CCC's Best of the Fest(s)
You may have heard, there’s a wee festival happening…? No matter where you’re based, it’s hard to avoid the slew of stars and exclamation marks coming out of Edinburgh this time of year… and lucky as we are to have such a huge number of shows, attempting to sift through the offerings can leave the most experienced cultural consumer reeling in confusion.
So, we did it for you. Here’s the CCC’s Team’s top tips across all the festivals!
Elgar’s The Apostles (Edinburgh International Festival)
Sunday 14 August – 3.00 PM
Let’s start with the heavy hitters, front and centre. Choral conductor superstar Edward Gardner directs CCC partners the
Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the NYCoS National Girls Choir of Scotland (amongst others) in Elgar’s mammoth, mystical masterpiece. Prepare to be blown away.
Bach for Solo Violin (Edinburgh Festival Fringe)
Sunday 21 August – 2:00 PM
Something from the other (but by no means lesser) end of the spectrum (although still strictly grown-up fare, the family recommendations are below!):
Tamas Fejes performs a selection of Sonatas and Partitas by JS Bach. We were fortunate enough to work with Tamas recently, and as well as being hugely talented, he’s also, as CCC team member Jemma put it, “a lovely guy, [and has] a great rapport with audiences”.
The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace (Edinburgh Festival Fringe)
St. Giles’ Cathedral
Saturday 13 August – 7:30 PM
Before taking to the stage on Sunday, you can also catch
NYCoS performing in one of Edinburgh’s most beautiful venues. A timely piece, Karl Jenkins’ large-scale, anti-war piece is based on texts drawn from a diverse array of cultural and religious sources, and the world’s most performed work by a living composer.
In the Mood (Edinburgh Festival Fringe)
11 – 13 August – Various times
15 piece Yorkshire band
Sundown Swing are back to Fly us to the Moon with their toe-tapping, finger-snapping mix of vocals and instrumentals. Covering faves from Glen Miller to Robbie Williams, you don’t have to be a Big Spender to enjoy this bunch. (Sorry. We couldn’t resist.) And if swing’s your thing, check out our upcoming Christmas Swingalong, this December…
Okay, enough with the grown-up stuff, here’s where we recommend you spend your family pound this August!
We’ve been a little bit
doo-lally for Dahl this year, and the festivals have also got on board with 100th celebrations. The Edinburgh International Book Festival offer Roald Dahl’s Glorimptous Gobblefunk (Fri 19 Aug, families and 7+), as well as an entire day of Dahl themed “crafts, colouring-in, face painting and more” next Tues 16. At the Fringe, The Hogwallops (11-14, 16-22) present circus inspired by The Twits, whilst puppetry and folk music combine in the classic James and the Giant Peach (11-21, 23-27 Aug).
Pleasance Kids @ EICC (Edinburgh Festival Fringe)
11-16, 19-23, 25-28 August – Various times
“This is just plain lovely. Funny and enchanting.” So sayeth CCC Team member Erin, who returned for repeated viewings. Created specifically for the teeny tiny ones (0 – 24 months), this is classical music in a relaxed and playful atmosphere, with a cheeky, loveable raccoon running the show. A treat for the eyes, ears and heart – and patrons can stick around to keep playing post-event.
Comedy Club 4 Kids
11-28 August – 5:35 PM
It’s hard to explain how this one manages to make it work, but it’s been doing so for over 10 years. A daily changing line-up of comics from across the Fringe means it’s always fresh, and the kids are included in ways that encourage them to be the star. Comedy that’s focused on the children, but never fails to entertain the adults, too.
(Edinburgh Art Festival)
11 & 18 August – 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Art ain’t just for grown-ups, and the Edinburgh Art Festival know it. Ciara Phillips’ ‘Dazzle’ ships are the highlight of this year’s offerings, and a family friendly programme has been scheduled alongside. There’s tours of the ship itself, after which all can get crafty in workshops (5-12) creating dazzle t-shirts and sculptures, or enjoy free play (for the under 5s) inspired by the themes involved. Good on you, EAF!
One more, because we just had to include….
CeilidhKids at the Fringe (Edinburgh Fringe Festival)
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
11-17, 19-22, 24, 26-28 August – Times vary
Does what it says on the tin. A good old knees up, for all abilities, ages, and family members. One of our team members took her newly born and told us said daughter “rated the experience 5/5, would ceilidh with a baby again.”
And, finally, a couple of shows that we’ve included for the die-hards: they were sold out within minutes, but returns queues have a good success rate for those in the front. Two worth waiting for are:
GRIT (Edinburgh International Festival)
Tuesday 23 August – 8:00 PM
Winner of the Scots Trad Award for Event of the Year in 2015, this is a reimagining of GRIT, Martyn Bennet’s final album, fusing traditional Scottish tunes and hard techno. As CCC team member Cath put it: “This will be incredible.”
Julia Donaldson & Friends (Edinburgh International Book Festival)
Saturday 13 August – 10:00 AM
Eternal favourite (of ours, and everyone else, it seems) Julia Donaldson is hosting a hootenanny with an array of guests from her books, including What The Detective Saw, The Gruffalo and new offering, The Detective Dog. We have a person on the inside, who says this one is not to be missed….
Did we get it right? What are, or have been, your top hits from this year’s crop? Let us know, and we’ll pass the recommendations on. Happy Festivalling!