Every year, for the past seven consecutive years, the Bahrain Summer Festival has kept families entertained throughout the slower, hotter island months with a jam-packed schedule of performances, activities, workshops and more.
This year, under the slogan of ‘Our Year of Heritage’, the summer extravaganza takes place at the Nakhool Garden near Sitra Mall with your friendly festival mascots Nakhool and Nakhoola. The organisers, the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, promises a line-up of amazing shows and events with renowned local, regional and international acts that aim to entertain and educate audiences of all ages, as well as facilitate cultural exchange and dialogue.
Festival in brief
Dates: July 30-August 31
Theme: Our Year of Heritage
Number of main events: Eight including musical and physical theatre, vocal performances and street dance acts
Mascots: Nakhool and Nakhoola
The edition: Seventh
Contact details: 8000 8089 (hotline) or 1756 9104
Tickets: Available from Virgin Megastore in City Centre Bahrain (1717 2300)
Until August 31
Go for: Edutainment
Our favourite summer mascots – Nakhool and Nakhoola – return to their garden to accompany kids on a month-long journey of fun-filled discovery. The garden provides a family-friendly atmosphere through a wide range of fun activities, creative workshops and competitions held over the duration of the festival.
Timings: 4pm-10pm. Minimum age: two years. Near Sitra Mall.
Until August 3
Go for: Physical theatre
This theatrical performance hails from Australia and the US and is a surreal and whimsical tale of the moon’s caretaker as he struggles to re-light the moon which just went out. Created by playwright-actor Wolfe Bowart, this family-friendly journey combines circus, theatre and film with poetry and comedy. Ticketed event.
Timings: 4.30pm and 7.30pm. Minimum age: six years. Cultural Hall, Bahrain National Museum, Al Fateh Corniche. www.lalaluna.com.
Barney Live! World Tour
Go for: Musical theatre
Everybody’s favourite purple dinosaur and his friends are back for another amazing adventure. Cousin Riff has sent a globe of the world to Barney in the mail and now Barney, BJ and Baby Bop must use it to follow the clues and find his cousin. On the way, they travel through France, Japan, India, China and Mexico and learn about the language and culture while they’re there. Ticketed event.
Timings: 4.30pm and 7.30pm (August 10-13); 11am, 4.30pm and 7.30pm (August 14-15). Minimum age: two years. Cultural Hall, Bahrain National Museum, Al Fateh Corniche. www.barneylive.me.
Master Pieces by Ballet Philippines
Go for: Dance
Artistic director Paul Alexander Morales leads this performance, which is a celebration of one of the Philippines most respected cultural institutions. The show features a selection of the company’s most acclaimed works throughout its 45-year history from classical and neo-classical to modern and contemporary dance pieces, and excerpts of modern ballets. Ticketed event.
Timings: 8pm. Minimum age: eight years. Bahrain National Theatre, Muharraq. www.ballet.ph.
Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music
Go for: Musical theatre
Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and all their Sesame Street friends share their love of music in this kid-friendly show. Join the gang as they start a band and discover ‘instruments’ they never knew existed – pots and spoons, bin lids and even cookie jars. The furry and feathered friends teach children how to create and enjoy music together. Ticketed event.
Timings: 4.30pm and 7.30pm. Minimum age: one year. Cultural Hall, Bahrain National Museum, Al Fateh Corniche. www.sesamestreetlive.com.
Go for: Music
Enjoy a performance by French musician, composer and improviser extraordinaire Thierry ‘Titi’ Robin who is noted for his signature style known as ‘Mediterranean music’, influenced by gypsy, Oriental and European cultures. He’s joined on-stage on stage by Moroccan musician Mehdi Nassouli.
Timings: 8pm. Minimum age: eight years. Cultural Hall, Bahrain National Museum, Al Fateh Corniche. www.titirobin.com.
Beat Bumper: Wrecking Crew Orchestra
Go for: Street dance
‘Beat Bumper’ is the latest show from innovative Japanese street dance troupe Wrecking Crew Orchestra. The Osaka-based eight-member crew shot to international fame with their choreographed sets that are performed in the dark while wearing illuminated costumes. Ticketed event. Timings: 7pm. Minimum age: five years. Cultural Hall, Bahrain National Museum, Al Fateh Corniche. www.wreckingcreworchestra.com.