Cirque Du Soleil is a hugely successful franchise with shows playing all over the world, but if you have seen any of these productions, you may have found your patience tested with their stock Euro-pop soundtracks and irritating clowns.
Thankfully, Le Grand Cirque has all of the breath-taking elements of the genre and none of the filler, and as the title suggests everything is done on a grand scale. From the opening scenes, you are dazzled into submission by a variety of human spinning wheels, acrobats and contortionists, all displaying extraordinary talent.
The pre-recorded music gives the show a strong whiff of gorgonzola as it is so old school – somewhat reminiscent of Siegfried and Roy - but this is all part of the fun, alongside the pearly white teeth, perma-grins and over-the-top costumes. Visually, there is so much going on that you can hardly pause to take note of any flaws.
There are a few though; namely the fact that most of the acts have been seen in some form somewhere else. Also the audience participation sections, particularly the Stomp style clapping are a tad overlong. But the audience on opening night would probably disagree with me, as they had a ball joining in.
The ringmaster/mime artist is a great host, linking all of the acts together and amply entertaining the audience along the way. Talking of elastic-limbed individuals, a personal favourite are the silver-suited acrobats who jump through every hoop/ring imaginable, delighting the audience at every turn.
Another act features two contortionists, almost joined at the hip via movement. True, you may snigger as they step onto the stage in tight pants exhibiting some undeniably homo-erotic moves, but this is classic Big Top stuff.
If you are longing to see some good old fashioned, family entertainment, then Le Grand Cirque has it all including; plate spinning ladies, human towers, an aerial hunk in ripped jeans and some acrobats who literally stand on the heads of others. Oh, What A Circus! - Glenn Meads