Big Imaginations Presents First Ever Festival of Children’s Theatre in the North West

Delightfully diverse line-up includes performances from one-man wonder Tim Crouch; the world premiere of Moonbird – a magical new production about a little Arabian Prince who is taught to hear; and a chance to see the world’s first ever projection-mapped pop-up book

The Big Imaginations Theatre Consortium is presenting the first ever Festival of Children’s Theatre in the North West, as a wealth of UK and international talent takes centre stage at the network’s numerous venues throughout the region from 18th October to 3rd November.

From the modern splendor of the Lowry Centre to the lakeside charm of The Old Laundry in Bowness-on-Windermere, no venue is too large or small for this celebration of brilliant children’s theatre, the first of its kind to be held in the North West region.

From the classic showdown between the Hare and the Tortoise and a reimagining of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, to the world’s first projection mapped pop-up book and the heart-warming tale of the Elephant Bridesmaid, the Big Imaginations Children’s Theatre Festival will showcase quality children’s theatre and fire the imaginations of a wide range of children, from toddling two-year olds to sophisticated pre-teens.

Festival highlights include: A timeless story of bullying, prudery and practical jokes as one-man wonder Tim Couch reimagines Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in I, Malvolio; a chance to peek inside the magical pages of the Icebook, the world’s first projection-mapped pop-up book; beloved tales brought colourfully to life in The Hare and the Tortoise and The Boy Who Cried Wolf; a dripping, flowing, bubbling and fizzing celebration of Water in H20; and the world premiere of Moonbird, a magical fable about a little Arabian prince, based on the book by Joyce Dunbar.

“Our aim is to bring the very best theatre to local venues at an affordable price to excite, amaze and enchant children with a life-long love of theatre,” says Liz O’Neill, CEO Z-arts, a lead partner of Big Imaginations.  “We are incredibly excited to present this two-week celebration of theatre created especially for kids.  Local children from the ages of two to twelve will be able to see beloved literature spring to life, visit lonely moons, meet spellbinding puppets and brave spooky tales of things that go bump in the night!”

Accompanying the productions at the various venues will be a range of activities to complement the performances.  Children will be invited to take an interactive role in shows, strut their stuff in an onstage fashion show, meet and chat to performers and puppets, keep their hands busy in special workshops and even play musical instruments and kitchen utensils!  Children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing are also catered for – four performances of the enchanting production Luna will be accompanied by signing in British Sign Language.

Internationally renowned theatre artist Tim Crouch says: “”The Big Imaginations Festival is ground-breaking in its scale, reach and ambition.  The North West is lucky to have such a world-class programme of work coming to young audiences throughout the region and I am thrilled that I, Malvolio is part of it.  So often the profile of children’s theatre is overshadowed by its grown-up counterpart.  Big Imaginations redresses the imbalance and puts the work centre stage.”

The Big Imaginations Children’s Theatre Festival will also be part of the first nationwide Family Arts Festival, joining leading arts venues and institutions programming events to entertain family audiences. The Family Arts Festival is the first UK-wide festival including theatre, dance, music and visual arts events designed to increase family participation in the arts and building on the momentum of the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad.  For more information go to


The Big Imaginations Children’s Theatre Festival will be taking place at venues across the region including Z-arts in Hulme, Citadel in St Helens, Waterside in Sale, The Brindley in Halton, The Atkinson in Southport, Burnley Youth Theatre, The Edge in Chorlton and the Dukes and Nuffield theatres in Lancaster.


For more information and to book tickets go to



September 30th, 2013

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