Our Charitable Projects
Did you know that we’re a charity? In addition to our 430,000 audience members we engage over 25,000 people of all ages each year in our learning and outreach projects. We focus on making our theatres places for everyone to enjoy, enriching lives and supporting our local community to learn, take part and be inspired.
Relaxed Performances: Theatre for all
We host several relaxed performances each year which are specially adapted for the needs of children and adults with complex additional needs. Having hosted the first ever relaxed theatre performance in Scotland in 2012, all three of or venues now offer shows where the audience can feel free to move around, make noise, come in and out of the auditorium whenever they need to and even dance in the aisles. We reduce the sensory intensity of the show, provide transport bursaries and have lots of extra trained staff on hand to help support the teachers and carers.
“This incredible opportunity allows pupils from across the school to come together as friends and enjoy something that would not be possible without the amazing effort of you and your team. Their reactions to the performance were wonderful; I think that our staff team spent more time marvelling at their faces, their laugher, ooo’s and aaa’s than anything else.” – Teacher, Braidburn
“As always the theatre staff were extremely welcoming and accommodating and did their best to ensure all the pupils were comfortable and supported in seeing the show. These shows are always very positive experiences for our children; it was lovely to see lots of smiles and hear wonderful vocalisations from the pupils and we are very grateful for the opportunity to be involved.“ - Teacher, Oaklands
If you’d like to find out more about the performances, please contact Cerin Richardson on firstname.lastname@example.org
We are grateful to Cash for Kids, the Walter Scott Foundation, the Cruden Foundation Ltd and our Friends and Group bookers for supporting our programme of Relaxed performances.
Forget-Me-Not: Making our theatres dementia-friendly
Forget-me-not is a three year project to make our theatres supportive and welcoming venues for people living with dementia and their carers. Having consulted with experts and people living with dementia, we have made adjustments to our buildings and processes, trained our staff, forged partnerships and created a packed programme of activities and performances in our theatres and out in the community to enable those with dementia to participate in fun, enriching activities with their peers, their carers and families.
You can find out more about the activities on offer here.
We are very grateful to the Life Changes Trust and the William Grant Foundation for supporting this work.
Panto Presents: bringing the magic of Panto to the Sick Kids
In Edinburgh, nothing quite says Christmas like the King’s Panto and children continue to be delighted by it year after year. We decided to bring some Panto Magic to the Sick Kids Hospital for those children who are too ill to leave their wards. The Panto Presents Project provides activity packs for the children to play with, storytelling sessions, craft workshops all themed around the panto and mini-version of the panto performed in the hospital. They even receive a visit from our Panto stars!
We are very grateful to Awards for All and Friends and Patrons of the theatres for supporting this work.
The Awfey Huge Fantastic Variety Show
Starring children and young people from all state special schools in Edinburgh, the Awfey Huge Fantastic Variety Show is a showcase of talented performers and artists with additional needs. Professional artists work with the children in their schools over a number of weeks to create a unique new piece - dance, animations, film, drama, puppetry or music. These are performed or screened at the Festival Theatre in front of a huge audience – last year hosted by panto stars Grant Stott and Andy Gray. The project gives supported opportunities for these young people to explore their creativity, learn new skills and gain confidence and well as having a lot of fun with their class!
We are grateful to the Cruden Foundation Ltd and the Cordis Charitable Trust for supporting this project.
Start aims to raise confidence, skills and aspirations in schools based in areas of multiple deprivation. Over 300 children who have never previously visited the theatre, are given the chance to see professional shows, take part in workshops in their schools to develop skills in poetry, creative writing, clowning, puppetry or dance. They are supported to produce a piece of work in response to the show they have seen which is exhibited in their local arts centre. Forthview Primary School have even had books of the children’s poems and short stories published!
“Wow! That was out of this world!…Thank you for giving us this epic experience.” Junior, P7B, Pirniehall Primary School
The Attic Collective
The Attic Collective is a free talent development initiative to support young artists at the beginning of their career. With training from our world-class visiting artists and in-house experts, and performance opportunities in ambitious full-scale shows as part of our theatre programme, it offers a comprehensive, structured programme recruited on talent rather than income
‘Fizzing with righteous anger and frothing with near-the-knuckle humour, the Attic Collective’s Lysistrataat the King’s is a breath of fresh air and an undeniable statement of intent.’ All Edinburgh Theatre
Find out more about the collective here.
We are grateful to our Friends and Patrons for supporting The Attic Collective.
DanceFest is an annual celebration of Youth Dance showcasing the talent of performers from across Scotland. Groups from national and local dance organisations, schools and colleges present work on the biggest stage in Scotland and all styles of Dance are represented including Classical Indian dance, contemporary, jazz, tap and Integrated performances demonstrating disability led practice.
“I feel pretty excited, but even if they laugh I'll still feel proud of myself – I did something and I achieved something and I'll feel pretty proud of myself.” - Student participant