Writer and Director: Daniele Finzi Pasca
After 683 days, the incredible Cirque du Soleil is back and gracing the stage once again at the Royal Albert Hall. While many of us spent the last two years badly baking banana bread or following Joe Wicks’ workout routines on YouTube, this talented troupe were clearly honing their skills to make their magical Mexican themed show, Luiza, a spectacular return.
Although the stunts and acrobatics are obviously the main focal point of the show, there is also a narrative loosely centred around a man landing in the middle of Mexico after skydiving from a plane (Fool Koller), and interacting his way through the new and enchanting surroundings in which he finds himself. Bringing some light humour to the performance is an endearing way to break up the rest of the show and reset the stage.
The slick stunt work that you come to expect from the well-known production team is still very much prevalent within Luiza, beginning with an energetic introduction to the high level of skill from the hoop divers. The cyr wheel performance will have you completely transfixed to the stage and the swing-to-swing routine featuring the cast diving through the air has the audience gasping in excitement and awe.
But, while the routines are somewhat expected within any circus show, it’s the sheer grandeur of the set design that is what sets this show apart. As the waterfall cascades down from the ceiling, with images being projected through the stream, it’s easy to get lost in the magic of the detail that set and props designer Eugenio Caballero has crafted. Each concept comes to life whether it’s an underground cenote or a summer fiesta, the audience are automatically swept up into his tropical vision of beauty. The scenes are artistic and beautifully poetic, harmonising with the Mariachi style band that play through a wonderful catalogue of Mexican inspired music throughout.
The cast work alongside each other with mesmerising precision, choreographed perfectly with synchronised harmony. Hailing from every corner of the globe they have combined their abilities and mastered their craft, tweaking their acts slightly to fit with the theme. And, no matter where you sit in the impressive Royal Albert Hall, you’ll be treated with a perfect view. The revolving stage ensures that their showcase of jaw-dropping tumbles, jumps and spins are caught from all angles, each as exciting and impressive as the last.
There’s a reason that Cirque du Soleil have remained a global phenomenon throughout the years and it’s thankful that they haven’t yet lost their magic, charm, or expertise.
Runs until 27 February 2022