The Ones to Watch: Kids

Where do you start in a kids programme that just keeps growing? Well, try one of these on for size

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Published 22 Jul 2017

Funz And Gamez: Flogging a Dead Horze [U, 2 and older]

We've had Phil Ellis's terrible troupe on our front cover before. Honestly, we still don't know what to make of it, other than it's utterly anarchic and weirdly compelling.

Kidocracy [U, 6 and older]

A proper kids' show at a proper comedy venue. Irish comedian Keith Farnan says his show "encourages participation in a democracy and aims to introduce some simple political ideas about governing and leadership". Genuinely, Farnan is not to be dismissed as an earnest naif. We think he can pull this off.

BambinO [U, 0-2]

This co-production between Scottish Opera, Improbable theatre and the Manchester International Festival—a world premiere—might just be the best 'baby sensory' event you'll ever attend. Babies between six and 18 months are free to explore the crawl-friendly set during the show, and parents will enjoy the music too. 

Dr Zeiffal, Dr Zeigal and the Hippo That Can Never Be Caught [U, 1-12]

It's the first time in Edinburgh for Mouths of Lions , but they've been touring this show and making a bit of a name for themselves. Things to like: there's a hippo. There's also a female scientist, which feels like a more exciting choice than it should be.

Arr We There Yet? [U, 3 and older]

Slapstick silliness and piratical playtime—including getting young audience members sabre rattling with balloon swords—from energetic Australian circus troupe Head First Acrobats. 

At a Stretch [PG, 6 and older]

Two girls meet, get stuck together with elastic and fall in love in this wordless show exploring LGBT relationships with the lightest of touches. Expect creative choreography and beautiful physical theatre. 

Calvinball [U, 0-5]

You don't need to be a fan of the Calvin and Hobbs comic stip to appreciate the beauty of Calvinball, a game in which you make up the rules as you go along. Ipdip Theatre return to the Royal Botanic Garden following success with 2016's Head in the Clouds to present this interactive outdoor show inspired by the anarchy and fun of the cartoon duo. 

Nick Cope's Family Song Book [U, 0-7]

Cope is one of those rare things: a performer who happens to have a superb rapport with children, rather than a children's performer. There's no dumbing down or hamming up here. Think children can't handle surrealness, or songs about gravity? Think again.