Cirque du Soleil – Amaluna at the Royal Albert HallCultureTheatre
Back at the Royal Albert Hall by popular demand, Amaluna is a loose adaptation of The Tempest, which follows Miranda as she comes of age and falls in love with Romeo on an enchanted island.
Cirque du Soleil are not known as a company who do things by halves and the grand pomp of the venue, coupled with the immersive sound and set design, grabs attendees as soon as they enter the room.
The narrative is not complicated, nor is it particularly subtle, but that is not what draws the crowd here. It’s the spectacle. So as a straightforward means to an end – that being stunning performance art and acrobatics – the story behind all the agility is highly effective. The plot is given just enough time to make sense and to, on occasion, even be beautiful as the company dazzles in a range of thrilling acts.
Two of the most compelling characters are the clownish lovers who provide the comic relief. It is they who inspire a good deal of the delight one feels when watching the show: their childish slapstick humour (with a naughty side) invites viewers to once again lean into the glee they used to feel as a kid as they watch the acrobats leap and swing high above their heads, until suspense becomes joy.
Some of the standout stunts are the aerial straps and the “Balance Goddess”, who builds and balances a giant mobile of palm ribs; while it might not sound that exciting to those unfamiliar with this kind of act, the tension it builds is palpable. Though it is not always apparent how these performances are serving the narrative, they are certainly impressive. Complete with the most soulful pole routine that has been seen since Liv Tyler in the Crazy video, Amaluna is an audiovisual feast full of wonder.
Photos: Ambra Vernuccio
Cirque du Soleil – Amaluna is at the Royal Albert Hall from 12th January until 26th of February 2017. Book your tickets here.