Family fun at the Watch This Space Festival

Published June 22, 2011

The National Theatre’s annual Watch This Space Festival is back for its 15th year this summer, jammed pack with family friendly events and performances, and all for free.

Taking place in the eccentrically astroturfed surroundings of the venue’s Theatre Square from 1 July to 11 September, this year sees a whole week dedicated to family fun and another for children aged 2 to 6 years old.

Just in time for schools breaking up for the summer holidays, Family Fun Week runs from 25 to 31 July. Shows on offer include Circo Ripololo’s miniature circus, family-friendly Gypsy jazz, an interactive animal game using recycled materials to create crocodiles, pigs and butterflies and a murder mystery from Bootworks Theatre.

The climax of the week will undoubtedly be The Campaign For Pie-Throwing In London 2012 which the Bureau of Silly Ideas will bring to the square in all its messy glory.

From 17 to 25 August, Watch This Space will present a selection of shows for the very youngest of audience members. Sarah Argent will direct Imagine That!, a show perfect for introducing kids to the theatre, The Puppetellers will learn how sheep wool is made into clothes and La Baracca will tell the story of how an elephant grew a trunk in The Little Elephant.

There is plenty on offer for families throughout the 11-week Watch This Space Festival with everything from acrobatics to circus, dance to storytelling. The August bank holiday weekend will see the return of The Alternative Village Fete with unconventional artists, craft makers and alternative produce stalls providing a modern take on the traditional British event.

As part of this year’s fete, Home Live Art will create an urban campsite in the square allowing people to toast marshmallows and tell stories around the campfire right in the heart of London’s iconic South Bank. For those wanting to sleep under the stars, a limited number of people will be able to book a place to stay the night, with a family sleeping area available. Suitable for children over seven years old, all participants need to bring is a sleeping bag and warm clothes.

For a full schedule of the events taking place and details of how to book a place at The Big Sleepover visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/wts

CM