Little Top (3 stars)

Little Top

credit: Jassy Earl

Soothing circus best suited to younger babies

It seems an ambitious task that early years specialists Starcatchers (along with circus-theatre group SUPERFAN) have set themselves: creating a circus for babies, surely the pickiest group of customers out there. But it also makes sense – circus is made of colour, light, bodies doing extraordinary things, creating beautiful patterns. Babies love these, and there are plenty of all of them in Little Top.

Aaron Sparks deftly juggles mesmerising white balls; Nat Whittington and Gabrielle Cook are elegant acrobats, gracefully morphing into swaying giraffes or leaping into tall towers. But the show's limitations are reached early on when we are asked to sit behind a dotted line and prevent our babies from crossing it. The problem is the piece is pitched for 0–18 months, an age range encompassing toddling, and toddling babies are not known for their ability to sit still for lengthy periods.

Consequently, the first ten minutes felt for me like wrestling a python (I enjoyed it a lot more once my 17-month-olds had been removed by their father, but I don't think that was quite the piece's intention). However, looking around at the awestruck faces of the pre-walking younger babies, it's clear Starcatchers is on to something.

Pleasance at EICC, until 17 Aug (not 12), 10.30am & 1.30pm, £8.

Little Top

  • 3 stars

Starcatchers and SUPERFAN Welcome to Little Top, a magical first circus experience for babies aged 0-18 months. At a time in their development when young children are discovering their own physicality, and the pleasures and perils of gravity, Little Top invites babies to experience all the fun of the circus. Roll up…

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