Home » Author Archives: Clare Annamalai

Author Archives: Clare Annamalai

Luzia, Royal Albert Hall – Review

Cirque du Soleil aerial straps

Returning home from Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia at the Royal Albert Hall, I posted a quick mention on Instagram. The next morning there were several likes and comments from performers in the show. We expect that sort of engagement after shows from small companies, in small venues, but not so much after shows that list 14 different credits…just for the programme! It was a valuable reminder that while Cirque du Soleil is a juggernaut, it carries individual artists who train, ...

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Bottled, Vault Festival – Review

Like the abusive marriage that it describes, Bottled starts off deceptively sweet. It is Katy’s 15th birthday, and she’s celebrating at home with family and her mum’s boyfriend, some shiny balloons and a violently pink cake. As she talks us through the scene, describing the characters and their part in her life, the commentary is wry and perceptive, a healthy mix of childish candour and teenage snark. When, shortly after that birthday party, she hooks up with Bradley, a hot, ...

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Notre Dame de Paris, London Coliseum – Review

Pros: Nicely menacing Gothic atmosphere. Cons: Shallow characterisation and a complete lack of variation in tone A word of warning to anyone planning a visit to Notre Dame de Paris at London Coliseum. Brace yourself. Brace for histrionics. The breast-beating starts early, with the first big number, Les Sans-papiers, and never really lets up for the rest of the show. The understandable anguish of the outcasts, the vulnerable and the falsely accused is rendered with the same power ballad intensity ...

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Totem, Royal Albert Hall – Review

Pros: The set. The sound design. The projection. The lighting. Cons: Far too many people in the audience filming the show on their phones. A silvery particle spins and tumbles from above, setting in train an evolutionary journey from primordial soup to space exploration. Well that’s the idea, anyway. More prosaically, Totem is a high-spec review show, in which circus acts, loosely themed around ideas of man’s evolution and environment, are interspersed with quirky comic vignettes. The circus acts are ...

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