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New plays and old favourites for the kids

Hayden Murphy previews shows that highlight new talent and the international dimension.

* Aged 5-9: With teacherparent, start in the new venue in Chambers Street, the Famous Grouse House. For morning mayhem it hosts either Mr Boom (August 19-30) or Hullaballoo's The Man and the Mountain (August 17-31). Alternatively there is song and magic in A Dinosaur in My Shoe, with Leon Rosselson and Ian Saville: (August 8-24, Hill Street).

* Aged 10-12: Benefit from the usually reliable Leicestershire Youth Arts with Pinocchio and Carries War (August 12-24: St Anne's Community Centre). For the first week only (August 11-17), I recommend the one-hour, twice-a-morning Circus Workshops in the Grouse House.

* Aged 13-15: A must, from Kenya, Mapapa Acrobats (August 8-31: Pleasance). Denis Rafter's one-man show O' Shakespeare (August 7-31: Overseas House). National Youth Music Theatre Beggar's Opera (August 12-26: George Square). Again for only the first week, Parnossos from the Netherlands with a glorious romp around Moll Flanders (August 12-17: Theatre Workshop). A local group with a commendable record for musicals is Forth Children's Theatre, this year with Oklahoma! (August 9-17: Inverleith Church Hall).

* Aged 16-18: The emphasis is on new plays. Nicola McCartney, a success in recent years, co-authors (with Lucy McLellan) and directs Entertaining Angels (August 20-31: Traverse). Rona Munro premieres Piper's Cave (August 11-31: Grouse House). Cris Hannan's new play Shining Soul is at the Traverse (August 14-31). Christina Byrnes, who demonstrated a fine talent last year, has Real Live Girls in a production by Newcastle University (August 11-24: Marcos).

For the innovative and the experimental try Parallel Lines from Theatre Cryptic which puts a song into Joyce (August 8-18: Traverse). Pan Pan's Tailors Requiem is an amazing "almost silent" play where the berserk replaces the bland (August 19-31: Grouse House). Peepolykus sounds like fun with Let the Donkey Go (August 7-31: Pleasance). For the family culturing together attend Dubliners from centenary-celebrating Edinburgh University Players (August 12-24: Bedlam). The QMW production of The Oresteia (August 18-24: St Columbas by the Castle). Communicado's Portrait of a Woman (August 11-29: Traverse). The great Georgian Film Actors Studio in King Lear (August 13-18: Assembly Rooms).

And, if Shakespeare will only strike once in your programming, do not miss Poland's Teatre Ludowy with Macbeth (August 12-26: Moray House).

In the absence of a "proper" Book Festival browse among the stalls at the Edinburgh Book Fair (August 5-31: Roxburghe Hotel. Admission Free). If all of this seems exhausting join at dusk Theatrum Botanicum for a Tibetan torchlit procession through the Botanic Gardens (8.30pm: August 10-24).

Enquiries about Fringe-in-school ticket details, including block-bookings, to 0131 226 52575259.

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