There will be a host of theatrical treats on offer for families when the Southbank Centre’s Imagine children’s festival returns next February half-term.
The two-week festival, which runs from 9 to 22 February, promises a fun-filled interactive performance from Charlie And Lola’s Best Bestest Play and a series of immersive art installations in celebration of Alice In Wonderland’s 150th anniversary.
The Lewis Carroll novel’s birthday celebrations will include The Imaginarium Of Alice (20 to 22 February), an adventure of dance, music and fantastical exploration inspired by the magical tale for ages eight and older.
For the littlest of theatregoers – those aged three and under – the festival will host two shows from Half Moon Young People’s Theatre. Cake making gets messy in Curious (11 February), a laugh-out-loud experience that introduces the very young and the curiously inquisitive to theatre, while audiences are invited to delight in the feel of sand between their toes and fingers in the intimate and imaginative show Circles In The Sand (10 February).
Young opera fans aged seven and older can also enjoy the London premiere of Brundibár (13 and 14 February), a children’s opera originally performed by the children of Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1943 Czechosolvakia. The melodic, poignant piece sees 40 school children team up with professional musicians to tell the uplifting story of two poor siblings who lead a fight against the evil organ-grinder of its title with the help of a fearless sparrow, a clever cat and a wise dog.
Alongside the festival’s theatrical offerings, a handful of authors and illustrators whose iconic books have been made into Olivier Award nominated stage productions will also take part in the literary festival.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea’s Judith Kerr will read from her semi-autobiographical book for older children, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, and illustrator Axel Scheffler, whose popular collaborations with former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson include the 2013 Olivier Award nominated Room On The Broom currently playing at the Lyric Theatre, will lead one of the many other creative events that the festival has to offer.
Young ones unable to tear themselves away from the fun of the Southbank Centre can also take part in The Big Sleepover on 20 February, when kids are invited to spend the night on stage at the Royal Festival Hall.
For a full list of events and to book tickets visit the Southbank Centre’s website.