Cirque du Soleil: Kooza
By Hannah Hume
If you happen to be a huge Cirque du Soleil fan, like myself, then I expect you’ll be familiar with the ridiculously high expectations that come with the purchase of a ticket to see the internationally known circus act. In my case, this was no different for the Circus’ latest show Kooza. A tale of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world, one is told to expect a story that flits swiftly between themes of fear, identity, recognition and power – and of course the gravity defying acrobatics the circus show is known for.
Kooza opens with a meeting between The Innocent and The Trickster who then proceed on a journey through an imaginary world where they encounter The King, The Pickpocket and the Bad Dog, not to mention a number of Clowns who never fail to appear at the right comedic moment. In contrast to previous shows the characters also have a brilliant way of involving the audience, which may prove terrifying for those with a nervous disposition, but will undoubtedly be an excellent bonus for the exhibitionist with front row seats or the child silently hoping the Clown will choose him to come on stage. While not crucial to the plot, these short acts add a light-hearted tone to what is a very dramatic (and at times slightly scary) show.
However, the highlights of Kooza are unquestionably the acrobatic sections which seem to get more daring as the show passes. To open up, Kooza treats its audience to an array of choreographed acts including Charivari and Contortion which entertain and are visually very pleasing on the eye. By the second half of the show, however, many viewers can expect to find themselves hiding behind their programmes as they attempt to watch The Wheel of Death, a stunt that involves two acrobats, a 1600 pound wheel that hangs from the ceiling and some of the most daring acrobatics I’ve ever witnessed.
Tickets are not on the cheap side but the fantastic thing about Cirque du Soleil is that each act looks astounding regardless of whether you’re sat in the vertigo-inducing Circle or down in the stalls practically taking part in the show itself. So save up your pennies and go. But don’t forget to take some extra change for your programme – I promise you’ll need it to hide behind during the more daring moments…