Cirque du Soleil – Amaluna at the Royal Albert HallCultureTheatre
Cirque du Soleil’s touring show Amaluna staged its London opening at the Royal Albert Hall last night, and though it delivered the superhuman gymnastic feats the public has come to expect, ultimately it left much to be desired.
Structured around an almost indiscernible plot loosely based on The Tempest, this was a two-hour miscellany of acts, ranging from inarguably impressive to just plain dull. The action was kicked off by a rotund female clown whose increasingly irritating antics punctuated the show throughout, complemented (or not) by an amorous male counterpart in the shape of the sea captain. The squawking set pieces from the two were not doubt useful as filler, and there were rare moments of genuine comic skill, but the general effect was tiresome and jarred with the relatively slick remainder. Or anyway, slick on the whole.
There were capable (if rather brassy) live musicians, breathtaking routines on aerial straps and uneven bars, as well as notable solos from both leads: Miranda, in a shockingly bendy sequence in and around a giant water bowl, and her seafaring love interest, Romeo, demonstrating incredible athletic prowess on a pole. Nonetheless, various minor mishaps (among them errant juggling balls, wobbling balance acts and a hoop that went awry in the audience) made for slightly uncomfortable watching. Coupled with often excruciating live vocals and some odd programming (a set involving what was effectively advanced pick-up sticks with noisy breathing enjoyed a particularly mixed reception), there was little wonder the cast’s second curtain call was unsolicited by an audience who were already leaving their seats.
Cirque du Soleil continues to offer stunning acrobatic spectacle and will no doubt retain its loyal fan base, but Amaluna falls flat.
Photos: Ambra Vernuccio
Cirque du Soleil – Amaluna is on at the Royal Albert Hall from 19th January until 6th March 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch a trailer for Amaluna here: