The pilot year explores a range of taster visual theatre, animation and puppetry opportunities delivered within local venue spaces and outdoors. The breadth of the programme hopes to demonstrate the variety of opportunities that our artforms can support.

Running from June 22 to March 23 as the initial year of our Captivate programme in Edinburgh West we have established the following outcomes as a starting point for the development of this work, and aim to achieve these through delivery of three projects over this period.

  • Support diversification of art forms and performance opportunities that are available within Wester Hailes and Clovenstone
  • Specifically increase opportunities for families to engage together
  • Develop opportunities for New Scots to engage with WHALE and our other community partners settings
  • Offer performance that is accessible to neurodiverse, disabled and d/Deaf audiences and that offers relaxed opportunities for engagement
  • Reduce carbon impacts of touring by supporting artists to commit to regional micro tours, spending longer in the community

We expect to reach 25-30 families,  60-80 children and young people and 25 parents or carers through the project.

We will aim to engaege 11 Edinburgh based artists and 3-4 technical/specialist practitioners in paid work.

We will present 8-10 workshop opportunities and 5 performances taking place across the community venues that will be free to access.

Our pilot activity focuses on the communities of Wester Hailes and Clovenstone. WHALE Arts are a community-led arts charity and social enterprise, set up by local people in 1992. We have previously worked with WHALE and the other partner organisations we will be delivery work with through our Puppet Animation Festival programming and in piloting of our AnimATE project sessions in 2021.

In June 22 we carried out creative consultations in Wester Hailes Library, WHALE Arts and Clovenstone with families about what they imagined a creative place to be and what they’d like to see in their communitiy, as well as exploring their experiences of animation, puppetry and theatre so far.


Watch our video to find out more about Hibernate’s performance residency and engagment programme – one of our projects delivered in Edinburgh West last year with puppetry company Tortoise in a Nutshell and community partners:

Pilot Programme:

July 22

AnimATE Tue 19th July, WHALE Arts

Our AnimATE workshop returns to WHALE following our pilot in Edinburgh West last year. This summer edition sees our animators supporting families to create cut out animations and Edinburgh Food Social hosting pasta and sauce making sessions with final results being eaten as they watch their films on the big screen. Read more about AnimATE here.

Location: WHALE Arts, Clovenstone Community Centre

Partners: Edinburgh Food Social

Engagement: 10 families, approx 10 parents/carers, 20 children under 12

Local Artists:  Dominika Jackowska, Holly Summerson


Performance: The Swings Thurs 21st July, WHALE Arts

An outdoor performance from Edinburgh based aerial theatre company All or Nothing. Hosted by WHALE Arts at the kick about multi court in Wester Hailes. This free to access aerial day features performances of family friendly aerial show The Swings throughout the afternoon, as well as Come Try Fly sessions to give aerial silks a go and snacks and drinks provided by WHALE.

Performance: Stories Just in Case + family puppetry workshops

Wed 3rd August, Clovenstone Community Centre

Clovenstone Community Centre host puppet performances from Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre as part of their Summer offer for local families. Incorporating short performances and puppet making workshops for families to try together.


Engagement: 45 families, 45 parents/carers, 90-100 children and young people

Visiting Artists: Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre

Local Artists: All or Nothing

Location: Wester Hailes (outdoor), Clovenstone Community Centre (indoor)

Partners: WHALE Arts, Clovenstone Community Centre


FAUNA Installation Locations TBC, October/November


Performance: Hibernate + storytelling sessions + workshops 

Performances: 16th & 17th December 22, workshops throughout November/December.

December, WHALE Arts, Clovenstone Community Centre & Westerhailes Library

Pic Greg Macvean 19/11/2021 – Cumbernauld Theatre
Hibernate production shots

Tortoise in a Nutshell work with us to redevelop their puppet theatre show Hibernate for community spaces.

Carrying out open rehearsal and engagement activity throughout the period with characters from the show visiting Wester Hailes Library for special book bug and storytelling sessions, the family club at Clovenstone, The Welcoming arts groups and WHALE Arts Smarties group for themed puppet making.

The engagement period and redevelopment period will culminate in 3-4 community performances of the show at WHALE Arts, with a walking bus from Clovenstone available.

Engagement: 40 families, 40 parents/carers, 80-90 children and young people

Public Audience: 120

Local Artists: Tortoise in a Nutshell

Location: WHALE Arts, Clovenstone, Wester Hailes Library

Partners: Tortoise in a Nutshell, The Welcoming







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