The Big Bite-Size Plays Factory Goes Down The Toilet. 4****

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There are few things in life that are guaranteed to secure a giggle from children.

One of them is the word poo! In this highly entertaining show, the word poo is used with plentiful abundance, (along with others), delighting the audience young and old. The show enlists the audience as it’s trainee secret agents, who have to pick up the clues from the short plays within the show to complete their training. The show contains drama, singing, comedy and fabulous and amusing costumes.The cast are a lively and enthusiastic bunch who give this show 100% and involve the audience at every step of the production, even giving out free ‘gifts’ upon exit.

All of which combined make this a show which must be considered by all who are in the Pleasance this summer for the Fringe. You will not regret taking the family along to see this, it’s great fun!

 

Pleasance Courtyard,

July 30th – August 25th, 13.15pm (45 mins)

Reviewed by Kath

 

 

 

The Big Bite-Size Plays Factory Goes Down The Toilet. 4****

_2014BIGBITF_PI There are few things in life that are guaranteed to secure a giggle from children.

One of them is the word poo! In this highly entertaining show, the word poo is used with plentiful abundance, (along with others), delighting the audience young and old. The show enlists the audience as it’s trainee secret agents, who have to pick up the clues from the short plays within the show to complete their training. The show contains drama, singing, comedy and fabulous and amusing costumes.The cast are a lively and enthusiastic bunch who give this show 100% and involve the audience at every step of the production, even giving out free ‘gifts’ upon exit.

All of which combined make this a show which must be considered by all who are in the Pleasance this summer for the Fringe. You will not regret taking the family along to see this, it’s great fun!

 

Pleasance Courtyard,

July 30th – August 25th, 13.15pm (45 mins)

Reviewed by Kath.

 

Huggers – Free Festival Family Fun

3 Star
***

Huggers is a mad mix of a family cabaret / comedy show, with various acts popping along to perform to a bus load of children. Host Nik Coppin is genial, gently teasing front row siblings into giving each other a hug. The packed bus enjoy his banter, but as it’s a day with five acts, not the usual four, it’s quickly time to move on.

First act David Burke encouraged a singalong of “Old MacDonald had a safari”, which some joined in with gusto. Erich McElroy was next, trying magic with oranges. Next up was Eden Rivers of “Stay at Home Dad” show, who taught the children how to get chips whenever they wanted them. Magician Patrick McCullagh was great fun. His duck noises grabbed attention on the rowdy bus, his participation game was hilarious, and his balloon tricks impressed even my toddler. Finally, Mike ‘Dr Blue’ Mckeon led the audience in split harmony singing, although I could have done without getting the Postman Pat theme stuck in my head.

This is – quite deliberately – a mix of a show. Acts will vary from show to show, but most are experienced family entertainers, and with extra shows added at weekends, it’s clearly popular.

Reviewed by Gill Smith

Laughing Horse @ the Free Sisters

To 26th August

15:00 to 16:00

Additional shows added Friday to Sunday (to 26th) 11:15 to 12:15

CeilidhKids at the Fringe – Free!

4 Star

****

Fun Scottish Dancing for all the family is what this says, and that’s pretty much what you get. I say pretty much, as the flyer’s age group (3-7) was fairly accurate (some younger siblings weren’t entirely keen), and also because it seems to be mainly solo parents, dancing with one or more children, rather than whole family groups. It seems to be best to equal, or be outnumbered by the children you take – stray parents at the side haven’t really got a role. But don’t let that put you off – if you’ve only one child, they’ll just have to go twice, so both parents can have the fun!

And it is a lot of fun. Ceilidh steps are broken down into simple routines, and images that even very young children can understand – being a train, being the scenery. It’s all explained, then the music starts, but the leader keeps calling, so no one gets too lost or confused.

Don’t forget to take along, or buy a drink, as it’s fast paced and your children will definitely need a pause. This was so popular, that they added an extra daily session, but even that was packed, which if anything, was the only downside.

Reviewed by Gill Smith

Laughing Horse @ The Counting House

To 11th August

11:00 to 11:45 – 12:10 to 12:55

Alchemy Menagerie

3 Star
***

Alchemy Menagerie handed us a ticket at the Meadows, and turned out to be an interesting find. Tucked away within Summerhall, artists guide youngsters of all ages through various craft activities, while also offering beanbags to slump in, and tea or coffee to tired parents.

The activities are set to vary with each theme. We happened to be at “Journey to the Sky! Birds!” and after following the trail of silver birds to find the room, enjoyed making a traditional Asian bird kite from recycled materials.

11th August was set to be “Journey to the Past! Dinosaurs!” involving making a puppet. August 18th is “Journey to the Rainforest! Reptiles!” where children will make lizard shaped rain sticks, again, using recycled materials. Finally on 25th, it’s “Journey into Space! Aliens!” where the children collaborate to build a rocket, and make their own alien head-dress. All also have themed play activities, and a room full of interesting things for children to pick up and look at, or get hands on and feel.

Not in the fringe guide, we could easily have missed this, but it adds real variety to ‘things to do with your child at the fringe’, and real fun for the child.

Reviewed by Gill Smith

Summerhall

To 25th August (Saturdays only)

Drop in from 11:00 to 16:00

Giddy Goat

Four Star

****

Giddy Goat is afraid to jump, which makes it pretty difficult to play rock rounders with his brother and sister. His identity crisis is a pity, because it’s clearly established: “it’s great to be a goat” and all his other ideas for what to be involve jumping too. So, on the advice of Scottish Uncle Hoof, he heads off on his singing tea-tray, down the mountain to find himself – and despite initial rejection, ends up rescuing a lamb.

Giddy’s tale is told with energy, enthusiasm, and just the right amount of interaction with its young audience. Adapted from the children’s book of the same name (by Jamie Rix), it was enchanting even for those who don’t know the original. This is a tale of getting past your fear, of learning who you are, and your place in the world, and a tale of tolerance of other cultures.

There’s a lot to love in this show, not least the cast’s high energy commitment to it, and ability to dance and simultaneously sing clearly. In other hands, this could have been merely pleasant – as it was, it was great to watch this goat.

Reviewed by Gill Smith

C venues

Until 27th August

12:15 to 13:05

Lapin Wants Ice Cream

Three Star

***
Aimed at 3-5s, Lapin and Le Petit Monde are back at the fringe to help teach pre-schoolers a little French, and to have a lot of fun.

The show has a slightly slow start, but it warms up well once Lapin himself is on the scene, throwing things out of his sandy home, much to the children’s delight. It emerges that Lapin is too hot and bothered – but he doesn’t want any of the juices offered – he wants ice cream. He sends his friend Tania off to find “glace au broccoli.” She enlists the help of Lapin’s friends Escargot, Oiseau and Ver.

There are plenty of opportunities for the children to join in – usually on the count of un, deux, trois. There’s a little sing-along, although Frere Jacques isn’t the most original choice, but probably a safe bet to ensure parents know it.

I hope it wont spoil the surprise to say that Lapin does get his ice cream, and then kindly shares it with his friends who helped. And there’s even a small treat for the children, who can each go and practise saying “merci”.

A lovely start to French, or just lots of fun for the more experienced.

Reviewed by Gill Smith

Institut français d’Ecosse

Until 27th August (not Sundays)

10:00 to 10:40