Southbank Centre announces full line-up for the eighteenth Imagine Children’s Festival, coming February Half Term 2019

Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival turns eighteen in 2019 – but it’s nowhere near growing up! The annual festival returns 13-24 February 2019 for a half-term week of the best in children’s theatre, comedy, family parties, hands-on activities, DJs, dance, immersive experiences and full-on fun for children and their grownups. With more than 180 events jam-packed into twelve days and fifty percent of the festival completely free, Imagine is the biggest festival of its kind in London. It is dedicated to families experiencing and enjoying all kinds of art and culture together.

The multi-arts line-up for 2019 includes former Children’s Laureates and creators of some of the best- loved characters in UK children’s literature, Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman and Chris Riddell, coming together on the Royal Festival Hall stage to celebrate 20 years of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate; a London-wide storytelling game of ‘consequences’ involving more than 600 school children with poet Joseph Coelho; an interactive sensory SoundPit installation using music and motion-capture technology to explore the phenomenon of synaesthesia; Sue Perkins conducting the Orion Orchestra’s Noisy Notes; David McKee, author and illustrator of Elmer the Elephant, in an exclusive event celebrating the 30th birthday of his popular patchwork friend; and Peppa Pig’s first concert with a full-size orchestra conducted – for the first time ever – by Mummy Pig.

The Kids Takeover returns for another year, giving a group of children the chance to take the reins of the festival alongside the Southbank Centre team in all areas of the festival production, from contributing to the line-up to selling programmes, making tannoy announcements and ensuring shows start on time.

Tamsin Ace, Festival Programmer, Southbank Centre, said: “Imagine festival is for kids, by kids. This year we are bursting at the seams with activities and events to inspire, engage and entertain. With Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room reopening in April 2018, after two years’ refurbishment, we’re back to full capacity across our 17-acre site – which just means more fun for everyone! I’m particularly proud of the increase in BSL interpreted, Relaxed and accessible events. We’ll also be live-streaming the League of Laureates and Elmer’s 30th Birthday events to Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, in Newcastle, beaming top quality content to the other end of the country. All of this means that even more families will discover something incredible together at Southbank Centre’s Imagine.”

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