Features Published 28 August 2017

A mini Edinburgh dialogue

“Mama said you have to share”: Joakim and Katarina (aged 3.5 and 1.5) present a joint review of their festival experience.

Duska Radosavljevic


I am Joakim. I am three and a half, though I like to say ‘I’m one’ – which really annoys my mum. She keeps saying: ‘No, you’re three’ and I keep saying ‘I’m one’, and she says ‘OK, you can be number one like Thomas the Tank Engine, but you’re three years old’. Hurray! My sister however is one years old. She is a baby. And I’m a big boy.

K: Me, me, me – I am one and a half!

J: No, Katanina, it’s my turn – I am doing the article. You can do Twitter.

K: No, I don’t want to do Twitter anymore, I have only something like 17 followers and it’s a bit lonely.

J: I don’t care. This is my article.

K: It’s Exeunt, Joakim, they are famous for doing articles in multiple voices, and Mama said you have to share.

J: Okay, but I’m first!
K: Okay.

J: We went to Edinburgh. We took this extremely long car journey which baby Katanina didn’t like at all.

K: No, I didn’t like it at all; next year, I want to fly!

J: And I kept asking ‘Where are we going?’ and Mama and Papa kept saying Edinburgh, and Mama said we’ve been here every year of my life, but I don’t remember, even though there is evidence [see Exeunt reports from 2015, 2016, and 2017] to prove it.

K: We didn’t like it in Edinburgh because Mama kept disappearing to see shows and when she disappeared it wasn’t like peekaboo, it took ages for her to come back again.

J: But she took us to see some shows, which was nice!

K: Yeah, I suppose so.

J: We went to see the bubble show – it was cool! I wanted to see it every day again.

K: It was called The Amazing Bubble Man. It was a show where one man was blowing bubbles and some boys and girls from the audience helped him.

J: Yeah, I don’t know why they call it The Amazing Bubble Man – I think Bubble Show is a much better title. It must be an American thing. (He was American, the Bubble Man, we know because he made a joke about his president, that orange thing you might know from the news).

K: It was fun! But a bit too long for me.

J: A bit too long for me too. My news is that I am now a big boy who needs to go to the toilet, I don’t wear nappies anymore, so I needed to leave before the end to go to the toilet. And that’s when they all shouted with great excitement!

K: We did! Probably with relief that it was coming to an end. I much preferred the show we saw the following day.

J: Yes, the doggy! That was really good! We were engaged all the way through.
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K: (We could only see one children’s show a day because they are all on at the same time, before lunchtime, which is a pity for those of us who don’t like to sleep and need an excuse to do something else…)

J: The doggy was called Oskar and he lived in the mountains in Switzerland. And there was snow. And one day he got bored and decided to go for an adventure. I like adventures!

K: Yes, he wasn’t very sensible, was he? He got into trouble, he got chased by a fox and then fell into a hole, and then his grandma had to go looking for him.

J: And she was calling him, ‘Oskar, wo bist du!? Oskar, where are you!’ just like my oma in Germany. And I liked that.
K: And I liked the songs. And the grandma wanted us to sing and mime the snow falling and other things, but someone here didn’t like us singing and dancing along, so he didn’t let us!
J: It’s embarrassing! You have to assess the situation first before you join in.

K: No, Joakim, I am happy just joining in. And, anyway, you went on stage and touched the props! So?

J: That’s because when the grandma turned over her basket in the end a dog bone fell out and nobody noticed it, and I really wanted Oskar to have it.

K: And I wanted to touch his nose. And the fox’s nose. And then I waved ‘bye’. It was sad to go away.

J: It was! But it was just long enough, that show. And very fast. And comfortly.

K: What?
J: Comfortly.
K: What’s that?
J: It’s my own word.

K: What does it mean?

J: A bit like cozy.

K: Aha. Okay. And then what did we do?
J: Oh, we explored the lights in Gilded Balloon garden. And Mama had to run away, and we didn’t like it.

K: No, we didn’t. And we gave Papa a really hard time – he had to take us to Traverse theatre to wait for mama to come out. And he gave us lots of chocolate to keep us busy. And I liked that!

J: Oh, yes, and we didn’t tell the readers how the day before we went to the National Museum of Scotland – which was great!


K: Oh, yes, I liked dancing to the live Scottish music in the foyer.

J: It’s called ceilidh. (Mama just had to look that up for me). I loved the rocket and the racing car in there. And I didn’t want to leave.

K: It was good, but not as good as the big garden!

J: Ah, the Royal Botanic Garden! That had much more space to run, so definitely better!

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K: And the show was okay.

J: Ah, yes, I loved the show. It was called Calvinball. And the boy in it – the actor – kept shouting ‘new game, new game’ and he taught me to play the kazoo!

K: Yeah, that took a while! (Eye roll).

J: But I did it! I did it! And you didn’t!

K: I was not interested. I liked the orange balls, and the dancing.

J: And hide and seek! That was great! I loved that best.

K: It was a bit short though – shorter than the other two.

J: It was like being in nursery, but even more fun – because you don’t have to eat and sleep and tidy up.

K: We did tidy up!

J: We did, but it was so much fun I didn’t notice.

K: So that was it for us in Edinburgh, this year!

J: Three shows is a good number! New game!

K: It was just enough, and I was ready to go home, though I didn’t like the journey back either.

J: At least they let us watch iPad in the car!

K: They did! ( thoughtful pause)  Is iPad more or less fun than seeing shows?

J: I don’t know, I like both – they are different.

K: Me too.

J: That was it, dear readers of Exeunt, hope you all have much fun until next year!

K: Bye bye!


Duska Radosavljevic

Duska Radosavljevic is a dramaturg, teacher and scholar. She is the author of Theatre-Making: Interplay Between Text and Performance in the 21st Century (2013) and editor of The Contemporary Ensemble: Interviews with Theatre-Makers (2013). Duska has also contributed to The Stage Newspaper since 1998 as well as a number of academic and online publications in English and in Serbian.



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