A CONTEMPORARY circus show developed with the help of children in the Highlands will tour Scotland after its premiere in Edinburgh this month.

So Far So Good, inspired by how it feels to explore wild places, is one of the highlights of the Edinburgh ­International Children’s Festival which begins on Saturday (May 25).

A circus show for three to six-year-olds, creators Ellie Dubois and Kim Donohoe worked with ­nursery and primary one children in the ­Highlands to test their ideas.

“These children are surrounded by the Cairngorms and we were ­interested to see how their ­experiences could help us make a show that really ­resonated with children,” they said.

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“It’s inspired by what it feels like to explore wild places, the wonder we feel when we stand at the top of a mountain and the joy of running back down again.”

The show is performed by three “amazing” circus artists, JD Broussé, Joana Dias and Michelle Ross, who move between being humans, rocks and animals.

The show also features the weather quite heavily as the pair said it felt “impossible” not to acknowledge how much rain and wind play a part in any outdoor pursuit in Scotland. Yet ­rather than viewing rain and wind as a barrier to being outdoors, they ­believe the weather, which people can’t control, is just another feature of nature that offers new ­perspectives.

The duo also point out that even if people don’t live near the high mountains they can still explore outdoors.

“I think the great thing about ­exploring outdoors with children is that you don’t need to actually climb a mountain or live in a rural area to do it,” said Kim.

“There’s loads of fun to be had in really exploring a local park and letting children lead the way when you do – they’ll normally find things you would never notice at adult eye level.

“I think there’s also value in ­finding outdoor spaces that are ­different to the ones children are used to. Ellie lives in the Highlands, and ­whenever her two kids come to visit us in ­Glasgow, they love to explore the park next to us. It’s so different to the incredible mountains they are used to that even though to an adult it feels like a much less interesting place, they always manage to ask questions and find new ways to play in what I naively think of as a pretty standard city park.”

Ellie and Kim hope that audiences will leave thinking about how they might interact with the natural world, and how they might move in different ways after watching the performers.

“The show is much more about the joy and obstacles you encounter on a journey rather than racing to the top so we hope that people will take that sense of pausing to enjoy the view ­together, wherever they decide to go on an adventure,” they said.

As well as the Expo-funded So Far So Good by SUPERFAN, highlights of the Children’s Festival this year include a focus on Catalonia, with three productions representing the unique vision of Catalan artists, as well as four new works and premieres from Scottish companies.

Black is one of the Catalan productions and is an emotional dance and music chronicle of the ­freedom ­movement which reflects on the violence and emancipation of ­being Black in today’s world through the use of explosive urban African ­dances. It’s been created by Oulouy, one of the key figures on the scene of urban dance.

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Other Catalan productions on the programme are An-Ki, an immersive promenade performance about the environmental crisis, greed and ­deforestation and Univers, a sensory experience for the very young.

Festival director Noel Jordan said he had always been struck by the strong visual theatre created in Catalonia.

“Over several years I have been lucky to travel to Catalonia to ­experience a range of works for young audiences,” he said.

“There is not a single stylistic ­approach but the artists working in this region, regardless of the age they are creating for, always seem to frame their works with a strong visual aesthetic that often relies on no text whatsoever to communicate complex human emotions.

“Whether it be about systemic racism such as explored in Black or environmental degradation as in ­An-ki, the work is fresh, inspiring and genuinely powerful. The artists have a unique viewpoint and something to say.”

Mar Perez Unanue, London ­office director of the Government of Catalonia added: “Catalonia has a vibrant performing arts scene for young audiences.

“Many artists feel children ­deserve the highest level of ­quality, ­professional skills and creativity. The Catalan ecosystem includes over a hundred companies working ­indoors and outdoors all over Spain, with a good presence at international ­festivals in Europe and beyond.”