REVIEW: Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria at the NIA, Birmingham
This week, the Birmingham NIA is playing host to one of the most dynamic, awe-inspiring, and downright spectacular circus troupes in the world of the performing arts.
Named after the Spanish word for ‘joy’, the show is based upon the themes of energy, grace, and the power of youth. It is comprised of a variety of circus acts; from the Trapeze and Contortionists, to the Russian Bars and Fire-Knife Dancers. Prepare for your jaw to drop and have your mind blown, as artists accomplish acts of almost inhuman strength, speed, and flexibility.
The high-energy extravaganza is punctuated with some truly hilarious comedy sketches put on by a band of loveable clowns. Even the most stony-faced will find themselves laughing along to the clown’s crazy antics, especially when unwitting audience members are selected to take part in the shenanigans.
But this isn’t just a mechanical reel of different circus acts. Cirque has always been legendary for its magnificent sets, dazzling costumes and incredible music, and they’ve pulled out all the stops on this one. The stage is designed to almost seem like a portal into another world of fantastic colour and mystery, inhabited by equally vibrantly clad characters who seem to both blend and contrast with each other simultaneously.
Each of the acts has a different theme song to set the mood accordingly, making them all the more memorable and mesmerising, and there are some brilliant special effects that really help bring the audience into the world the show creates. Put simply, Alegría is an experience bordering on magical.
One minute you’ll be laughing your head off, the next you’ll be gasping, dumbfounded, along with everyone else in the audience at death-defying exploits you never would’ve thought humanly possible.
Verdict: If you’re not doing anything this weekend, I strongly recommend you go see this show. And if you are doing something else, then cancel it – it can’t be as good as Alegría!
Elena Jung & Robbie Redfearn
Alegría is on at the Birmingham’s NIA between 18 – 22 April 2012, tickets are priced at £50 (plus booking and transaction fees). Available from The Ticket Factory: www.theticketfactory.com or 0844 338 8000.