The Scotsman 26 April 2024

Noel Jordan likes to build his programmes for the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival organically. Rather than start with a rigid framework, he selects the productions that have most impressed him and constructs each line-up from there. At a certain point, he will have to make sure the programme is catering to all ages groups, but it is the work that comes first.

That was the case this year when a mini-Catalan season suggested itself simply because the shows were so good. “My job is to hunt out these gems and bring them to Edinburgh,” he says. “What they’re very good at in Catalonia is the abstract and the poetic. They know how to speak to us as human beings.”

The three shows from Catalonia epitomise the range of the festival itself. Univers by Engruna Teatre is a sensory journey into outer space for the under-twos. An-Ki by Cia Ortiga is a piece of small-scale puppetry for seven-to-ten year olds staged in a tent. And Black by Oulouy is a dance performance about racism, aimed at teenagers. [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).