Rushing through Gluttony's winding parklands to a big top tucked at the very back was not exactly how I imagined starting out the Big Tops & Tiny Tots Circus Show, but when you've got a toddler in tow things rarely go as planned. My 11-week-old daughter was with my husband and my date for the afternoon was my 3-year-old nephew. We found the right spot and took our seats inside, and from the very beginning, my nephew's eyes were glued to the stage.
The star of the show is Luth. She presents a one-woman circus show that's not only fun but also a little bit educational. She brings the right amount of energy to captivate a room full of 3-6 year olds and the good sense to keep their parents involved and entertained as well.
Luth has some simple tricks up her sleeve that help to get the young audience participating and to prepare them for the rest of the show. While skipping on stage she asks for the audience's help to time her jumps as she swings the rope, but the next minute she's skipping like a pro while sitting atop a unicycle. Watching her whir around the stage and teeter on the edge was impressive enough, but it was topped when the unicycle reappeared later in the show as it balanced it on her chin.
Big Tops & Tiny Tots has a good mix of stunts, physical theatre and plenty of silly humour. There's plenty of opportunities for kids to get involved, whether it's being called up on stage, dancing and singing in their seats, or helping Luth solve a problem by calling out solutions and answers. My nephew was a little shy, but even he got excited when Luth started talking about healthy food and he chatted away to me about his love for watermelon and his chooks back home. It was great to see children in the audience come out of their shells as the show progressed, no doubt thanks to Luth's energy and enthusiasm.
The show culminated with an impressive spinning plate trick, where one very lucky audience member got to join in with their very own cape. Afterwards, we all piled outside where there were free activity sheets, photo opportunities and even a chance for any budding circus performers to pick up their own spinning plate set (bring along some cash if you think your littlies will be interested). My nephew definitely loved the show, and any disappointment that he didn't make it up on stage was quickly forgotten once we found ourselves some post-show ice creams. We might have started the show a little stressed, but we ended it relaxed, entertained and all laughed out.
Big Tops & Tiny Tots is running every weekend during the Fringe, including a show on Monday 11th March and a special morning show outside the Stirling Library on Saturday 2nd March. The regular shows are all inside Gluttony's Empire Theatre, found within Rymill Park. The show starts at 1.30pm and runs for just under an hour. Tickets can be purchased from the Adelaide Fringe website and prices start at $18 for kids.