Cirque du Soleil: Ovo review

Theatre, Circuses
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Cirque du Soleil bring their show back again

If you’ve ever seen a Cirque du Soleil show at the Royal Albert Hall, you’ll know exactly what to expect from their latest. 'Ovo' is a dreadful clown comedy, enlivened by a series of jaw-dropping acrobatic interludes.

This is my main problem with the devastatingly successful Canadian circus franchise: it has the best performers in the business, but the shows are absolutely chocka with sophomoric gooning around that I’m reasonably certain nobody really asked for.

First seen in Montreal in 2009 and making its UK debut here, ‘Ovo’ – created and directed by Deborah Colker – is notionally themed around insects, though this has little bearing on the physicality of the show beyond Liz Vandal’s garish costumes.

There is a plot, of sorts, following a pair of dopey flies (I can’t tell you who played them as no performer credits were issued to the press) who fall over, fight and occasionally rub their faces on the breasts of a lady fly.

I did not find this particularly endearing. But the prowess of the show’s acrobats is undeniable. A guy juggling four glowing diabolos at the same time pretty much blew my face off; a fella unicycling upside-down on a tightrope made me question whether we were even the same species; and a joyous, trampoline-based finale was, you know, actual, brilliant fun.

If only the feats constituted a higher proportion of the clowntastic show, and if only the basic formula didn’t essentially adhere to that of every other Cirque du Soleil tour to rock up here in the last decade. The insect concept is promising, but ‘Ovo’ swats away any hint of risk.

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