Inclusive dance show for younger audience gains high acclaim at Edinburgh Festival

Inclusive dance show for younger audience gains high acclaim at Edinburgh Festival

A dance show aimed at pre-school children has won a prestigious ‘Three Weeks Editors’ award’ at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Four go Wild in Wellies is a playful look at how friendships are built, broken and mended and features tents that have a life of their own, bobble hats, and lots of fun in wellies.

The show is intended for children aged 3-5 years and their families and is performed by Indepen-dance 4, Scotland’s inclusive professional dance company. The ‘Three Weeks Editors’ awards’ are presented to ten people and companies who make the Edinburgh Festival extra special. Four go Wild in Wellies was noted for being ‘gently enchanting’ and ‘spot on’ for the 3-5 age range. 

The show was choreographed by Stevie Prickett, Senior Lecturer in Dance and Physical Theatre at the University of Cumbria and directed by Anna Newell. Stevie joined the university last year after working for 20 years as a freelance performer, choreographer and lecturer on a number of shows and projects, including work for younger audiences.

“Working with this company was a fantastic opportunity and it was great to be part of making more work for this age range. I’m delighted for Indepen-Dance 4 that the show has been so successful as dance is a great way to engage with children of this age.”

Before featuring at the Fringe, the show has toured all over the country and even featured at the Bangkok International Children’s Festival earlier this summer.

Before joining the University of Cumbria, Stevie worked on a five-year performance research project called Reassembled, Slighty Askew, a fully immersive art installation, which aimed to represent an experience of a patient descending into in a coma and re-emerging with a brain injury.

The show has proved so popular that it is has recently finished touring venues in North America and Canada and will be heading to Hong Kong in 2019. It has also attracted appreciation from the medical community, who are using the installation as a training tool for junior doctors and medics, having recently completed a residency at Mount Sinai Teaching Hospital, New York.

 “I became involved in Reassembled having previously collaborated with writer Shannon Yee. The creative team were eager to find a new and innovative approach to telling Shannon’s personal story and it’s amazing the show has been recognised internationally as well as at home”, he said.

“The success of these projects gives the dance department at the University of Cumbria a wealth of material and contacts to draw upon to enhance our students’ experience. This ensures that dance at University of Cumbria is at the forefront of current professional practice.”