Circus Caravan by Donna Abela

RECOMMENDED FOR: Years/Grades 5-7


A PLAY TO: Read, read aloud, study, and perform, use as stimulus for making and responding

GENRE: Circus, drama, physical theatre, comedy

THEMES: Family, loyalty,

CURRICULUM LINKS: The Arts-Drama, The Arts-Dance, General Capabilities – Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Learning

SYNOPSIS: Circus Caravan is a play about a “family” of circus performers who encounter suspicion and strife in various towns as they travel north to rejoin their circus. Geordie’s son has gone off on his own, and “The Blustering Benetino Family” is down one member. Marichka, a once famous wire-walker, decides to co-opt her niece’s directionless daughter Adele, despite Adele’s protests. As they travel north, Marichka and Geordie teach Adele the fundamentals of their circus trade, scraping together a modest living and dodging undeserved trouble. Adele eventually throws her lot in with this peculiar family, using her new-found skills to save the day!

STAGING: Told in lively and fluid story-telling form, Circus Caravan moves quickly from one location to the next. As such, each new location should be swiftly indicated using props, costumes, performances and lighting, rather than complicated scene and set changes. The circus caravan and the truck used to tow are the only consistent elements of set. These can be suggested rather than literally built. A sense of an older world, but the overarching themes are universal, and the script offers a broad range of characters for students to portray.

We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2024