Aardman Animation’s beloved sheep performs acrobatic feats for the whole farm.
Beloved by children and families all over the world, Shaun the Sheep is finally coming to the stage. But this is no ordinary stage show – it’s a full-blown circus extravaganza, with Shaun The Sheep’s Circus Show.
Presented by Base Entertainment Asia and Circa Contemporary Circus, Shaun The Sheep’s Circus Show is family entertainment that sees the Mossy Bottom Farm crew come to life onstage, combining live action acrobatics and on-screen animation, all to subtly promote a message about creating our own entertainment without reliance on digital and electronic devices.
When the show begins, we see a mysterious present onstage before us. It’s not long before it’s revealed to be a television set – only, it doesn’t work when a humble farmer attempts to turn it on! Completely reliant on physical movements and no dialogue, the characterisation of the farmer came through clearly onstage, while scene transitions were also well done. Trying to to plug the wire into a satellite, what happens next is completely out of this world, as the circus show begins proper.
Interspersing the animation sequences with the live elements made it feel like Shaun The Sheep really was coming to life, with a bit of theatre magic sure to thrill younger audience members. In addition, by decorating the theatre with artificial grass, it felt as if we had been brought a little closer to Mossy Bottom Farm.
This is also a show with a lot of heart. Takings its cue from the original show, familiar characters are abound, with a strong focus on familial relationships and how various farm animals are simply having fun playing with each other. Audience members will be reminded to appreciate their family, and the power of familial bonds and love. Not to mention, the show also features plenty of audience interaction sure to evoke applause and cheers, alongside a plethora of humourous moments, from sheep shearing to the postman’s tenuous relationship with the sheepdog, ensuring the theatre is always filled with laughter.
But of course, the highlight of the show remains the acrobatic feats, each one smoothly executed and integrated well into the show’s well-known scenes, from a charging bull, to a farmer, and of course, the hilarious pigs. One particularly inventive scene sees a paper aeroplane getting stuck in a tree, and combines both animated media and the realist scenes beautifully. As the team of sheep worked together, never giving up, there is a cheer from the audience when they finally succeed at recovering the plane.
What is also impressive is how despite being a family show, the acrobats and performers still take significant risks when it comes to the level of danger in each act they perform, always pushing their limits while maintaining the same high energy throughout. Showing off strength and poise, one cannot help but admire this professional team of athletes carrying the show with a smile.
Circa also employs plenty of innovative tech elements in the show, like how the show is literally being shot in front of us by one of the sheep, which is then telecast live to the farmer’s house, all for the sake of hiding having cut the cord to the satellite. All of this adds up to a story about having so many bright ideas, to work together for the sake of entertaining someone the animals care about, a never give up attitude despite all the setbacks, and how imagination is what you need to open up a world of infinite possibilities, and emerge victorious.
Shaun The Sheep’s Circus Show plays from 10th to 21st May 2023 at the Sands Theatre. Tickets available here
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