Our reviewers have hand-picked the very best of kids’ and young people’s shows from this years’ Fringe. Enjoy!
Ensonglopedia of Animals – The Old Courtyard. 6, 13, 27 May; 2, 3 June
There are millions of species of animals in the world. Can you name them all? Of course not – no-one can. How about just one for each letter of the alphabet?That’s what John Hinton did, and then came the idea of writing a song about each one. A brand new music/theatre/multimedia experience, Ensonglopedia of Animals is the follow-up to last year’s smash hit Ensonglopedia of Science, which was nominated for a Children’s Choice Award at Brighton Fringe 2017. Learn fascinating facts about extraordinary echinoderms, distressed damselflies, crazy corals, batty beetles and amazing archispirostreptuses. Expect the unexpected and expect it to rhyme!
Let’s build a planet – The Incredible Rebel All-Stars. Brighton Spiegeltent: Bosco, 5, 12, 19, 26 May.
One for all the family, this is an immersive comedy, suitable for ages 3-3000. Come prepared to laugh and play. Extra-terrestrials welcome. Imagine designing your own planet. What colour would the sea be? How many legs would a donkey have? What would the farts smell like? Well now’s your chance to choose! Join a madcap team of World Builders on a hilarious, big-banging adventure. Escape from the sinister Robo-Cops, get lost in an alien forest and bring new light to the universe. Don’t forget your thinking cap. Will they address single use plastics too I wonder!
Arr we there yet? – Head First acrobats at Brighton Spiegeltent: Bosco 5, 6, 12, 13 May
A great rip-roaring and swashbuckling adventure for families and the young at heart. A briny tale in which three sailors hit the high seas in search of treasure! A scallywag pirate, a muscular sailor and a chef with a seafood allergy make for a hopeless crew, as they fight for the title of Captain aboard the ship. These acrobatic pirates turn ship-life upside down. Walking the plank becomes the high flying teeterboard, cooking for the crew involves juggling knives and steering the ship spinning upside down.Based in Melbourne, Australia, the show has been devised by Head First Acrobats (A.K.A HFA), an award winning company providing circus and physical theatre performance. The performers style is defined by their unique mix of old school slapstick comedy, with new-school death-defying acrobatics. Can’t wait to see this with my toothy pre-schooler!
Mr Pineapple Head, the Brunswick; 6 May
Get ready for a rollercoaster ride of clown wonder, professional silliness and pineapple magic! Mr Pineapple is a silent clown, performing physical comedy and slapstick routines to music combining good old-fashioned children’s entertainment with modern visual comedy.
Creation Song Norse Myths Storytelling – Root and Branch Theatre Company. Junkyard Dogs; 4, 10, 13, 30 May
Stories from the Norse Myths and Legends with ballad song, galdr chant and ancient Eddic poetry. Featuring the legend of Ragnarok, Mr Grim of Devils Dyke, the Swan Maiden and Sleeping Beauty.
Chores – Cluster Arts Pty Ltd. The Warren, 11, 12, 13, 19 May
Two brothers have to hurry to clean up their room before their mum comes back. What could possibly go wrong?! Inspired by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin this show is full of circus stunts, interactive gags and hilarious action! This action packed show will be loved by kids and parents alike.
The Gingerbread Man – Stuff and Nonsense. The Warren; 25, 26, 27 May
Imagine being born in an oven and the first person you meet wants to dunk you in his tea! Come and see the adventure of the deliciously smelling Gingerbread Man who finds his feet fast and sets off on the journey of a lifetime!With a mix of puppetry, live action, great music and humour and this is an exciting retelling of a well-loved classic tale. No scary bits – just don’t turn up hungry!
Science Magic – Donal Vaughn Entertainment. Laughing Horse, The Quadrant; 26, 2, 28, 29 May
Award-winning comedian Donal Vaughan performs tricks using everyday household objects. Sometimes messy, always exciting, learn about science and laugh your pants off while you do. With some brand new tricks along with some old favourites, see a potato rocket launcher, conjure dragon’s breath and there’s even a vomiting unicorn! Fun for all ages!
The Elves and the Shoemaker – Above Bounds Theatre. The Warren, 1, 2 June
It’s the most magical time of the year but there’s always so much to do! But extra help might not be that far away… When everyone in the house is tucked up in bed, a magical creature lifts its head. With little green fingers and little green toes, pointy ears and a sharp pointed nose, the house elves awaken and look around with glee. What they will make, create or decorate, we will have to wait and see! Join Above BoundsUgly Duckling & Other for ‘The Elves & the Shoemaker’ – a delightful retelling of a well-loved tale with puppetry, music and a few crafty ideas along the way.
Lost and Found – Little Blue Monster Productions. The Warren, 2,3 June
Once there was a boy and one day he found a penguin at his door. He didn’t know where it had come from or who it belonged to. The penguin looked sad and the boy thought it must be lost. So he decided to help it find its way home, even if that meant rowing all the way to the South Pole. This funny, charming tale of friendship is the perfect treat for a younger audience, brought magically to life by Little Blue Monster Productions, with puppetry, songs and music for everyone.
From One Heart To Another – The Theatre Shed. BOAT, 6 May
From Brighton’s only totally inclusive youth theatre comes this moving new production about organ donation. ‘The human heart. We can put it in the strangest places, hoping it’s looked after by whoever finds it. Kia is about to find out just how big hers is. A lot to hand over. She needs help. She’s fed up and bored with the world. She’s growing up too fast, but who can help?’
‘From One Heart to Another’ looks at the exciting adventures a child can experience when challenged and when asked to really question how they see their life. Through a whirlwind of imagination and expression, Kia may end up realising just how important her heart is and the choices she makes with it.
About A Revolution – Windmill Young Actors. The Warren: The Hat, 16, 17 May
A brand new show from this award-winning youth theatre company. Russia 1917: What does it take to make a revolution? A century after the October Revolution, could it happen here? Abi is living on the streets, her child taken from her. Can she spark a revolt to end decades of injustice, or is she just dreaming? A dynamic physical ensemble explodes onto the stage with political passion, rigorously questioning the emotions, ideas and anger that can fuel a popular revolt. Like! Angry face! Me too! Take to the streets!
Inspired by revolutionary art, historical speeches and the voices of young people today. Where is the spirit of revolution?