My mother and I had absolutely no idea what the hell was going on half the time last night.
At one point my mum turned and whispered to me “Lyndsey – is it just me, or is this a bit like a scene out of Iggle Piggle?” Referring to the hit toddlers TV program – In the Night Garden.
I can only associate VARAKAI; the latest hit circus show from Cirque Du Soleil, the Canadian entertainment company and the largest theatrical producer in the world, with the ultimate two-hour episode of Britain’s got Talent. Only it’s not just Britain – it’s Japan, Puerto Rico, America, Russia, Belgium, Ukraine and (somewhere called) Azerbaijan’s Got Talent. Just with no Simon Cowell and no Ant and Dec – but that’s not a bad thing.
Animation, live music, humour, magic, dance, acrobatics and some very bizarre other goings on are brought together by routines and sequences that can only have been choreographed by a creative team powered by a good few magic mushroom shakes and puff cakes.
Each Cirque du Soleil show (and there are a lot of them!) is a synthesis of circus styles from around the world, with their own central theme and storyline. This week at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, the storyline consists of ‘Tales from the forest’.
What the hell is it about?
Here’s the official bumf… I’d probably suggest you read it a few times over if you are going to go see VAREKAI – just so you have an iota of an idea of what the hell is going on.
“Deep within a forest atop a volcano, exists an extraordinary world, where anything is possible: Varekai… From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story begins. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered.”
If, like my mum and I, you are a northern notice when it comes to The Arts then my advice for you would be to focus less on the story and more of the sheer magnificence of the human body.
How the absolute fuck a human being can perform some of the acts that were occurring above us, below us and in front of us was absolutely mind-blowing. Spellbinding, gripping, breath-taking – I found myself dribbling at one point I was that mesmerized what was going on in front of me.
VAKARAI is on at the First Direct Arena all this week in Leeds – don’t miss out, go and see it! Available to see in other UK cities too.