Newest Review: ... other; whatever walk of life they're from, Cirque Du Soleil leaves people with only superlatives, and little room for anything else, in the... more
Run Away With Cirque Du Soleil!
Cirque du Soleil: Varekai
Member Name: tinkabubble
Cirque du Soleil: Varekai
Advantages: Amazing show with great acts and beautiful music
Disadvantages: Expensive, and some restricted views due to the support scaffolding in the tent
Some might never have been in a big top before, but tonight, the 'Grand Chapiteau' looming over them in the moonlit sky is the first thing they see as they pull off the motorway, each discussing their different expectations of the evening...
As they make their way across the busy car park, the dark, velvet blue sky glistens serenely above, adorned with twinkling stars and the weight of the full harvest moon; connotations of magic and wizardry...
For some it would transport them back to their childhood years and their fascination with stories such as Enid Blyton's 'Galliano's Circus', for others, it would be their childhood memory of the circus. Yes, seeing Cirque Du Soleil for the first time is a big deal; many of those in this Manchester audience may never have seen a circus before, except for the one at Blackpool Tower perhaps, but red noses and squirting flowers were somehow not to be expected tonight.
Indeed, Cirque Du Soleil is now the world's most famous travelling circus, and its fame and reputation do not precede it without good reason. This show seems to affect people like no other; whatever walk of life they're from, Cirque Du Soleil leaves people with only superlatives, and little room for anything else, in their jaw-dropped mouths - 'most awesome, most amazing...most speechless I've ever been'.
While people are still taking their seats, there is movement on the stage as characters in spectacular costumes crawl towards their audience, and it isn't long before a musical accompaniment dawns upon the ears of the crowd, and 'Varekai' begins...
First, the audience have the pleasure of meeting 'The Skywatcher', a great and mad inventor whose antics prove highly amusing; the way in which these performers are able to communicate so effectively with the entire world using little else besides mumbles and physical expression is highly impressive.
Along the way of this fascinating journey, the audience are also introduced to many other wondrous characters, including 'Icarus', whose stunning aerial routine leaves their hearts racing and palms sore from clapping, and the fantastically funny clowns who have replaced big red shoes with sponge stilettos, and easily have the audience roaring with laughter.
Indeed, the costumes, as designed by 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' costume creator Eiko Ishioka, are stunning and add much glamour and panache to the stage of the Grand Chapiteau, and yet even without the aid of beautiful costumes and intricate lighting, this show would be something to behold.
The 'Solo on Crutches' is simply awe-inspiring, along with the 'Aerial Hoop' performance, which is the cause of many gasps amongst the audience. The 'Aerial Straps', a truly breath-taking feat, is performed by the UK-born 'Atherton' twins (which gained them an extra enthusiastic applause from their home crowd), while the 'Water Meteors', three very young yet already highly skilled acrobats, spin and throw ropes with metal 'meteors' on the end while performing complex acrobatics at the same time, and still managing to catch their ropes at the end of it all!
Each performs to what comprises an incredibly articulate catalogue of music, which compliments the show's dramatic atmosphere and magical climate beautifully: These acts evoke a range of emotions, from awe, to fear, and finally thrill and joyous exuberance which leave such an impression on the spirit as can never, I fear, be un-etched.
Not least guilty of this was the spectacular finale to the show, provided by the 'Russian Swings'. As the acrobats are launched from swing to swing, one, two at a time, to great heights and onto material drapes behind them, the precision, artistry and of course the bravery of these acts are all reaffirmed, even as the artists themselves seem so nonchalant about what they are achieving before our eyes.
Seeing may well be believing, and yet the uncertainty left lingering on the lips of those who see this show isn't scepticism or doubt, but rather simply 'how?'
Tickets for this show are quite expensive. We were lucky enough to go on press night, which included complimentary drink and pop corn (very nice!) and it also meant that we got to see top celebrities such as Roy Cropper from Corrie, however, I would happily pay to see this show too; when you think of the overheads they must have to produce such entertainment, and the show which the audience are able to see, the tickets are really quite cheap considering!
However, for those who can't rush to the expense, the show can be bought also on DVD, although I haven't seen it myself, but have read many good reviews.
Summary: A real experience, definitly one to see if you get chance