AWESOME International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things (AWESOME Festival) is back this September school holidays with a magical and fun-filled program.
AWESOME Festival is internationally renowned and has been entertaining and connecting children up to the age of 12 and their families since 1996. We asked CEO and Artistic Director Jenny Simpson for her inside tips on what to see and what to look out for.
What’s your favourite part of the festival?
My favourite part of the festival is seeing families enjoy quality time together. In a world that is increasingly busy and largely preoccupied with screens and hand-held devices, it is easy to lose sight of simple pleasures. Our program is accessible to everyone and provides opportunities for grown-ups and young people to have a shared experience – whether it be learning to juggle, making a work of art, being captivated by the magic of the ballet or laughing out loud in the theatre.
How does the festival help children connect with their grandparents?
We have a huge audience of grandparents who love the AWESOME Festival because it creates a point of connection with their grandchildren. So many of our grandparents have a great love of theatre, ballet, literature and music and being able to share these passions with the young generation is very special. It also has to be acknowledged that many grandparents possess a range of skills and talents and knowledge that the younger generation knows nothing about. So when it comes to participating in our Creative Hubs we often see grandparents in there showing the kids how it is done!
Which event do you think will surprise audiences the most?
Little Red Riding Hood, the children’s ballet is full of surprises, with a cheeky re-telling of the popular fairy tale, a stunning new score composed by Emma Jayakumar…and many people will be surprised to learn that it is FREE!
The big surprise is Dr Audi-Yo’s Giant Adventure. I got tickets to see this show in Adelaide a couple of years ago and back then I thought it would be good, but nothing could prepare me for the experience – it’s joyous, captivating and hilarious. Holly Austin is the artist who created and performs this show and I am thrilled to be bringing her to Western Australia.
Which events should people go to for a good belly laugh?
There are a LOT of good belly laughs to be had in this year’s AWESOME Festival program. If you love a good chuckle, grab tickets to The Magical Weedy Seadragon, Dr Audi-Yo’s Giant Adventure, Alex & Evie and the Ever-Falling Rain, Theatre of Dreams and Little Red Riding Hood
What do you recommend for families looking for something magical and wondrous?
Claire Della and the Moon is an achingly beautiful show and Sea of Light is a delightful experience for very young children. If you’ve ever wished that you could make the world a kinder place, then The Magical Weedy Seadragon is for you! Children always love seeing their favourite picture book characters come to life, so Grug and The Rainbow is a must for young children.
Have you got a suggested itinerary you can recommend?
We have lots of different options for kids of all ages.
If you’ve got a very little one under the age of four, I recommend coming along to the Sea of Light installation first thing in the morning at 10am, before heading to the Little Red Riding Hood free ballet at 11am. Then there’s time for lunch before going to see Grug and the Rainbow at 1pm.
For children between the ages of 5 and 7, I recommend starting with one of the free creative hubs like Crafty Nannas in the morning before heading to The Magical Weedy Seadragon at 11am. Then after some lunch, check out Alex and Evie and the Ever Falling Rain at 1pm before heading back to one of the creative hubs – I recommend Weaving the Wetlands.
Finally, for older children aged 8 to 12, start the day with Claire Della and the Moon at 10am and then head to the free circus hub Roll Up, Roll Up. After some lunch, head on over to catch Dr AudiYo’s Giant Adventure at 1pm before heading to the Making Music creative hub to make some noise of your own.
AWESOME Festival runs every day from Tuesday 26 September – Saturday September 30. View the full program at https://awesomearts.com/festival/