Review: Cirque du Soleil 'Alegría' - Wembley Arena ✭✭✭✭

Cirque du Soleil

Wembley Arena

Wednesday 24th July 2013: I always look forward to seeing a Cirque du Soleil show, you know its going to be jam packed with colour, vibrancy, good music and outstanding acrobatability. After the disappointment of the Michael Jackson 'Immortal' arena tour, which in my opinion was the worst show Cirque has done, Alegría was back to what they do best.

Alegría takes it's name from the spanish word for Joy, and is one of Cirque's most popular touring shows. It first opened in 1994, it has been performed over 5,000 times and seen by over 10 million spectators in more than 65 cities around the world. Alegría originated as a touring big top show. However, beginning with its 2009-2010 North American tour, the show has been converted to an arena format, enabling it to visit cities that were previously inaccessible to the big top tour.

It was good to see the circus skills back in abundance, with trampolining, fire eating, contortionism, jumping on beams etc etc etc. The clowns were funnier this time round, but were on stage far too long in places between the circus acts. The raked stage has a slight gothic element to it, with the live band playing upstage, and a dome centre stage high above proceedings where performers are seen in the shadows.

Unfortunately, Cirque shows are a very risky business, where things can go wrong, and in tonights performance, the trapeze did go wrong, thank goodness they had a safety net! One of the catchers damaged his shoulder during the routine, and the show had to be paused while they got him down and then the show carried on with the curtain calls. We wish the performer a speedy recovery.

Four stars ✭✭✭✭

Alegría is playing at Wembley Arena until 28th July