Edinburgh Fringe 2019
Celeste is taking us along to see the circus and all of the acts onstage that she can fit into her puppet arena. We meet Charlie and Harry, Celia the seal, Helga the Hippo and others who perform for us and at the end we take the bus back home, the same one that took us there.
We enter to Nelly the Elephant playing as Celeste welcomes us, each and ever one at the door. It is a lovely way of getting the parents and carers onside as well as the little ones, from babes in arms to tiny under 5s as we go to find our seats. They each get a welcome, they each get to make a connection with their guide.
The storyline has a simplicity about it that makes the next 35 minutes or so a comfortable time for all of those who may have had to shell out for a ticket. They are well catered for as the warning at the beginning, the references throughout and many of the jokes, including the one with the poo tend to be pitched at the big ones; the tiny ones might not quite get the jokes.
It’s a settled and assured production that can cope with the hollering and howling that comes with some of our kids reacting badly to lights down. Celeste takes all of that in her stride and though she does tend to raise her voice to compensate it never gets to the shrill or out of control.
What is best about the piece is the control of having done it many times before. There are opportunities to slow things and ponder and they are taken with the rhythm of the performance paramount. Some of the script I found a little too above the heads of the wee ones and the production does tend to be dependent upon the parents and carers selling it to their kids.
It may not be a radical pre 5 theatre piece but it was a great piece for children if you are looking for traditional theatre fare for younger ones.
The set and props were great and as I was hoping for a big finish, the bubble ending is just simply superb.