About the 2013 Festival

This year the festival played host to some of the very best national and international companies and artists. In total we welcomed 31 companies and artists, who delivered performances and workshops in 12 schools, seven pre-schools, nine community venues and five key theatre venues. We were delighted that we saw a 40% increase in our attendances.

Highlights included the return of the acclaimed company Tangere Arts, who performed Noel Greig's Hood in the Wood into school halls. We also saw the wonderful Travelling Light present dance-theatre show Varmints choreographed by Willkie Branson and directed by Sally Cookson. Meanwhile the outstanding Maas Theatre and Dance (Netherlands) brought their WANTED: Rabbit production to Curve.

Phoenix commissioned digital artist Luke Woodbury's immersive and interactive environment Book of Worlds, whilst The Y Theatre introduced audiences young and old to Shlomo, a world recordbreaking human beatboxer and his Beat Box Adventure. Embrace Arts hosted White Peacock, a participatory play for young teenagers with autism, which was a festival first for this audience. New Walk Museum threw open its doors, giving families an opportunity to explore the museum in an entirely new way. It was wonderful to see children running, hiding, crawling and playing their way through the galleries.

A city Play-ground

This year the Play-ground was the 'festival hub', based at Curve theatre. The hub served as an information point for festival goers, and offered a unique opportunity for children to access FREE arts activities. This year, with the help of over 1500 children and their families, we were able to transform Curve's mezzanine area into an over-sized cardboard city.

We expanded the Play-ground concept this year to involve many other cultural venues across Leicester. There were digital delights Sparking the Imagination at Phoenix and Diversions at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, whilst smaller children visited Embrace Arts in search of Paperbelle by Frozen Charlotte. The Play-ground offers children and their families a wonderfully diverse range of opportunities to engage with the arts in some of Leicester's best venues, widening access to high quality participation and cultural experiences.

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