The Scottish International Children’s Festival

“Whether you’re new to the event, or braved the elements last year, a warm welcome awaits you…”

A new home! The Festival moved from Inverleith Park to some of Edinburgh’s best theatre spaces, including the Traverse, Theatre Workshop, the Royal Lyceum and the Garage.

It was a major decision for Director Tony Reekie, but the flooding from the year previous helped to convince him: “It made it far easier to justify a move I wanted to make on artistic grounds”, he says. The big white tents on Inverleith Park had been far from ideal venues: noise bled between stages, and it was difficult to make them dark enough for theatrical lighting. “The work needed a greater sense of intimacy”, Tony explains, “as well as the technical benefits that being in a theatre would bring. If we were going to take the work seriously then we had to present it seriously!”

Did you know… ?

Almost everyone interviewed for this timeline talked about the ‘move indoors’ as a pivotal turning point for the festival.

  • Dougie Irvine: “A brilliant and sensible and necessary move. If it serves the art better, it serves the audience better.”
  • Abigail Carney: “From my perspective, moving from the park into theatres was a huge challenge, but we had to do it. We had to convince the people that liked the picnics that it was a good thing, and not to not lose the festival feel.”
  • Duncan Low: “At the time, if I was honest, I wouldn’t have moved the Festival. In hindsight it was the best thing they ever did!”
Wee Stories - Sir Janet
Theatre Terrific - Scraping the Surface
Visible Fictions - Red Balloon
TAG - Little Victories
Royal Lyceum - A Stranger Came Ashore