Home » Festivals and Events » Imagine Children’s Festival at the Southbank Centre – 9th to 19th February 2017

Imagine Children’s Festival at the Southbank Centre – 9th to 19th February 2017



Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival returns from 9th – 19th February 2017, taking over the Royal Festival Hall during half term with a packed programme of events including dance, music, theatre and installations, alongside readings and workshops with some of the top children’s authors from the UK and the Nordic region.

This year’s Imagine Children’s Festival has a strong Nordic focus, in line with Southbank Centre’s year-long exploration of Nordic arts and culture, Nordic Matters. Some of the top artists and authors from the Nordic region appear at the festival including Icelandic author and illustrator Birgitta Sif, Swedish author Pernilla Lindroos, Greenlandic author Bolatta Silis-Høegh, award-winning writer Rakel Helmsdal from the Faroe Islands, Icelandic author Þórarinn Eldjárn and Finnish illustrator Linda Bondestram.

The festival also sees the London premiere of Finnish band Hevisaurus, who bring their unique brand of power metal for children to the Royal Festival Hall. The band – who consist of four dinosaurs and a dragon .

Children can also learn about characters of Sami mythology with Sami writer Ante Aikio from Finnish Lapland and rock out at the Swedish Baby Rave. Swedish illustrator Maja Asten also worked with pupils from the Evelina London Children’s Hospital to create illustrations inspired by imaginary friends. Oddjob, one of Sweden’s foremost jazz groups presents Jazzoo, their Swedish Grammy-Award nominated album for children, accompanied by animations from Helene Berg. Francesca Simon also discusses her new book, The Monstrous Child based on the mythical Norse goddess of the underworld, ‘Hel’.

Other Highlights include:

Comedian and author Julian Clary and award-winning illustrator David Roberts introduce their new book The Bolds on Holiday – featuring readings and live drawing (17 February)

A free pedal-powered film screening of Walt Disney’s classic film The Little Mermaid (16 February)

An afternoon of reading and live illustration from Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell and friends (15 February)

Team GB Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy presents a new range of books for young readers Flying Fergus and On Your Bike (17 February)

The LEGO® team offers the opportunities for festival-goers to help build their vision of the city of the future (12-19 February) and hear the stories of the LEGO Master Builders, who have turned their love for building into a career (11 February)

Terry Davies conducts the Aurora Orchestra in René Aubry’s scores for a double-bill of The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom (13 February)

Multi-award-winning performer and storyteller Danyah Miller brings to life Michael Morpurgo’s Why the Whales Came, with a live Q&A with Michael Morpurgo (17 February)   

Adventures in Moominland – a major new immersive, interactive exhibition from the world of acclaimed Finnish author Tove Jansson, with theatrical sets and rare archive objects and illustrations (until 23 April)

Neverland – an immersive new show for children that uses 360 degree video projections and original music and performance to tell the story of a child’s imagination (7-9 February)

Acclaimed children’s authors including Michael De Souza, Joseph Coelho, Horatio Clare, Francesca Simon, Pernilla Lindroos, and Birgitta Sif talk about their latest works

Children’s Story Centre presenting Dr. Seuss’ beloved story The Cat in the Hat (12 February)

Leaps and Bounds – an afternoon of inclusive dance workshops with the acclaimed Candoco Dance Company (19 February)  

More than half of the Imagine programme is free, with a range of free activities for the whole family to enjoy on each day of the festival. Visitors can join in a free pedal-powered screening of The Little Mermaid with prizes for the best underwater-themed costumes, an inclusive dance workshop led by acclaimed Candoco Dance Company, an afternoon of family fun at the PJ Party, as well as free poetry readings in the Poetry Library and a bedtime story in the Clore Ballroom to close each day of the festival.

For more information about the festival , visit the Southbank Centre website here

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