Kingsway, Miranda 22nd September – 8th October
St Marys, 13th – 29th October
They say never work with kids or animals in the theatre, presumably because an adult can’t complete with the cuteness factor. Having seen the Stardust Circus, I have to question that. Rather, never work with an overseasoned prima donna resting on her laurels – more later. No, the animals were engaging, the young performers were abundant and abundantly talented but the clowns stole the show – particularly the adults and the way in which they interacted with both the animals and the children.
The Stardust Circus has loads of family appeal. They offer a traditional circus with acrobats and tumblers, clowns and performing animals – acts that will surprise you. Humour abounds in all of the ground routines. Mischievous rebellion on the part of the animals, like the horse who refused to be saddled and the dog who gave his trainer his comeuppance, are seamlessly realized. There was audience participation, clean humour and positive rolemodelling as the performers were of differing bodyshapes and ages.
There were ponies, pigs, monkeys, goats, dogs and lions. My younger son lapped it all up while my recalcitrant teenager who was determined not to enjoy the show left in high spirits and grudgingly admitted he enjoyed it. Which act unanimously was considered the best by my company of tweets and teens? A trio of adult tumbling clowns head over heels for the same seating, The Vixers.
Another aspect of the show that really impressed me was that it was a unified effort that you see in family run businesses or historical acting troupes (think Moliere in 17th century France or the travelling commedia dell’ arte). The aerial acrobats sold popcorn before the show, doubled as clowns and pushed and rigged as stage hands. Everyone had multiple roles it seemed. The children performing are growing up with sawdust in their veins – or should I say, Stardust. The littlest clown making a cameo appearance looked to be about 4. Captivating my young charges was the highflying duo, Cassira. The grace and strength of 12 year old Cassius and 9 year old Talira was enchanting. I’d love to know how little time they spend with their electronic devices. All of the children of the circus certainly charmed with their skilful, playful and comic delivery.
But what of the overseasoned prima donna, resting on her laurels? Yes there was one but I wouldn’t be questioning her commitment – she is a lioness. The show opened with the performing lions. They did or refused to do their jumps to the delight of the audience and returned to their stools. Every now and again one of the more experienced lioness’ would turn around and gauge audience response. I could almost sense her saying, “Well, come on, give us a bigger hand, we don’t bite!”
Well worth a trip out 😊