A show that respects its audience

The team behind Briefs have devised a show for children that pulls no punches


Brat Kids Carnival

Smock Alley Theatre


The guffaws that greet Briefs ringmaster Fez Fa’anana’s announcement in Vicar Street that they also have a children’s show in the festival were appropriate, given the X-rated content of The Second Coming. But the Brat Kids Carnival, as well as laughs, deserves mighty applause.

Mixing acrobatics, magic, ballet and a hilarious cooking-show scene, Brat Kids Carnival is a risky, edgy and colourful hour of alternative circus that is loaded with joy. There’s no wishy-washy CBeebies storytelling: this is as hardcore as you get for children.

It’s a rare thing that a children’s piece holds its young audience in such high regard. This is cemented by a Q&A closing the show, where children ask the performers questions about how they do what they do. The conversation is insightful, inspirational and ultimately moving. The message children were left with was to find something they enjoyed, practise hard and stick with it.

Ends Sept 14