Review: Cirque du Soleil presents Amaluna - Royal Albert Hall ✭✭✭✭

Cirque du Soleil 

Royal Albert Hall

Review by Emma Curry

Cirque du Soleil need no introduction – they are the most popular circus skills performers of all time and tour their shows around the world to huge audiences. As a first-time spectator, however, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at the Royal Albert Hall for their performance of Amaluna, but it’s safe to say that the show didn’t disappoint.

The story is loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and is set on a colourful tropical island populated by exotic creatures and female spirits. On the day of main character Miranda’s coming-of-age party, a group of shipwrecked sailors are washed ashore, and the narrative focuses on the love story between Miranda and the Captain’s son.

As those who have seen Cirque du Soleil’s shows before will know, the story is told through a variety of astonishing gymnastic performances, with a range of circus skills from around the world on display. This show featured trampolining, high-wire acts, unicyclists, jugglers, contortionists, and much, much more. These amazing physical performances are supplemented by beautifully detailed and colourful costuming, and a range of fantastic, atmospheric music. 70% of the show’s cast is female, including an all-female band, and it was refreshing to see this emphasis upon female talent in a traditionally male-dominated discipline.

The performers are all phenomenally talented, and displayed an excellent rapport with the audience. The show is set almost in the round, allowing the performers to come right out into the auditorium at points, whilst the aerial performers swooped above our heads to thrilling effect. The cast also works together extremely well, and it was wonderful to see the ways in which they help and support each other throughout the show, particularly in the more dangerous acrobatic performances.

The only less enjoyable moments of this show for me were the segments with the two clowns, who are played by the parents of Miranda and her lover. Whilst children will no doubt adore the slapstick element of these sequences, for me they dragged a little when inserted between the high-energy, adrenaline-filled acrobatic segments of the story.

Nevertheless, this is a beautifully staged and breathtaking show, with many details to enjoy. The Royal Albert Hall is also the perfect home for it ­– the beautiful old building provides a suitably grand and atmospheric setting for the musical, lyrical elements of the storytelling, whilst the in-the-round seating allows for an immersive audience experience. For a cold winter’s evening, then, this is the perfect show to transport you to warmer climes. Don’t miss it!

Four stars ✭✭✭✭