The new year brings a new name for Imaginate Festival

Written by Flossie Waite

For me, the Festival Formerly Known As Imaginate was a highlight of 2016 – so much so, that I booked my train tickets to this year’s festival 6 months in advance. In my giddy anticipation for another week watching high-quality children’s theatre in the dreamy setting of Edinburgh (I can’t believe I have to wait until May!), I’m hungry for any and all news from the festival. And there is news – big news! Turns out 2016 was my first and last Imaginate Festival, as it has been renamed: Edinburgh International Children’s Festival.


Photograph: Kat Gollock

I’m not good with change, but it does seem to make sense. The Imaginate Festival was organised by Imaginate, the arts organisation; sharing the same name, the festival and organisation were easily conflated. The name switch makes it simpler to differentiate the two, and to prevent any assumption that the festival is the main or only event that the organisation produces. In reality, Imaginate works year-round to promote and develop children’s theatre and dance in Scotland, supporting artists with a creative development programme, and schools with a creative learning programme.

The name Edinburgh International Children’s Festival also makes it really clear what the 9-day event is all about. This is a festival that presents some of the best theatre for young audiences from around the world, whilst doing as much as possible to make it accessible to the local community. But don’t just take it from me – you can hear all the reasoning for the name-change straight from the horse’s mouth.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Imaginate have also revamped their website and announced the dates for the 2017 Edinburgh International Children’s Festival – mark 27th May – 4th June down in your diary. Hope to see you there!

Children’s Theatre Reviews exists to help plug the gap in criticism and writing about theatre for young audiences. It is run entirely voluntarily, and needs support to continue covering and supporting the sector. For more information and to help give children’s theatre the voice it deserves, please visit our Patreon page.

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