“I hope audiences young and old will feel engaged and stimulated”
Circles in the Sand is an engaging and playful theatre experience for ages 0-3. With the sands of time running out before its arrival, the show’s performer Marleen Vermeulen answered our questions about her creative process and the value of making theatre for the youngest audiences.
What can we look forward to in Circles in the Sand?
A gentle, intimate and imaginative show for the very young that explores sand in new and exciting ways. It’s also a wordless show, so it’s accessible for everyone, and has a fantastic soundtrack. Plus, there is a play session at the end, where you get the chance to play in the sand and build your own sandcastles!
What was the inspiration behind the show?
I always loved playing in the sand as a child and I wanted to recreate that joy onstage for everyone and, perhaps, even introduce the wonderful sensation of sand trickling between your fingers and toes to some people for the very first time. I clearly remember the happiness I had trying to build sandcastles and the frustrations when they didn’t work out very well!
What do you hope your audience will take away from the show?
A love of theatre! Circles in the Sand is a great introduction to live performance and I hope audiences young and old will feel engaged and stimulated. I also hope that they go home and build a sandcastle for themselves!
Do you come across any challenges when performing to such a young audience? How do you overcome these?
Young audiences are very inquisitive. Sometimes they want to be a part of the show and will crawl onstage to try to touch the props. As the name suggests, Circles in the Sand has a stage full of sand, which is very tempting to young audiences – they want to join me and have a play, which they can all do at the end of the show in an interactive play session. A guiding hand will help steer them back to their parents or carers, plus the front of house teams do a wonderful job to help.
What is the best feedback you’ve received about the show?
I love it when people tell me the young people and babies were captivated throughout the performance. Theatre is such an important way to stimulate young minds and I love introducing new audiences to its magic. One audience member said there was “such friendliness and happiness in the room”, while the Associate Director of Polka Theatre said it was a “charmingly observed celebration of the joys and triumphs of discovery presented with engaging warmth and integrity”.
I particularly love the fact that one of Half Moon’s Youth Theatre members saw the show as an usher and it helped influence her career choice to teach young children. How fantastic is that?
You and your little one can enjoy Circles in the Sand on Friday 21 June at 10am, 11.30am and 2pm. Click here to buy your tickets.