So watching part of Upswing's Bedtime Stories at Canvas (See Post 75 - click here), really struck a chord. It is a beautiful piece of circus for the family, a coming of age story really, about keeping connected and sharing time together. The location in The Albany, Deptford, a space in the round, was perfect. Mattresses and pillows for the audience to cosy up on encircle the action, creating an informal space to enter a magical realism together where a child's imagination takes flight. Stars rained down on diaphanous curtains, silks were graced by the young girl, peels of childhood delight rippling through, with an imaginary friend straddling worlds. Then came her mother, distracted, overwhelmed, losing it under reams of papers and admin. My stomach lurched. See the beautiful trailer below for a glimpse of the alchemy of technology, dance, circus and acting that immerse you in a spell-binding world that I can't wait to share with the children. It's on at at Stratford Circus over half-term, where they will also be running parent and child workshops, and returning to the Albany in Autumn.
The experience of Bedtime Stories brings home to me how circus has enriched our family life and influenced how we spend our time together. It has introduced me to family shows like these that might otherwise not have come onto my radar. It has introduced me to exemplary Circus Strongwomen - taking their kids to circus, learning circus, teaching circus, running circus companies, circus schools, big tops, performing circus, choreographing circus, writing circus, producing circus, directing circus, leading the way. It has introduced my children to the world of juggling (my son, the diabolo demon), aerial skills (my elder daughter, in seventh heaven in classes now at Flying Fantastic) and tightrope (my three year-old - we've found one at the local playground on the way home after dropping her siblings at school). We hula-hoop in the garden together, juggle on the beach, perform handstand against climbing frames and acrobatics on monkey bars - child's play on some levels, and now I can do it with them.
|a Circus Mum hanging around|
Note: if the above video doesn't work on your mobile click here for YouTube link.
Bedtime Stories is at Stratford Circus from Thursday 28th - Saturday 30th May, and will be returning to The Albany, Deptford in the Autumn.