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.