The perfect escape from rainy Edinburgh, Bedtime Stories at the Underbelly Circus Hub is an afternoon delight and how I wish I had a onesie to cwtsh up in for this show rather than a soggy pair of jeans. In this Upswing production, beds and cushions fill the floor down the front for families to relax on and further back blankets are not in short supply for those wanting a real seat.
We are introduced to a mother struggling too much work to do and her daughter, who just wants a bedtime story and a hug from her Mum before bed. The audience are instantly mesmerised as projections fill the centre of the tent, illustrating their life and there were oohs and aahs as the stage lit up. As the little girl struggles to sleep, she calls upon her imaginary friend Three who really is every small child’s imagination in human form, and they explore and adventure all the way to the moon. Their discoveries and games take over the wooden tent, introducing circus elements to fully use the whole space.
As the rain poured on the wooden tent, the sound of the dialogue suffered slightly, causing some parts to go unheard from the second row back and a few restless youngsters took their cue. Not deterred, the cast worked effortlessly together as they span around and were lifted high in the space.
A beautiful calming hour in the Circus Hub and despite feeling a little long and lacking pace at times, this is an afternoon treat for the young ones and their grown ups. Bedtime stories is an endearing and touching blend of children’s theatre and circus, making the outside world quite a shock when the lights came back on.
Bedtime Stories | Underbelly Circus Hub | 14:30