Cirque De Soleil have brought their brand-new UK arena tour OVO, a celebration of nature and co-existence, to Nottingham. Reviewer Andrew Wakefield gives his view on the opening night at the Motorpoint Arena.
It took a moment for me to recognise it - but as the beautifully bizarre members of Cirque De Soleil burst into their first magnificently impressive display of gymnastics of the evening I noticed a feeling that hadn’t surfaced for some time.
Their wondrous skill in uniformly juggling large items and even other gymnasts while in lying down bicycle pedaling position had me looking to my family to ensure they shared my feeling of awe.
Not being a gymnastic aficionado it was difficult for me to fathom how they were performing such feats - and not in leotards but in fluorescent insect-themed garb more likely to be seen at a particularly outlandish rave.
To explain, the show’s theme is OVO, meaning “egg” in Portuguese, and is a headlong rush into a colorful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement. When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic object that represents the enigma and cycles of their lives. It is love at first sight when a gawky, quirky insect arrives in this bustling community and a fabulous ladybug catches his eye – and the feeling is mutual.
This comical love story is the thread running through the story-telling of the show and really helps to add in something more than just bouncing from one impressive feat to another.
And the acrobatics were becoming gradually more daring with the trapeze producing a gasping conclusion to the first half.
Suitably surprised and wide-eyed expressions were then exchanged in the intermission with the harshest critics on the night - my two teenagers.
Keen to further my evening of boyish wonderment we settled in for a further bedazzling and the feeling of being sucked into this microscopic disco-style wonderland where contortion and a rock-climbing trampolining fusion crescendo sprinkled with amusing interludes and audience participation leave us feeling we have watched a complete and polished package.
It’s truly more than the traditional display of athleticism, Cirque have perfected the art of the gymnastic play in this new production.
The cast of OVO is comprised of 50 performing artists from 17 countries specialising in many acrobatic acts. This includes Alanna Baker from the United Kingdom who plays the role of the Black Spider in the show.
You’ll have to be quick to catch it - the show runs until Sunday, September 16. To check out ticket price and availability CLICK HERE