Babies get up close to thrills and colours of the Big Top

Little Top
Little Top
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THE Studio at the Festival Theatre will be transformed into a mini Circus Ring this May.

Little Top, a show for babies aged 0-18 months, will create a real circus in miniature thanks to a specially-designed set on which professional circus performers will execute spectacular balances, tumbles and juggling up close.

Produced by Starcatchers and Superfan, Little Top is the new work from award-winning circus artist Ellie Dubois and Kim Donohoe.

“We are creating a real circus in miniature,” says Dubois.

“The set, the acrobatics, the colour and the magic will simply be distilled down into a much smaller, comfy and welcoming space.”

Whilst Dubois is reinventing traditional notions of what modern circus can be, Donohoe strives to push the boundaries of what kind of performances can inspire very young children.

Donohoe says, “People still ask me ‘How can babies watch and experience theatre?’

“The answer is ‘In so many different ways’. We have to be absolutely focused on creating a multi-sensory experience.

“Narrative is often the starting point in theatre, but for very young children it’s just as valid to start creating from movement, colour, lights, sound, textures, and new ways for performers to engage and interact with their audience.”

Little Top’s cast and crew include former elite gymnast Gabbie Cook, acrobat Nat Whittingham and juggling artist Arron Sparks.

Dubois adds, “I am passionate about circus and I want to push the boundaries of what it can be, where it can exist and what it tells us about the world.

“When I mention circus to people, their eyes light up, but traditionally it’s something an audience experiences from far away as part of a large crowd.

“When you get to see circus close up as you will in Little Top you get a different experience that I hope is going to be really special.”

Little Top, The Studio, Potterrow, 21-22 May, 10.30am & 1pm, £8, 0131-529 6000