FOR the second year running, children are in charge of the running of an annual south London arts festival.
Now in its 13th year, the Imagine Children's Festival will take over the Southbank Centre for two weeks over half term. It will be transformed by children for children and will host the top names in children's literature, dance, theatre and art.
This year it is bigger and better than ever with more than 100 free and ticketed events across the whole site.
It will be a chance for children of all ages, their families and schools to immerse themselves in literature, the creative arts, theatre and workshops.
The programme ranges from literature to jazz, site-specific theatre to poetry, visual arts and classical music and boasts a stellar line up including Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman, Jacqueline Wilson, Sir Quentin Blake, Francesca Simon and Catherine Bennett.
At the heart of Imagine is the idea to create a festival for children, made by children.
A group of children from local schools are shaping the programme and will infuse the festival with their creativity and ideas.
The popular Kids Takeover will see children managing the day-to-day running of the festival, selling programmes, assisting light technicians, making tannoy announcements and ensuring shows start on time.
Highlights include a special sleepover on the iconic Royal Festival Hall stage, events with leading authors and illustrators including Jacqueline Wilson, Francesca Simon and Patrick Ness and theatre highlights for all ages from Tube, suitable for those aged 6 months to two-years-old, Captain Flynn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, for those aged four and above, to Bryony Kimming’s That Catherine Bennett Show, challenging today’s role models for eight-year-old girls.
There will also be three special Dressing Up Days where visitors are encouraged to dig into dressing up boxes and come to the Festival wearing their finest themed costumes.
One of the days is the Great Enormo Theme Park Day which is an amazing new theme park that allows its visitors to travel through time on fantastically fun rides.
Visitors can come as a cowboy, spaceman, pirate, sailor or wasp and be one of the characters they might encounter on the journey.
As well as the programmed events every day during the event there will be Voicelab, storytelling and have-a-go workships, creative craft and writing workshops.
The Imagine Children's Festival starts on February 10 and runs until February 24.
Visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk for full listings.