Royal Albert Hall (venue)
19 January 2023 (released)
23 January 2023
Cirque du Soleil’s latest show, Kurios, is the perfect fit for the Royal Albert Hall. Packed with Victorian curiosities and steam-punk style, the cast emerge from a winding train as an eccentric inventor pours over his more bizarre creations. With flying machines and human bodies taking off one minute and a giant moving hand covered in a squid of contortionists the next, this is a fantastical and sometimes futuristic blend of Victorian circus, locomotive delights and acrobatics.
It seems as if the Canadian masters of the genre have returned from the stillness of lockdown with more ambition than ever. Kurios is a show where the acrobats are matched by a richly wrought tapestry of sights and sounds. The live band, a blend of gypsy swing and European folk is at all times glorious whilst the visual narrative feels a little muddled at first, so intricate, so many characters, you hardly know where to focus. Facundo Gimenez draws us in with his charming ‘Invisible Circus’ including tiny invisible lion and tightrope walkers, but of course most of the audience have come for one thing - jaw-dropping acrobatics.
And when they come, they really stun, using the entire scope of the Albert Halls’ dome from floor to ceiling. Stand out acts, include the extraordinarily brilliant Acro-net, leaping fishermen inside a giant fishnet raised above the stage, so springy that they fly 30 feet to the roof and back in a dazzling display. The brothers Roman and Vitali Tamanov aerial straps swoop effortlessly between each other and over the audience in a moment of uplifting beauty. But it’s the merging of concept and skill in the aerial dinner party that gets the greatest gasp. I won’t spoil it any further as it’s worth going just for this.
Slicker than ever, Kurios leaves you with food for thought that reaches beyond the expected high wire thrills.