Old-school, family entertainment inside La Petite Theatre
As a writer for Weekendnotes, sometimes we get offered tickets to special events, to then write an honest review of what we thought to promote the event in our city. It isn't something that I usually do, however when the opportunity arose to visit the Circus Wonderland performance inside La Petite Theatre in the city centre - I knew my daughter, aged, 7, would be beside herself with excitement! Although it is called a "circus", this performance is unlike any other circus performance as it is all held in a cute, yellow, pint-sized tent, located in Petrie Plaza (behind the carousel).
When we arrived for our 11am performance on the first day of the school holidays, we weren't sure if the show was even going to be held as it was raining, there were 45 kilometre winds circling through the city and the temperature was hovering just under 5 degrees. Thankfully on our visit, the saying "the show must go on" went into effect and families were filing into the La Petite Theatre tent, for some good ol' fashioned, family entertainment. Keep reading below, for 3 reasons why you should join them, these school holidays...
La Petite Theatre - small on size, big on entertainment!
When we walked into the tent, we were rugged up in scarves, beanies, gloves and puffer jackets in preparation for sitting in a cold circus tent for 45 minutes - how wrong we were! Inside the tent was an impressive heater that was blowing warm air into the audience, so the tent was toasty and warm when we walked in, so we could start taking off the layers. With the wind flapping the tent and the sound of the wind howling outside, you wouldn't have found a happier group of people than the ones sitting inside that circus tent for the very first show. We literally had the hottest seats in town!
At our performance, there were 4 acrobats/ entertainers who each presented their own unique talents on their own, as well as together. The host of the show was an acrobat (and apparently a contortionist!) with a fun sense of humour who introduced the different acts and who was involved in many of the acts herself. The acts were slap-stick and full of character - you instantly warmed to each circus performer and cheered them on to complete their trick or performance. It didn't always go to plan however, in such a small space, which made it even more entertaining as they kept going until they got it right! My daughter and I laughed and clapped the whole way through, completely absorbed in each act and taken on a journey of wonder and imagination. For such a small space, they fitted in a wide range of tricks and acts, with a suspenseful musical soundtrack to add a touch of theatre in the tense moments.
One of the main reasons why I enjoyed watching this circus performance so much with my daughter, was that it felt like we were being entertained the "old-fashioned way". There were no 3D glasses, no visual effects, no fancy illusions - just talented people engaging an audience with laughter, fun and 45 minutes of pure entertainment. When I looked around the audience, the parents were calling out, the kids were cheering on, the smaller kids were looking on in amazement - the whole room was engaged in the show from start to finish. My daughter, aged 7, seemed to be the perfect age to enjoy this show, although most kids in the audience were much younger and were enjoying it just as much. It captured the imagination of each person who walked into that tent and sent us all on a journey back in time, when entertainment was much simpler and the audiences felt like part of the show.
The city centre has come alive these winter school holidays, with outdoor ice skating, inflatables, La Petite Theatre and there's even a small Ferris Wheel in City Walk. Of course, all of these cost money (and aren't on the budget-side), so families may need to consider what they want to spend their money on before they get there. I would recommend the Circus Wonderland show at La Petite Theatre if you have kids who love the "wow-factor" of a live show, can happily sit for 45 minutes and enjoy the fun and acrobatics of a circus. It truly is a unique experience in the city centre.
As soon as we walked out the tent at the end of the show, the first thing my daughter said to me was "That was SO AWESOME - I just want to see it all over again!" So did I - so we have already made plans with friends and bought tickets online to see it all again at the end of the holidays - and we can't wait!
Old-fashioned family entertainment, in the heart of the city