The 2014 International Youth Arts Festival was given the royal seal of approval this week, during the official launch event at the Rose Theatre.

Festival organisers Creative Youth welcomed Prince Edward to the High Street venue on Saturday, for the Raise The Roof gala evening.

The Earl of Wessex, Creative Youth's honorary president, met organisers and enjoyed several taster performances of upcoming shows on July 12.

The event heralded the beginning of two weeks' worth of drama, dance, acrobatics and music taking place across the borough, all performed by young artists from all over the world. The festival began in earnest on June 5 with a week of workshops, but Saturday saw events take a spectacular step up.

Arial dancers from Circus Suburbia returned once more to the Bentall Centre, to perform another breathtaking ribbon dance from the shopping complex's iconic glass ceiling. At the Rose, the inaugural Ignition Dance Festival came to a close with a BalletBoyz-produced showcase of newly commissioned dance pieces.

Surrey Comet:

Guests at the Raise The Roof gala night were treated to several taster performances

At Kingston College's Arthur Cotterrell Theatre, audiences were treated to the world premier of Telephonic, a sonic landscape using everyday objects to create a narrative through sound.

And there was live music and entertainment throughout the weekend in Market Place, as Creative Youth and Our Friends Records held the first of two K Town Live shows.

Creative Youth artistic director Aniela Zaba said: "Kingston has been on fire the past few days, beating with music, laughter, theatre, circus, carnival and a delighted fun and warm feeling of joy and togetherness.

"Raise The Roof left everyone with huge smiles and a sense of delight and astonishment, as well as anticipation of what is to come in the next couple of weeks."

The festival continues this week with a variety of shows. Highlights include: 

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

An all-Mongolian cast performs Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic musical, having previously appeared on stage at the State Opera and Ballet Theatre in Ulaanbaatar.

Arthur Cotterell Theatre Tonight, 8pm. £8

The Common Land

A humorous and touching one man show by Fine Mess Theatre, telling the story of a sheltered farmhand's son.

One of two show's picked by Creative Youth from the Brighton Fringe.

Rose Theatre studio

Wednesday July 16 at 5pm and Thursday July 17 at 8pm. £8


The second pick from Brighton. A sound recordist disappears, leaving behind his equipment.

Recordings from his equipment document an otherworldly ceremony seemingly conducted near water.

A team of artists and performers attempt to translate his recordings, documenting an otherworldly ceremony, seemingly near water.

All Saints Church, Market Place Friday, July 18, 8pm. £8

Strung Out

Surrey Comet:

An ariel dance show about two sisters trapped in a collapsed building, who escape from their surroundings into their imaginations.

Arthur Cotterell Theatre Wednesday July 16 at 6pm and Saturday July 26 12.30pm £5


Maciej Pawlowski Musical School presents a musical exploring the roaring 20s, and the efforts of western men to discover eastern culture.

Rose Theatre Tonight, July 15, 8pm; Thursday, July 17 5.30pm; Sunday, July 20 8.30pm £10 (pit cushions £5)

For a full list of events, click here.