Wednesday, September 27

Cirque: The Greatest Show – Floral Pavilion

Music, magic, mime and a variety of daring acts. Cirque blasts you through them all in this melange of talent. Definitely one the kids will enjoy, there are playground giggles and mystifying moments.

It is a fun, feelgood escape.

Offering a night like no other, Cirque draws you in to a chaotic world where musical theatre meets circus spectacle. Where else can you experience hits from showstopping musicals, see thrilling feats of daring and become engrossed in the life of a lonely but lively mime artist (Christian Lee)?

The show opens with Lee entering a competition for a glorious technicolour TV – where winning it becomes a truly transformative experience. Getting to grips with his new technicolour television, we accompany Lee on a journey through a variety of talents. From hand balancers to jugglers, skaters and fire whirling, there’s something for all.

An experienced performer, Lee is adroit at interacting with the audience and times knowing nods with cheeky glances well. You cannot help but buy into the character he creates.

For me, standout performances were a poetic dance with the Cyr Wheel (Pascal Haering), the showmanship of juggler Tom Barrandon and the passion of singer Wes Bromley, who despite joining the cast at the eleventh hour never dropped a beat and undertakes his role with unwavering, West End passion.

Although energy is high, there is room for refinement. At times, the cohesion between acts can come across as disjointed and the timing within dance sequences could be tightened up.

There were issues with sound during this performance, particularly in the second half – it was clear some of the singers couldn’t hear themselves well enough to keep the key and that impacted upon audience experience. 

However, this kind of issue is often a technical one and can vary between venues.

The voices of the cast are strong, suited to bigger stages even. In the same way opera singers can sound less engaging when they try to ‘tone it down’, the Cirque cast carry the vocal power suited to projecting in larger venues. Additionally, acts such as the roller skaters and fire juggler could do with more space to be fully appreciated.

Inspiring awe and wonder in people is no mean feat and Cirque manages to pull this off – children leave babbling with contented curiosity and adults quietly contemplate just how did the mime multiply the bottles? How did he make a bowling ball fall out of nowhere?

It has collected clearly talented people, weaved an engaging narrative and holds potential to go from being good to being spectacular.

Cirque continues on a UK tour,

Reviewer: Ezzy LaBelle

Reviewed: 10th September 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.