Bank Of Scotland Children’s International Theatre Festival

Various Venues, Edinburgh, Sat 19-Mon 28 May



Buried deep within the mind of every parent, lies the memory of life pre-kids. The nights out, the parties and, for some at least, the hedonistic club nights. Well, the good news is, those days are back - almost.

Baby Rave is the brainchild of Northern Ireland’s Young At Art group, and is one of the more unusual events at this year’s Bank of Scotland Children’s International Theatre Festival. With dance music, flashing lights and a chill-out area, Baby Rave is clubland in miniature, albeit with a toned down bass to protect tiny eardrums. DJ Lyndon Stephens explains the appeal.

‘I think it’s hit on a certain zeitgeist,’ he says. ‘A lot of people who used to be part of the clubbing culture have grown up and had children, and they obviously miss going out. So this is something different for them to do with their kids.’ The event is aimed at children aged four and under, and Stephens is keen to point out that dumping your wee ones on the dance floor is not an option - everyone has to join in. Which, without any extra stimulus, can be a bit daunting for grown-ups.

‘Some parents are a bit bemused when they arrive,’ says Stephens. ‘Because normally in that situation they need a few drinks before they’ll get going. But after about 20 minutes, they see the kids are enjoying themselves so much, that they let loose.’

For those who like their entertainment less participatory, the Festival has over 15 theatre and dance shows for toddlers through to teenagers. This includes a site-specific work at Cammo Estate from the ever-inventive Grid Iron, and a return visit from Dutch dance company, Introdans with a line-up of Jiri Kylian works.

(Kelly Apter)



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