Parenting: The world’s biggest cultural festival is on our doorstep – and there’s plenty for children to enjoy too
LIVING in Edinburgh, the most frequent question I get asked by visitors to the city in August is “any shows you can recommend?”
This year, according to nine-year-old Ellen, the hot ticket is Horrible Histories. The books and television series are real favourites – they are both funny and educational which is the holy grail as far as this mother is concerned.
Fringe favourites such as Dr Bunhead, Hairy Maclary and James Campbell’s Comedy Club 4 Kids are always a safe bet. If good production values matter to you then the RSC’s The Magician’s Daughter, Tall Stories’ latest collaboration with Julia Donaldson, The Snail And the Whale, and Catherine Wheels’ The Ballad of Pondlife McGurk, will have them in buckets.
I like to venture out of the children’s section as well. The recently installed age guide is a great addition to the Fringe programme as it’s never fun telling a mother that her child has just witnessed full frontal nudity at a 3pm show. Musicals such as Bugsy Malone and Cinderella: The Musical won’t put you in that embarrassing situation although Cluedo carries a PG, so goodness knows what Miss Scarlett and Professor Plum get up to in the billiard room.
For groovier nippers a bit of beatboxing might be just the ticket, so book up for the oral gymnastics of Tom Thum or The Vocal Orchestra who will impress parents as well. Last year my husband and Ellen had a great time at Samba Sene and Diwan.
And so to comedy for teenagers. Paul Merton’s Improv Chums and Tim Vine are always high on my teens’ list and David O’Doherty went down a treat last year.
Canny parents will try and book as many tickets as they can for the cheaper preview shows, the 2 4 1 days on 6 and 7 August, and keep an eye on the half-price ticket booth.
The Free Fringe programmes are worth a trawl and we’re definitely going to see Joshua Seigal: We All Love Llamas; if we like it we’ll pay. Other shows where you only fork out what you feel like are staged by the street performers on the Royal Mile and by the National Galleries and I’ve never left without chucking some money in the hat.
It’s the biggest festival in the world and it’s on our doorstep, so do make sure you get out and about because come September you will wish you had.
For all details visit www.edfringe.com or pick up a brochure virtually anywhere!
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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