Everyone thinks of children when they think of circus and yet so many shows are completely unsuitable for younger children; they’re either too bombastic and overwhelming or the fusion of circus, theatre and art is completely inaccessible to a small child who isn’t fluent in clowning and the finer arts of contemporary dance. The Very Circusy Caterpillar is a show aimed directly and oh so successfully at the little ones.
Aimed directly and oh so successfully at the little ones.
The show opens with Jess, a friendly face who introduces the children (and the adults) to the rules – if you like what you see, make as much noise as you can – and a little bit of mostly accurate facts about caterpillars that the audience is quick to correct. After Jess has suitably prepped us on how to show our appreciation at the circus, she is joined onstage by the titular caterpillar.
I’m going to come right out and say it, The Very Circusy Caterpillar is the most adorable character. With huge eyes and a cheeky curiosity, she hatches from her egg in a big top and immediately decides that her future is in the circus. We follow her as she attempts and succeeds at several circus skills all the while dreaming of the day she’ll become a butterfly. The story is told with the aid of a narrator who spends as much time corralling the wayward caterpillar as they do furthering the plot and each of the circus skills are set around the healthy meals that the caterpillar eats to stay strong and filled with energy.
Many circus shows aimed at very young children often feature performances that, to a jaded reviewer, aren’t actually that impressive but this is a showcase of several routines that could be transplanted into any high-quality evening show. If you have little ones then you should definitely take them to this show. If you don’t have any children, then you should go see this show anyway; you’ll have a great time and you might even see a butterfly.