Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna

Theatre, Circuses
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Cirque du Soleil's blockbuster circus riff on 'The Tempest' is thrilling stuff

'Amaluna' will return to London in January 2017. This review is from the 2016 run. 

Pity the performers in Cirque du Soleil. When they’re not doing jaw-droppingly impressive things on stage, the minutiae of ordinary life – like popping to the shops for milk, say – must be incredibly boring.

Because, make no mistake, this show from the Canada-originating, world-conquering circus troupe is a spectacular piece of escapism. After premiering in Montreal in 2012, it’s at the Royal Albert Hall to mark the company’s twentieth anniversary at the venue.
Loosely based on Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, with shades of Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’, the show follows the trials of Miranda – daughter of the sorceress Prospero – and the shipwrecked Romeo, as they fall in love on the island of Amaluna. The multi-level set, with its massive, peacock feather-like fronds, has epic scale.

At this point, there’s an expected level of slick professionalism in Cirque du Soleil’s work – and, leaving aside the slightly cheesy rock opera stylings, ‘Amaluna’ feels like a Hollywood blockbuster, with a budget to match. And yet this doesn’t take away from the thrill, thanks to its well-chosen acts and deft tonal changes.

The supernatural is apt when the skill and physical prowess of the performers seems magical. But it’s not just about stunning, large-scale acrobatics performed by people dressed as animals. The proper hook to ‘Amaluna’ is its confidence in occasionally silencing the roaring guitars of the band – in letting stillness in.

As Miranda, Iuliia Mykhailova is mesmerising in an act involving stilts, a giant water bowl and immense concentration; while Lara Jacobs Rigolo (as the helpfully-named Balance Goddess) is spell-binding as she creates a boat frame using only canes, her toes and feats of balance that seem impossible.

One of the best aspects is the way that traditional circus acts are pulled seamlessly into the strong visual narrative. There’s artistry in the timing, skill in the pay-off and some actually funny clowning between Gabriella Argento’s formidable nursemaid, Mainha, and Pavel Mikhaylov as Romeo’s manservant Papulya.

And you know what else is great? The show’s focus on female characters and performers, as well as the all-women rock band. When this is still shamefully far from the norm, seeing this much talent recognised and celebrated on such a scale is fantastic. Cirque du Soleil continues to raise the bar – literally. 

By: Tom Wicker

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LiveReviews|16
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By far the worst thing I've ever done out on London I wondered whether to leave or stab myself in the eyes. Tbh the price I paid kept me sitting but I'll never go to a show again after this never have I bee. Gagging so much to go home to my bed.

Tastemaker

I’ve never seen Cirque du Soleil before and managed to see Amaluna which is a totally magical show on tour in London and I was totally engrossed throughout. It was amazing to watch from start to finish that tells the tale of a story between the queen’s daughter and one of the men washed up on their island shore and the trials they must go through to prove their love for each other. The cast (apparently 70% are female) from the mime artists to the musicians, the acrobats and the performers were all excellent, extremely talented and it is understandable why Cirque du Soleil has the great reputation that it does. The Royal Albert Hall provides a beautiful setting for this production with magnificent lighting and revolving stage design. The music is contemporary and dramatic with singing and musicians rocking out on keyboards, cello, percussion, guitars and bass. Expect a great assortment of acts from banquine, unicycles, acrobatics on teeterboards, poles, uneven bars, aerial hoops and swinging straps. It was difficult to choose which I liked the most as they were all incredible. Mesmerising hair raising gymnastics on the edge of a water filled glass bowl. The balancing act was stunning and breathtaking to watch, as one false move the whole thing could collapse! The clown mime acts were also great to lighten the mood in between scene changes and some of the more intense acts.



I've been to a few shows in the past in London and this time round I visited with my friends again and to our surprise we were extremely disappointed. The show was flat, boring with zero breath taking moments.

tastemaker

What a way to end my week, an amazing performance by Cirque De Soleil. I was laughing, biting my nails, sitting on the edge of my seat and in a state of amazement as I watched the very talented performers of Amaluna. Although the story was confusing at times I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at the Royal Albert Hall. This was the perfect venue for such a performance as the depth and height created ambiance, audience interaction and great viewpoints. 


The stage was well constructed and thought out as varied moving sections allowed the audience to enjoy performers from every angle. The all female musicians were on point and their presence on stage was well received as they were not only musically talented but gelled with the performance going on around them. Over-all a cohesive performance that left me wanting to me see more. Well done!

tastemaker

Amaluna showed last year and I was so in love with it, the next day I bought my parents tickets to see it. It’s such a fabulous show that I saw it again this year. I’ve seen nearly all the Cirque De Soleil shows (including the not-so-great ones in Vegas) and by far Amaluna, in my opinion, is the best. This year had some new acts and tweaks to existing ones. The opening unicycle act was exciting and a taster for what was to come. The costumes were stunning.It was honestly hard to say which acts were my favourite but the lovers’ acts were brilliant. Lara Jacob’s Balance Goddess act was so unique and beautiful.Plus I feel Amaluna is a particular treat for the ladies as many of the male acrobats are really quite easy on the eye.

Another star of the show has to be the stage - the way things appear, disappear and rotate is amazing.


The clowns were the weakest link and though they are there to distract you from the stage clearing, because the other acts are of such a high standard, it just highlights that they are just mediocre.

It’s not a cheap show but (excluding the clowns) every act is outstanding. You’ll come out dazzled and in awe. 

Tastemaker

I've seen Cirque du Soleil before in Vegas and absolutely loved it, so had high expectations for Amaluna in London, especially as they were quite pricey! 


What a beautiful visual feast to say the least, with costumes, lighting and a stage that is breathtaking at times and well managed throughout. The acts are largely all fantastic, though a few in the first half left me feeling a bit underwhelmed with their performance (not their fault primarily).


Things really heat up in the second act, but overall, I'm afraid that I wasn't hugely enamoured with the show. Firstly, it's not worth the ticket price. It's horrifically expensive, especially as unless you're sat right in front of the stage on the lower levels, the majority of the staging and visual acts is lost on you. Said tickets cost around £70 minimum I think, and anything less will give you a significantly sub par experience. 


Secondly, some of the acts themselves aren't made full use of. There are some incredible ones yes, but the aerial stunts and earlier acts left me feeling a bit bored. I've seen better acrobatics from their Vegas counterparts, and from the actual Circus troupes that tour the country etc. 


It's a bit of a shame and maybe I've been spoiled from seeing them in Vegas where it's a much bigger and permanent affair, and I appreciate that they have to work in the constraints of the Royal Albert Hall. But to charge that much for tickets? Over reaching themselves I think, and clear from the fact that around 20-30% of the hall was empty seats! 

Tastemaker

My first experience of Cirque du Soleil - I found it entertaining and mesmerising, but my seats in the circle were probably not ideal to get the most out of it. A mix of very impressive stunts, clowning and live music in the stunning atmosphere of the Albert Hall made for a pleasant night out, but some of the acrobatics may have been more awe-inspiring from ground-level or a more intimate space.

tastemaker

Cirque Du Soleil is a Canadian entertainment company which delivers astonishing masterpieces of theatre/circus shows. Amaluna is now showing in Albert Hall until 26 February. 

Don't miss it! Even though the tickets are a bit pricey, it's totally worth it. The show is absolutely spectacular. 

Amaluna is a story of romance between young girl Miranda and Romeo, who is brought to the Mysterious Island Ruled by Goddesses. The Island occupied only by women and fairy-like creatures, including cute lizard who is secretly in love with Miranda.  

Life singing is accompanying jaw-dropping acrobatics. Unicycles dressed in golden costumes are amazing. It's mesmerising to watch how  The Balance Goddess is picking up with her feet wooden canes and is building a ship which holds in the air with the sticks just holding one on another. Acrobatics are beyond imaginable; they spin, jump and fly in the air, dive in to the water.

Amazing show!


tastemaker

An acrobatic masterpiece and brilliant entertainment for all the family hosted in one of London's treasures. This show will delight and amaze you as it fluidly blends from one act to another, delivering a story with strong feminine undertones and the tale of true love. 


From tribal women to sturdy sailors, there is no question of ability and strength. The variety of acts and equipment used will keep you on the edge of your seat.


The acts are pieced together with a pantomime-style story line delivered by a couple of the lead characters throughout the show but their lightheartedness balances the otherwise adrenaline-fueling and awe-inspiring performances delivered spectacularly by the rest of the cast. 


The show is supported by a brilliant group of talented singers and musicians and in true Cirque du Soleil style, the costume design and make-up artistry is a visual treat.


You're encouraged to take photos (without flash) so watch out for the performance in the waterbowl and for high flying work on the aerial straps - though you'll need a high speed camera to keep up!


There's still time to see it, so get down there as soon as you can!


About the best show I've seen in a long time. What makes it stand out from the other similar acrobatic shows is the variety and quality the cast offer with stunning live music, fluent and freakishly well performed acrobatics and with a story that draws you even more into every scene.

Tip: if you can splash the cash get seats in Stalls, it really is worth it

Tastemaker

Without a doubt this is - THE BEST SHOW IN LONDON! Worth every penny, book your tickets!


Amazing performers that leave you gasping and silenced. Each act went beyond expectations, mind blowing freaks of nature. With the backdrop of the beautiful Royal Albert Hall this was a truly unforgettable evening.

tastemaker

Cirque Du Soleil - Amaluna - Royal Albert Hall, London

Firstly what a great place to hold such a spectacular performance of Cirque Du Soleil.Royal Albert Hall is a charming spacious round building so pretty. No matter where you sit and view the stage you will always get a great view.

I have been to many other performances before by Cirque du Soleil and like usual meeting all my expectations with great story, acrobatics, jugglers, balancing acts, air stunts, comical elements, etc. all acts so magical, mesmerising and most acts takes your breath away.

Amaluna is about a ship wreck that happens and these sailors end up stranded on a mystical island full of creatures and females. One of the young females has just reached adult hood and has never come across a man before and she ends up falling in love with one Romeo and her mother also ends up falling in love with the captain.Through the play to set up a new scene and equipment the mother and the captain (modern type clowns) act out a comical love chasing/teasing scenes. One of the scenes they acted out in my personal opinion went on far too long and got a bit boring but their acts are funny.However all the technical circus acts were stunning visually and amazing to watch. Only technical circus act I did not like much was the balancing one where she was making a boat frame up in my opinion it went on far too long with her picking up bits of wood with her feet.The costumes and scenery is outstanding and stunning. The music that is played is easy to listen to and the lightening makes everything from the music to the acts seem even more magical. I would highly recommend in seeing this spectacular show as it is full of colour and talent and will leave you blown away in amazement.

tastemaker

« Mesdames et Messieurs, le spectacle va commencer. »


This was the first time I was seeing one of their show, and I am so happy I did. Tickets were a bit pricey, but the show is breath-taking and extremely beautiful, so it worth it!


If by chance you manage to get tickets, go for it! This is the same show as last year, but my friend who saw it already was still stunned in front of so much preparation, beauty and precision.


When the artist is holding his breath during a hard performance, all the audience is feeling the tension and remain silent, holding their breath as well, as if us breathing would make the performance fail!


During the final, my eyes didn’t even know where to look; I was subjugated in front of so much talent and beauty.


If you miss it this year, make sure you’ll go next year!

Tastemaker

First a quick mention for the venue.. The Royal Albert Hall is stunning! So regal and charming, plus it is probably one of the only theatres where every seat gives you a different (but still great) view.


Now for the show... Wow!!! Absolutely spectacular! The performers are amazing, so graceful and agile. The backdrop and changing scenery is awesome. The storyline, though a little hard to follow, is fascinating and entertaining with a few humorous moments.


This will appeal to all ages. Take your kids, take your other half, take your Grandma... They will all love it!

Tastemaker

Cirque du Soleil have once again taken over the Royal Albert Hall and produced something which is jaw dropping. This is partly down to the beautiful backdrop and how the circus troupe uses the space. I can’t imagine there is a bad seat in the house. What a spectator sees on the floor level must be a different kind of divine from up top. Amaluna is loosely based on The Tempest. It is loose and comes and goes.

The music and the band’s outfits are a bit naff – think Shania Twain late 90s throwback stuff - but the acrobatics and clowning is, as always, seriously top dollar. The simplest things transpire to be the most awe inducing. If, like me, the thought of clowning makes you roll your eyes, you will be nicely surprised by the show’s duo. Jokes for adults and kids alike.

Children will be spellbound and adults alike. This is a great day out for the family. But sadly only if you can afford it.