The much loved and highly acclaimed Cirque du Soleil is set to give Manchester audiences a treat next week. Following success with Saltimbanco and Quidam, the troupe bring Alegria to the North West.

The spectacular show Alegria has wowed over ten million people worldwide since it was first performed in 1994. The production which also visits Birmingham, Glasgow and Dublin, features an international cast of 55 performers and musicians from 17 countries and showcases breathtaking acrobatics.

Alegria is a mood, a state of mind. The themes of the show, whose name means "jubilation" in Spanish, are many. Power and the handing down of power over time, the evolution from ancient monarchies to modern democracies, old age, youth - it is against this backdrop that the characters of Alegría play out their lives. Kings' fools, minstrels, beggars, old aristocrats and children make up its universe, along with the clowns, who alone are able to resist the passing of time and the social transformations that accompany it.

Alegria is at the Manchester Evening News Arena from 4 - 7 April.