Summer 2022 gig guide for kids

9 December 2021

Looking for family fun this summer? Read on for Seesaw’s curated list of Christmas and festival shows to find something that will suit your crew.

The summer holidays are here with long weeks of sunshine, rest and play for children. I’m reluctant to schedule events into those wonderful hours of unstructured play, but I do love to head out to arts events as a family and watch the creative responses unfold when we return home.

There is plenty to choose from this summer, with a bunch of Christmas gigs coming up followed by family-friendly events at Fringe World and Perth Festival.

If you are looking for some divine carols you can’t go past The Giovanni Consort’s Rejoice Carols by Candlelight, at St Andrew’s Subiaco on 10 December. The free WASO Christmas Spectacular at RAC Arena on 11 December will be an enormous singalong to festive classics, or if jazz is more your thing check out the new WA Jazz Project’s debut on 16 December: A Very Jazzy Christmas.

Once the silly season is over there’s nothing better than the slower pace of early January, before everything cranks up again. It is a great time for a lazy Sunday Music session on the lawn at the Fremantle Arts Centre listening to local music, or snuggling up to a family-friendly movie at one of Perth’s Top 5 Outdoor Cinemas. For a fancy night out together head to see the Wizard of Oz at Crown which opens 31 December.

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre launch their new puppet show Carnival of the Animals on January 10, promising a unique and theatrical interpretation of Sain-Saëns’ classic music, which will be performed live on two grand pianos.

A man and woman wearing red clown wigs and holding a small puppet are surrounded by bubbles
‘The Bubble Show’ at Fringe WORLD promises every kind of bubble you can imagine. Photo supplied

The festival season unfolds from January to March. There is so much on, and to save you getting overwhelmed, here are my top five FRINGE WORLD and Perth Festival shows for families:

  • FRINGE WORLD The Bubble Show runs 14-30 January at The Pleasure Garden. Expect shadow bubbles, illuminated bubbles, square bubbles, smoke bubbles, fire bubbles (you get the picture) and a lovely story about a lonely Dr Bubble who sits in his laboratory making bubbles until one day he creates a magic bubble that brings a lifeless puppet to life.
  • FRINGE WORLD Dreams of a Lonely Planet runs Jan 20-22 at the State Theatre Centre. Three dance-theatre artists and a live sound composer bring to life the abstract story of a young boy’s journey to the “Lonely Planet”, told through emotive movement, highly physicalized caricatures, shadow puppetry, and a simple transformative set design.
  • FRINGE WORLD CIRCUS the Show runs 15 January – 12 Feb at the Royale Theatre. This family circus show features illusions, acrobats, jugglers, aerialists, an endearing clown with a 6ft balloon, and side-splitting comedy that will apparently “send any grown man running for the toilet”!
  • PERTH FESTIVAL Patch’s Lighthouse runs 15-20 Feb at the University of WA. An Adelaide theatre group have created a series of interconnected rooms, each full of hands-on experiences that explore a different property of light. The show is part installation, part scientific quest, part rave and offers the kind of magic that only interactive theatre can.
  • PERTH FESTIVAL The Smallest Stage runs 23-26 February at the State Theatre Centre. This is a story for parents and children nine and over to share. It deals with uncomfortable truths but handles them with tenderness, interspersed with funny and colourful stories of the alternate superheroes that Kim created for his sons while in prison.

Have a fabulous summer!

Pictured top: The Perth Festival’s interactive show ‘Patch’s Lighthouse’ explores the different properties of light. Photo: Matt Byrne

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Author —
Rosalind Appleby

Rosalind is an arts journalist, author and speaker. She was co-managing editor and founding board member of Seesaw Magazine 2018 – 2023, is author of Women of Note, and has written for The West Australian, The Guardian, The Australian, Limelight magazine and Opera magazine (UK). She loves park percussion instruments.

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