Thursday, November 24, 2016

November 24. Day 329. Running away to join the circus

Many years ago, in  land far, far away – well actually not that far. I can walk there. Anyway we had this Christmas tradition. We would attend the living Christmas tree concert at the South Bank Piazza. It was a spectacular thing which concluded with a nativity procession with donkeys, camels and the like. The highlight for my son out of this whole extravaganza was always the poo count. The more animals that did wees or poos during this procession, the happier he was. I was reminded of this tonight at Cirque du Soleil. If the franchise represents anything it is high quality, jaw droppingly good entertainment. But it’s also good fun with some really, really great clowning and this time one of the acts that got the biggest laughs was a clown dog who weed all over a cameraman. Living freaks doing things that should not be possible and we wet ourselves over a wee. Cirque du Soleil really understands the show biz motto “make ‘em laugh”
The Canadian-based circus juggernaut has spawned a kaleidoscope of different shows - 21 in all right now if my count is correct – and while I’ve only seen half that number I can say there’s not a dud among them. Is this this best? Probably not. But it’s good. Really, really good. Will this have you gasp, hold your breath, clap, cheer, laugh, smile and feel that every hard earned $$$ you forked out was worth it? Totally.
Kooza, according to the blurb is “a return to our origins. KOOZA combines acrobatic performance and the art of clowning, while exploring fear, identity, recognition and power.” It goes on “The Innocent's journey brings him into contact with comic characters from an electrifying world full of surprises, thrills, audacity and total involvement.” Whatever. It may be revealing myself as a philistine but I don’t think I’ve followed a “plot” in any of the shows I’ve seen. Do I care? Not a jolt. I saw people doing things that should not be possible for two hours plus. They contorted, balanced, flipped, clowned, gyrated and showed a complete disregard for such things as the laws of gravity. If circus was an Olympic event, the degree of difficulty of most of the acts would be off the chart. Take something that should be impossible on the ground and then do it on a high wire, on a bicycle, without a net. That sort of thing. But that’s only half the story as to why this is such a spectacular performance experience. No one leaves the tent singing the praises of the lighting but the production values – costumes, sound, lighting, music and staging – all combine to create a show that is magic. And if you need another reason – a dog might cock its leg and wee on you. Yep, something for EVERYONE.

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