Excellence, legacy, finesse, the crème de la crème: these are words conjured up when I think either of Cirque du Soleil or the Royal Albert Hall. What an absolutely joy it was to witness them brought together on their 25th anniversary of collaboration. It really is hard to believe that the RAH wasn’t built to house the Cirque because it fits like a glove: the immense auditorium is taken over from top to bottom, and the audience snugly horseshoes around the stage. I recommend that you make the time to arrive early to explore and really take in the place.
Cirque du Soleil bring different shows every time they come to the RAH, and this time we are treated to Luzia – a visual feast and love letter to Mexican life and culture. The story is told through a series of acrobatic, skilful, delicate and jaw-dropping performances from the awe-inspiring global troupe.
After the last two years I think we’re all hungry for some excitement and escape, and Luzia, billed as ‘a waking dream’ really fits this brief. There is a careful balance of acts, and the less expansive of these (relief from those that really got my heart going!) might take up less space on the stage but captured my attention just as much. I watched people bend, leap, flip, throw, spin and soar like I’ve never seen before, and judging from the reactions around me I wasn’t the only person who was amazed.
The Mexican fiesta atmosphere is created by an incredible combination of the set (Eugenio Caballero), music (Simon Carpentier), and some dazzling costumes (Giovanna Buzzi). Together they execute the imaginative and evocative vision of writer and director Daniele Finzi Pasca. Even the acrobatic equipment is flavoured for each scene thanks to designer Danny Zen, and we are transported from the sky to the ocean, and from forest to fields of flowers. A loose narrative is threaded through the evening, mostly atmospheric with some hilarious and touching moments led by Fool Koller, Luzia’s clown. Hats off also to the band and their singer Majo Cornejo who enhance the excitement and provide delicate accompaniments.
Beg, borrow, and steal your way in if you must, but make sure you get a ticket. And begging and borrowing (no stealing, please) might be the easiest way because anything not standing or up in the highest, far away rows is £50+. It’s worth every penny, though: a truly, truly magical evening that’s going to be hard to beat – until next year when Cirque is back.
Written and Directed by: Daniele Finzi Pasca
Director of Creation – Patricia Ruel
Executive Producer – Charles Joron
Composer and Musical Director – Simon Carpentier
Acrobatic Choreography – Edesia Morena Barata, Debra Brown, Silvia Gertrudix Gonzalez
Luzia plays at Royal Albert Hall until 27 February. Further information and bookinga via the below link.