Norwich is enjoying many circus events in the year that marks the 250th anniversary of circus as a distinct performance art. One of the more special events is a show at The Garage on Chapelfield North aimed specifically at 2-5 year olds and their parents.

My First Circus is a collaboration between All-In Productions, The Garage and Lost in Translation Circus which tells us the story of Jess and Jack, sister and brother who grew up in a circus family and are trying to decide what their act will be.  They travel magically back in time to get help from their parents who were both stars of the circus.

Jack (Matthew Green) is a skilled juggler but a rather timid soul when the lion escapes and he runs off.  Jess (Natasha Rushbrooke) is a skilled acrobat and trapeze artist who gives us a breathtakingly impressive display of her skills on an aerial hoop.

They are helped along the way by Ronaldo (Eduardo Ricciardelli) and Pablo (Andreas Lindström) but they also ask for lots of help from the audience.  The youngsters in the audience are not expected to sit still and be quiet – they need to help Jess and Jack find their circus act. The theatre (which benefits from wonderful air conditioning in this hot weather) is set to like a circus big top, with a big Chinese pole in the centre on which Andreas Lindström displays some dazzling skills. The young audience were clearly enthused – indeed one little chap just wanted to climb up the pole himself throughout the show.  Although the children are involved they are always safely out of the ring when the cast are performing their circus skills.  But watch  out for the big scary lion, with a decidedly Italian roar!

With three shows a day at 10.15, 1.15 and 3.15 until Sunday 29th July there are plenty of chances to enjoy this delightful little show with your pre-school kids.  While it gives us some impressive circus favourites it is not too long for the attention span of the target age group – or their parents.  Parents and children are encouraged to try out a few gentle circus tricks for themselves too, giving us some of the funniest moments of the show I saw.  A happy little show which will leave many pleasant memories with the youngsters, and perhaps even inspire one or two to take to the circus life themselves!

© Julian Swainson 2018


My First Circus is at The Garage, Chapelfield North at 10.15, 1.15 and 3.15 every day until Sunday 29th July.
Book on 01603 598646 or at the