Artist(s):

Created by Starcatcher’s Associate Artist, Kim Donohoe and award winning artist Ellie Dubois, with a purpose built set designed by Becky Minto.   Performed by Arron Sparks, Gabrielle CookNat Whittingham and Kim Donohoe.

 

The Production

Starcatchers and SUPERFAN present

Little Top

 

A magical first circus experience for babies aged 0 – 18 months and their adults

 

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 spectacular balances, astonishing tumbles and inventive juggling in a specially-designed set that miniaturises the magic of the Big Top.

 

Little Top’s beautiful set creates a colourful, cosy and welcoming space where professional circus acrobats, tumblers and jugglers perform up close in babies’ line of sight, making eye contact, and interacting and responding to their young audience.

 

Babies and adults alike are transported into a playful, joyous, upside down, topsy-turvy world where people can fly, patterns fill the air and anything is possible.

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Tours

Tuesday 30 April  | Cumnock Town Hall, Cumnock (11am | 1pm)

Wednesday 1 May | Grand Hall/Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock (11am | 1pm)

Friday 3 May | Platform, Glasgow (10:30am | 1pm)

Saturday 4 May | Platform, Glasgow (10:30am | 1pm)

Sunday 5 May | Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock  (11am | 3pm)

Tuesday 7 May | Howden Park Centre, West Lothian (11am)

Wednesday 8 May | Byre Theatre, St Andrews (11am)

Friday 10 May | Johnstone Hall, Johnstone (1:30pm)

Saturday 11 May | Johnstone Hall, Paisley (10:30am | 1:30pm)

Wednesday 15 May | Birnam Arts, Dunkeld (1.30pm)

Friday 17 May | Lyth Arts Centre, Lyth (11am | 2pm)

Saturday 18 May | Lyth Arts Centre, Lyth (11am)

Sunday 19 May | Forres Town Hall, Forres (2pm)

Tuesday 21 May | The Studio, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh (10:30am | 1pm)

Wednesday 22 May | The Studio, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh (10:30am | 1pm)

Friday 24 May | FTH Theatre, Falkirk (10:30am | 1pm)

Saturday 25 May | Aberdeen Music Hall  (10:30am | 1:30pm)

Sunday 26 May | Aberdeen Music Hall  (10:30am | 1:30pm)

Monday 27 May | MacRobert Hall, Tarland (2pm)

Friday 31 May | Lochgelly Centre, Lochgelly

Saturday 1 June | Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline

 

 

Company

Ellie Dubois | Co-Creator / Director

Kim Donohoe | Co-Creator / Performer

Becky Minto | Set Designer

Arron Sparks | Performer

Gabrielle Cook | Performer

Nat Whittingham | Performer

Michaella Fee | Lighting Designer

Kim Moore | Composer / Sound Designer

 

Company Biographies

Ellie Dubois is an award-winning artist who trained at the National Centre for Circus Arts and whose work, combining contemporary performance and circus, is reinventing traditional notions of what circus can be.

Named as one of the British Council’s ‘Artists to Watch 2017’ her most recent work No Show– an all-female feminist deconstruction challenging expectations of female circus performers – won a Herald Angel Award and was nominated for a Total Theatre Award. Ringside, her circus show made for one audience member at a time, won the Autopsy Award for experimental performance and received a Spotlight Award from NoFit State and Crying Out Loud to take the show to Festival du Cirque Actual (France) and Subtopia (Sweden).

Ellie received the Jerwood Performing Arts Micro Bursary to support the creation of a new solo work exploring circus and motherhood and the MG Futures Bursary to create a new piece of contemporary circus.

 

Kim Donohoe is a Scottish theatre maker, performer and facilitator who specialises in work for babies and young children.

As an Associate Artist with Starcatchers, Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years Organisation, she has performed in Blue Block Studio and as a member of Sprog Rock, an interactive gig for little ones age 0-5. She is also a lead artist with Expecting Something, Starcatchers’ community engagement project for parents under 25 and their babies.

Most recently, Kim collaborated with Ellie Dubois and Pete Lannon as part of SUPERFAN to co-create and perform Like Animals, which previewed at The Tron in 2018.

She trained in Contemporary Performance Practice at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

 

Becky Minto was awarded the Silver medal for Space Design for the National Theatre Scotland’s production of The 306:Dawn at the World Stage Design exhibition in Taipei 2017. She has been nominated for 3 CATS awards and a Manchester Evening News Award for Best Design.

Her designs for NTS production Ignition and Iron-Oxide’s White Goldwere selected for Make Believe/ UK Design for Performance exhibition at the Prague Quadrennial and The V&A, London 2015. She has exhibited for the Society of British Theatre Designers in 2015, 2011 and 2007.

Becky also teaches on the Performance Costume Degree at Edinburgh College of Art.

…one of the most prolific theatre designers in Scotland” The Herald

 

Arron Sparks is a professional circus performer and graduate of the National Centre for Circus Arts as a Juggler. He has travelled the world being paid to throw and catch things. Arron’s career in the circus began as a teenager. He has performed world-wide, including in Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall (juggling rather than ballet dancing), on Blue Peter (twice) and has had his name in lights in Las Vegas.

 

Gabrielle Cook was an elite gymnast before training at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD), graduating with a first class degree. She has since toured nationally and internationally with multiple dance and circus companies including; Pirates of the Carabina, Tom Dale Company, Becky Namgauds, Scarabeus Aerial, and Acrojou Circus Theatre. She specialises in floorwork, partnering and multi-discipline performance, combining her skills in Dance, Acrobatics, Chinese Pole and Physical Theatre.

 

Nat Whittingham is a Circus Artist, Acrobat and Teacher. Originally trained as a gymnast before later studying Teeterboard at L’ESAC in Brussels, Nat is a versatile and experienced acrobat. Picked up as an apprentice by Nofit State Circus at the age of 18, he toured internationally with their show Bianco as well as Block and Open House and has worked with them ever since.  After his time at ESAC, he worked extensively in the UK and Europe, with companies such as Upswing Aerial, Pirates of the Carabina, Dot Comedy and Compagnie Bivouac.

In recent years he has focussed on solo acrobatics, fusing traditional gymnastics, contemporary floorwork and acrobatic research. He teaches this internationally (with his partner) under the name Moving Through Acrobatics, as well as being a resident teacher at Circomedia and Fourth Monkey Theatre School.

 

Kim Moore works as composer, music producer, sound designer across experimental electronic and contemporary music, in theatre, dance, film. Her work varies from ghostly orchestral worlds to distorted noise and electronic driven scores. Some of her work includes “Icepole, Blueblock Studio, Sprogrock”, [Katy Wilson and Starcatchers], “NoShow”, [Ellie Dubois], “Dolls”, [National Theatre of Scotland] , ‘’Mouthpiece’’ [Kieran Hurley, Traverse Theatre] and “Tigertale/Tiger”, [Barrowland Ballet]

 

 

Additional Information

Context

This collaboration between Ellie Dubois and Kim Donohoe has resulted in a unique opportunity for babies, toddlers and their adults to experience incredible circus feats up close.

Development has been driven by Ellie’s passion for taking circus to new audiences and Kim’s passion for early years theatre.

During a week-long mini-residency at Arts Depot in London Ellie and Kim worked with circus performers to explore acrobatics, acro-balancing and juggling up close to an audience. “We spent lots of time getting down very low to the ground to explore what a baby would experience and found lots of fun opportunities to connect with them – reaching our feet out to the audience, balancing on one hand and playing with facial expressions, which are fascinating to even the youngest babies”, said Kim.

Ellie and Kim also ran open play sessions with babies and their parents where they played with balls and silks. They found that very young babies were fascinated by the patterns that black and white balls create whilst juggling. Older babies and toddlers also loved to hold, throw and roll the balls, and feel their texture.

The Little Top set creates a magical, cosy space for the audience and can be erected in a variety of different spaces from theatre to nurseries and town halls.

 

SUPERFAN

SUPERFAN is a collaboration between Ellie Dubois, Kim Donohoe and Pete Lannon. They make new performances for adult and young audiences. Their work blends theatre, performance art, circus and choreography.

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