We're bursting with excitement about our very first strand made for and by young people. Young Radicals: Fringe for Kids features six sparkling shows. From podcast to party, babies to teens, there's something for all ages.
This week, we sat down for a natter with Kate Ferris, curator extraordinaire of Collapsing Horse, to find out more about the programme.
Tell us about programming for kids.
Programming for kids is the best job ever! Quite often theatre for families can be pushed aside by us big people, it can be disregarded or seen to be something of an 'extra' to a festival programme, and Young Radicals is changing that. We are making art accessible to all. We have created this programme to provide really good quality art and entertainment for families, in addition to giving Irish artists the missing platform of creating work for Young Audiences. Dublin Fringe Festival is encouraging Irish artists to dip their toe into a new genre of work, to think about a younger audience.
Small people are also easy to squeeze into seats.
What’s special about these six shows?
Young Radicals makes up the very first stand of an arts festival in Dublin city centre which presents comedy, music, theatre and a radio podcast specifically for and by young people. Frequently enough, toddlers and teenagers can be left without any access to culture, our programme is working to change that now and for the future. We have the first home-grown Irish show for Young Audiences in the Abbey Theatre for centuries (Birdy), a very special weekend of stand-up comedy for kids and their parents without the rude bits (Monster LOLS) and a musical/theatre piece from Amsterdam which is the closest thing to Transcendental Meditation for two year olds (Whoosh!). And that's only half the programme. Every citizen living in Dublin today aged 1 - 18 has something to go and see at the Fringe, and that's what special about these shows. It's for Ireland!! Begorrah Begorrah.
Why should children and teenagers be Fringing?
All kids should be fringing as it will make them feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. There is really brilliant, funny and exciting work in this programme for anyone aged 1 - 18. We can't expect to create a long-term sustainable theatre going culture in Dublin if we don't have teeny-tots walking in and out of our most exciting cultural institutions. It's diversity. This is about a whole new generation being turned onto theatre and live events. Parents can sigh with relief that they have something affordable to do with their children - that's not necessarily learning or curriculum based - but just art for arts sake !
How do you think young people and their families and friends will feel at Young Radicals?
They will have ALL the feelings and if they don't they can get their money back. I want to see crying and laughing in every show (crying with laughter that is)!! If you come along to the Young Radical programme with your kids, your school or your family you will know that each show has been specially curated and chosen by a team of people who are thinking about only you. So hopefully that makes you feel good and you love every moment of being in the dark space with cool people telling you stories.
What should our young audiences and their families expect from this Fringe experience?
The squealing of tiny voices enjoying happiness and experiencing wonder ! All of these 6 projects are unique and diverse in their form. Young Radicals is a programme for families, as well as kids. The shows (and podcast) are of the highest standard and enjoying them together as a family will bond you altogether and give you loads to talk about at the dinner table. We want audiences (no matter what age) to walk away reflectling on the what they've seen, thinking about what they'll see next, and to be inspired to make their own art one day.
Describe Fringe 2017 in one sentence.
Art that connects with the soul.