Entertainment & Culture

Southbank Centre marks 20 years of Imagine Children’s Festival with an accessible line-up

Imagine Children’s Festival is back at the Southbank Centre this February half term, celebrating 20 years of families enjoying all kinds of art and culture together with a huge range of accessible events. Find out what the festival includes, the accessibility of the different events and how you can take part.

The Imagine Children’s Festival is championing every child. It includes a wide range of accessible events for a variety of needs, allowing everyone to experience the very best children’s theatre, music, literature and, most importantly, full-on fun.

With more than 160 events jam-packed into 12 days and more than 50% of the festival completely FREE, Imagine is the biggest festival of its kind in London.

Imagine Children’s Festival accessibility

Imagine’s 20th year sees a focus on celebrating all that makes every child unique. The festival features British Sign Language (BSL), Touch Tours, Makaton, Relaxed Performances and performances for SEND.

Southbank Centre is accessible to all, and level access is available to all of our venues. All ticket offices, toilets, performance and exhibition spaces at the Southbank Centre are accessible, as are the cafes, bars and restaurants across the site. Assistance, including guiding, is available for blind and visually impaired visitors.

Take a look at the Southbank Centre’s accessibility in this short video, and visit southbankcentre.co.uk/access for further details and to join our FREE Access Scheme.

To book tickets for BSL services and Touch Tours, email accesslist@southbankcentre.co.uk.

Accessible performances at Imagine Children’s Festival

Peppa Pig: My First Concert – 11th to 13th – BSL

Cartoon of Peppa Pig on stage with Mummy Pig and Daddy pig playing instruments - Peppa Pig: My First Concert atImagine at Children's Festival 2022 at Southbank Centre

The multi-arts line-up for 2022 includes some of the best-loved faces from children’s literature and television. Kids can join the beloved Peppa Pig, along with Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and George, as they discover how music comes together and enjoy some trotter-tapping orchestral music in Peppa Pig: My First Concert.

The event on Sunday 13th February at 10.30am is BSL interpreted.

Growing UP, Making Mistakes and Becoming YOU! – 12th – BSL

Drum and bass band Rudimental’s Leon Rolle and writer Derek Owusu discuss their new book About This Boy and their own life stories in Growing Up, Making Mistakes and Becoming YOU!.

It is a celebration of finding the confidence to be yourself and pursue your dreams. This event is BSL interpreted.

The Dark – 12th and 13th – Touch Tours

A drawing of a small boy wearing blue pyjamas opening a door into a completely dark room with steps down to it - The Dark at Imagine Children's Festival 2022 at Southbank Centre

Developed in collaboration with researchers, medical practitioners, and blind and visually impaired children at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Southampton General, The Dark tells the story of a brave young boy befriending darkness. It features vibrant new choreography and a thrilling soundscape of live music.

Touch Tours are available for this show to allow people to touch the sets, props and costumes.

Wellbeing Wind Down – 12th to 20th – Makaton – FREE

The fun-filled days wind down with daily mindfulness and yoga in the Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom, run by mindfulness experts from the Tangled Feet theatre company’s Mindfulness Project.

Using yoga, concentration and mindfulness exercises, Wellbeing Wind Down is an ideal way for families to de-stress while stimulating young imagination and creativity. This event is Makaton interpreted.

Palaver Party – 14th – BSL – FREE

An image of a group of performers on stage wearing colourful clothes throwing confetti into the air - Palaver Party at Imagine Children's Festival 2022 at Southbank Centre

Palaver Party welcomes everything that makes us unique in a jubilant drag and cabaret performance for all the family; everyone is invited and free to be who they want to be at this party! This event is BSL interpreted.

Josephine – 16th – Relaxed Performance

Josephine tells Josephine Baker’s story with passion, wit and jazz. This play goes from the slums of St Louis via the bright lights of Paris and into the hearts of the world. The 12.30pm performance is a Relaxed Performance.

Little Murmurs – 17th

A man wearing a beige shirt and white jeans dancing in front of a dark wall with white birds flying across it - Little Murmurs at Imagine Children's Festival 2022 at Southbank Centre

In a performance based on the true story of a child’s struggle with letters and words, Little Murmur reimagines the challenges of struggling to process the world around you.

It is a mesmerising visual treat for all the family, as audiences are immersed in a world of dance, technology and illustration.

Julia Donaldson and Friends: A Pocketful of Songs – Saturday 19th

Julia Donaldson presents a musical show filled with much-loved characters, including Zog, The Highway Rat, Superworm and The Gruffalo.

It is showing at 12 noon and 3.15pm. The event at 12 noon is Bsl interpreted.

Escape with Jacqueline Wilson – 20th – BSL

Jacqueline Wilson wearing a black top and glasses standing in front of white shelves filled with books - Imagine Children's Festival 2022 at Southbank Centre
Jacqueline Wilson – July 2012 . ©James Jordan

Escape with Jacqueline Wilson sees the bestselling children’s author share how she started her writing career, as she introduces her new books, The Runaway Girls and The Primrose Railway Children. This event is BSL interpreted.

A Morning Michael Rosen – 20th – BSL

Celebrated poet, author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen reads a selection of his best-loved poems and stories, while introducing his new picture book, Sticky McStickstick. This event is BSL interpreted.

More FREE accessible events at Imagine

Other FREE accessible events at Imagine include:

  • The Origin of Carmen Power – 9th to 20th – In this playful online quest, monsters, magic powers and unicorns help share Carmen’s real-life experience of cancer. This event is Captioned.
  • LunchBox Jukebox – 12th to 20th – is for kids to curate a DJ set, and many more! The event on Tuesday 15 February at 12.30pm is BSL interpreted.
  • Pop Up Projects: Stories to Make a Difference – 15th – Through craft, storytelling, live illustration and a reading of A Swallow’s Kiss, explore the 10 Stories to Make a Difference collection. The event at 10.30am is BSL interpreted.
  • a family party at Do Your Own Thing DJ Takeover with Heart n Soul – 18th. This event is Makaton interpreted.

Visit the Southbank Centre website to see the full line up for Imagine Children’s Festival at the Southbank Centre, from Wednesday 9th to Sunday 20th.

Join in the conversations by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instragram, using the hashtag #ImagineChildrensFestival.

By Southbank Centre

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