As part of the Royal Albert Hall’s 150th birthday celebrations, the internationally renowned circus troupe have brought their Luzia production back to London after almost two years.
Luzia was one of the last major productions we caught pre-pandemic, as it made its European debut at the Royal Albert Hall in spring 2020. We’re pleased that Cirque Du Soleil have brought this show back – billing itself as “a waking dream of Mexico”, the whole production exudes a surreal, dreamlike quality, quite unlike anything else on London’s stages at the moment. Proving that sometimes more is more, over the course of the evening we were presented with a dazzling array of circus routines, each more impressive than the last, with some of the later set-pieces eliciting audible gasps from the audience.
Stepping back for a moment, we’re not convinced this version of the show is quite as polished as the one we’d seen previously – and that’s understandable, given that many of these performers will have had to take some enforced time off due to the pandemic. Many will be a bit out of practice. With that taken into account, there were quite a few slips and mistakes on the press night performance – nothing that detracted from the overall experience too much, but we felt it wasn’t as slick as before. Hopefully this will improve over the course of the run.
That minor grumble aside, Luzia remains a stunning show – it genuinely is mesmerising to watch. The colour palette is wonderfully vibrant, the sets and props beautifully surreal, there’s some really effective use of puppetry and the water effects are captivating – we were pretty happy to just keep watching the cascading water curtain, wondering how they managed to create the various designs and shapes. The music is a perfect fit and really augments the on-stage action. Of course, everything we’ve mentioned here is just the backdrop for some truly impressive circus acts.
One highlight saw an aerialist impress with an array of tricks while two performers glided around the stage below on Cyr wheels – at any given moment it was difficult to know who to look at, as each was superb. A contortionist did things we simply didn’t know possible, while a Russian swing routine – featuring some death-defying jumps – had us on the edge of our seats. Moments like these were truly captivating – there was a tangible sense of peril, followed by a palpable relief in the auditorium when each acrobat landed safely.
Luzia really is a joy to behold – a complete sensory overload, but in the best possible way. Cirque Du Soleil truly are a world-class act and this dazzling show, in one of the UK’s finest venues, provides an exciting and enjoyable night out. If it wasn’t for the fact we’d already seen a more polished version of this exact show it would be vying for a perfect score, but this remains an impressive, daring theatrical spectacular.
GAY TIMES gives Luzia – 4/5
More information can be found here.