Imaginarium used to good effect by Eastgate

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The Eastgate Theatre is preparing to turn inside out when the great Imaginarium festival of fun for young people takes over the building.

From Wednesday to Sunday, October 15-19, the Peebles venue will host workshops in everything from film making, to circus skills, craft making to comedy.

The festival includes daily storytelling and informal music sessions as well as performances by award-winning companies, both in the theatre and on the streets.

Set to be the busiest ever, this third Imaginarium kicks off on Wednesday, October 15, with would-be Spielbergs storyboarding their own five-minute film to be premiered in the theatre on the big screen on the following Sunday, led by Tom Swift, who studied animation at the University of Dundee, and began concentrating on film following a stint as assistant director for a Zombie movie.

Since then he has created all sorts of films including music videos, documentaries, film projects and VOMO (Voice of my Own) with youth clubs throughout the Borders.

He also directed the short film which accompanied Peebles’ winning Creative Place entry.

Tom is passionate about his craft.

He said: “This is an incredibly exciting prospect. Film is the magical coming together of imagination, observation and teamwork. Participants can channel their creative thoughts into a medium that is universal.

“Every film I have been involved in making has been a unique experience and this project at the Eastgate looks set to be the same. We’ll be making music videos for the marvellous Jack Hinks and the most exciting thing is that there are no rules.

“Imagination and vision are key. Everyone involved will get the opportunity to direct, produce and star in a selection of exciting and unique films.”

As well as headlining Imaginarium’s Big Gig on Wednesday evening, Jack Hinks will be in and around the Eastgate for the entire festival, playing Bothy Ballads to entertain visitors. About to release his third album, Jack has recently been gigging all over the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and was invited to play the main stage at Norfolk Music Festival.

The Imaginarium daytime activities centre on the indoor bothy, downstairs, where visitors can enjoy storytelling, readings by Peebles personalities, ballads performed by visiting minstrels and workshops making the beasties, flowers and bonkers birds which will invade the studio all week.

Meanwhile, the theatre will be the base for storytelling by Poppy Browne and her huge book, daily dance and circus skills workshops and a comedy masterclass.

Would-be circus performers are set to learn all sorts of skills as Moira Morrison holds daily Upside Down workshops in juggling, clowning and acrobatics, before everyone gets together to perform the Ultimate Upside Down Circus Show on the Saturday.

The performance programme this year is the strongest ever. Toto Tales perform their stunning Starbird (for everyone over three) on the Thursday at 12.30pm.

The Edinburgh Guide described it as possibly the most beautiful children’s show in the world.

On the Friday at 12.30pm, Tall Tales Theatre Company brings Emily Brown and The Thing to Peebles ... will anyone in town get any sleep ever again?

That evening, comedians Stephen Halkett, Billy Kirkwood, Viv Gee and Gary Dunn deliver Happy Laffy Hour, hilarious fun for everyone over six.

On the Saturday morning, Imaginarium spills out onto the streets of Peebles as Ramshacklicious Jack takes his shopping trolley on a theatrical musical walkabout, with periodic performances for pedestrians.

The theatre is the venue for Professor Heisenhoff’s Big Birthday Bash before it becomes the circus big top.

At 7pm, Theatre sans Frontieres presents its intriguing new show Heaven Eyes, for everyone over nine.

Imaginarium winds down in style on the Sunday when Tell Tale Hearts present two performances of Inside Out featuring the hunt for a lost hat, a sock dance and a mountain top rescue for everyone over two.

At 4pm the red carpet will be in place for the final event - the world premiere of Imaginarium’s five-minute films.

Imaginarium is part of the partnership between Peebles Creative Place 2014 and the Eastgate Theatre. For information and tickets, contact the Eastgate on 01721 725777, or