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Circa's Carnival of the Animals

InReview

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Is there a more joyous sound than a roomful of children laughing and squealing with delight?

Circa’s Carnival of the Animals is inspired by French composer Saint-Saens’ beautiful music, and the acrobatics and animal antics of the performers had the young audience at this Come Out festival performance enthralled from beginning to end.

Circa is a circus company dedicated to creating new and challenging works, and it has had several successful overseas tours. In Carnival of the Animals, circus performers are dressed in black and white and adopt the mannerisms of wildlife on land, in the sky and under the sea.

Colourful large-screen animations provide settings which complement the circus portrayals of various animals. The acrobats constantly somersault, cartwheel, tumble, juggle and dance, as well as occasionally singing and playing instruments.

The children loved seeing chickens laying eggs, a reluctant trapeze artist, a pink elephant, skipping kangaroos, penguins and monkeys. Animated sharks caused a quick fright, then blow-up sharks thrilled the youngsters when they swam into the audience. The performers created a large dog with fleas that was followed by red balloons being thrown into the auditorium, much to the surprise and delight of the excited audience.

Every balancing act had an animal theme, and human bridges provided platforms for a musician to climb. The performers also built an impressive iceberg and a dinosaur. Finally, there was a brief solo water ballet.

Carnival of the Animals is non-stop action that continually stimulates its young audience’s imaginations. Circa offers a marvelous experience for children’s early taste of theatre and it demonstrates the infinite possibilities live theatre performance holds for us all.

This show is fantastic enjoyment for young and old: there is something for everybody in this production.

Circa is presenting Carnival of the Animals at the Dunstan Playhouse again on May 29 and May 30 as part of the Come Out Children’s Festival. The show is recommended for children aged four to 10.

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