Review – Circus theatre that didn’t quite hang together at The Lowry
After a short break, our regular theatre reviewer Lorna is back – and this time it’s to review a performance that’s all tied up in knots!
Cirque Surreal The Voyagers is described as a dynamic fusion of circus, dance, drama and comedy.
Leading performance artistes from over 10 countries have come together for the first time in this internationally acclaimed production, which follows the modern fable of five Voyagers travelling through space and time under powerful mystical lunar influences beyond their control.
While the artists and performers are undoubtedly fantastic in their own right, the show didn’t feel like it hung together well and it was very much like watching separate acts in a variety show.
The concept of immigration and integration which started and ended the show felt very much like misplaced bookends rather than a comprehensive narrative woven throughout.
Having said that the show is geared for a primarily family audience and the children in the audience loved the comedy of the clowns and the daring elements of the other acts in equal measure.
The aerial acts and acrobats were amazing and had me on the edge of my seat. It would be unfair to say that I was not impressed by the individual performers themselves, however having seen various circus performances elsewhere I feel that the performers were let down by the overall weakness of the ‘voyager’ concept, which just didn’t come through strongly enough.
Part of my issue may have been that I think that this type of artistry works best in settings other than a theatre with the stage at the front, as the more angles you can see the more you feel involved and amazed. While a more traditional Big Top setting is never fully in the round, the extra degrees it allows the audience, all add to the experience of appreciating how incredible the performers are at what they do.
I would recommend seeing Cirque Surreal if you have children and they’ve not seen anything similar before as an introduction to circus theatre.
Cirque Surreal runs from 2nd – 6th April. For more information and to book tickets, click here.
Photographs: The Lowry