GT Arts

Review: Cirque du Soleil – Quidam

Cirque du Soleil celebrate 30 years

Celebrating their 30th anniversary year, Cirque du Soleil bring this lavish and jaw-dropping production - featuring an international cast of 45 world-class acrobats from 19 countries across the globe - to London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The story is as enchanting as ever. A young girl, at home with her parents, is visited by an invisible man who gives her his hat. This somehow whisks her away to a fantastic fantasy world of awesome acrobats and big-top bravado. She is accompanied on this surreal sojourn by a spikey lizard, er, thing, with a target symbol on its stomach. And there’s something about a magic balloon.

If there was a plot to this hypnagogic hike, then it went over our heads completely. But that didn’t matter a morsel – the notional narrative is only really here to serve as a seductive scaffold – a fanciful framework for showcasing a series of truly awesome feats of spectacular circus supremacy.

Physical prowess becomes high-art as aerial contortionists and acrobats swoop above the crowd on hoops and ropes and silk. Bewildering feats of balance and bravery dazzle and delight, as the human body becomes the ultimate instrument of expression. Displays of diabolo and juggling balls evolve into impossible hypnotic patterns, and the humble act of rope skipping is elevated to a cunning confusion of cat’s cradles.

There’s also some top-notch clowning that involves a substantial slice of audience participation. We were frozen in fear as the searing spotlight swept over the auditorium, searching out stooges, and were only too happy to be overlooked and left at liberty to laugh at the misfortune of others.

And let’s be honest – circus folk are easy on the eye. If the idea of spandex-clad muscle boys leaping gaily and tossing each other about does it for you, then that’s reason enough alone to see this spectacle.

An inspiring evening of expert accomplishment - roll up and rejoice at this modern circus masterpiece.

GT gives this 5/5

Quidam runs at the Royal albert Hall until 16th February. More details at @Cirque Du Soleil's website

Words: Richard Unwin

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