Kids theatre review: Celeste’s Circus (3 stars)

Kids theatre review: Celeste’s Circus

Puppetry and pretend French in circus-themed show for pre-school children

A micro-play for pre-school children who are old enough to fix their attention on a performer even just for a few minutes, Celeste’s Circus works on two levels. One, for the children, because it revels in a sense of visual invention which offers gleeful surprise reveals and pocket spectacle, with a set that could probably fit inside a small suitcase. And the other for the adults, who find themselves amused by Celeste’s (played by lone performer, Francisca Morton of FAUX Theatre, dressed in attention-grabbing red) pretend Gallic chatter.

‘I said “sit”,’ she chastises a paper dog on her small tabletop set, before clearing its ‘mess’ into a bag and depositing it into a helpful parent’s change bag. Nods like this, delivered in a thick 'Allo 'Allo! accent, keep the kids’ carers amused, but it’s the simply-performed and complexly-created visual elements that deserve the most applause.

These include dogs flipping a ball courtesy of an origami sleight of hand; a hippo walking a high-wire line, and a shy performing seal popping out of a top hat. All brief and boldly-enacted little visual tableaux which, like the much cooed-over bubble shower at the end, play on the sponge-like imaginations of their target audience.

Seen at Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Edinburgh, Tue 14 Apr. Touring Scotland until Sat 18 Apr.

Celeste's Circus

Following Celeste under the big top as her cast of endearing animals emerge one by one. A charming and engaging first trip to the circus especially for very young children (0–5 years).

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