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The Lost Lending Library – Edinburgh International Festival Review

Sourcing marvellous children’s shows during the month of August can be a minefield in Edinburgh, but one that stood out for imaginative wonder, inspiration and interaction comes from Punchdrunk Enrichment’s The Lost Lending Library

Apprentice Poppy – who works for the library and is keen to become a guardian of a department – introduces the Lost Lending Library to the children of Edinburgh but has failed to locate the door to invite the children in. Now, this is not just any library. At 314 floors high with 78 spiral-side departments, the library houses the largest collection of books and stories in the world. The books are brought to life and heavily decorated according to the story’s location: masks and vibrant colours adorn the books set in Mexico, and the books set at sea are covered in rope. 

To find the library, the children first have to work together with their imaginations, to conjure a story that will eventually be published and added to its shelves. The desk assistant that emerges then produces a riddle that encouraged the kids to scope out Church Hill Theatre to the answer it. Once they find the answer to one riddle, they must solve another and another until  they eventually locate the door to the Lost Library.

Credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

Once in, they are greeted by the Libary’s Miscellaneous Department Guardian, Mr Peabody, who tells them a fine tale about spiders amidst the rumbling and unsettling noises. As the library is nomadic, it jumps from location to location, travelling to different cities and for the first time, we’ve been able to witness it here in Edinburgh, Scotland even, via the Edinburgh International Festival. It’s also imagination-inducing, wonderous and super-stimulating with aural and visual delights, and will make your heart full as you watch the kids entertain being in the library of their dreams. A must for any child between six and eleven. 

The Lost Lending Library is at Church Hill Theatre Studio till 27th August as part of Edinburgh International Festival

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