To entertain a picky adult may well be hard, but I suspect that keeping a three year old enthralled is at a whole different level of difficulty.
I watched the little kids in front of me. For the whole show, they were totally engaged – amazed at the acrobatics, loving the prat-falls and the comedy and never quite sure what was coming next.
I have loved everything that Circa has done, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time that they have targeted young children and their adults.
Their unique combination of circus, ballet and athleticism is showcased at its best in this show.
Start with a girl (Kathryn O'Keefe) on her birthday. She plays a Mozart vinyl LP on a turn-table (how many of the youngsters have even seen a turntable?) and a bewigged Mozart appears – owing more than a little to the eccentric brilliant buffoon in Peter Shaeffer's Amadeus.
As Cameron Woodhead says "what follows is a nimble, brilliantly crafted series of set-pieces blending acrobatics, tumbling, dance and some superb slapstick."
I loved Mozart putting on his costume while riding his bike perilously near the edge of the small stage, and his keeping an A4 piece of paper in place only by gravity as he cartwheels. Kathryn O'Keefe is one strong lady – being literally jumped on by Mozart, and carrying him on her shoulders while "en pointe". And the circus act of placing a chair on four bottles, then placing chair upon chair and then balancing topmost on one arm has rarely been performed with such showmanship – and in perfect time to the music.
The comedy is not subtle – nor should it be – and the whole show moves at a cracking pace.
And the music? Mostly old favourites – much of them played live on stage on piano accordion by Gareth Chin, who interacts beautifully with artistes and audience.
If your child or grandchild is available – take them. They will love the show, and the best part is – so will you.