014. The original work was re-developed in 2015, with fresh input from established director Xana Marwick and learning taken from the initial mini-tour.

The original music, composed by Abigail Sinar and recorded by the RSNO is given to audience members as a free memento.

Starcatchers’ Chief Executive Rhona Matheson said: “For the past ten years Starcatchers has been focused on producing high quality arts experiences for the very young. Research proves that engaging in creative activity such as drama and music in the first few years of life helps significantly in a child’s mental and social development, so we are delighted to be presenting Hup to an international audience at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of the Made in Scotland showcase. This could be a baby’s first experience of live theatre, music and creativity and we are committed to it being a positive one.”

Pictured rehearsing a scene from the show in Princes Street Gardens are dancer Hannah Venet  with six months old Thane Bevan Elders and composer / musician Abi Sinar.

Pictured rehearsing a scene from the show in Princes Street Gardens are dancer Hannah Venet with six months old Thane Bevan Elders and composer / musician Abi Sinar.

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