CircusFamilyNorth WestReview

Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO – M&S Arena, Liverpool

Reviewer: John McRoberts

Writer/Director: Deborah Colker

Having first toured the UK in 2018 – OVO once again returns to the UK. Created by Brazilian director and choreographer Deborah Colker, OVO (which translates as egg in Portuguese ) takes us deep into the depths of insect life and the journey the egg makes through this colourful, imaginative world of our critter friends.

It’s hard not to be captivated by the colourful creations brought out onto the stage, Gringo Cordia’s multi-levelled set, hides numerous surprises and conveys a scale befitting the insect kingdom. Berna Ceppas’ compositions add a level of atmosphere which helps to envelope you into the undergrowth – much needed when seeing a production in an arena. Éric Champoux’s lighting design brings out Liz Vandal’s colourful costume creations but also helps instil a vivid and dark atmosphere to the underground antics of the insects.

And that is where OVO hits its biggest problem, the production elements far outweigh the performative aspects of the show. OVO lacks the danger and wow factor that other productions we have seen in recent years, its storyline is slow to move, and you don’t feel any connection to the characters no matter how hard they try – the clowning elements feel laboured and flat. As for the cirque acts themselves – the performers are very skilled, but it’s all very serene and calm and only occasionally does it soar and show sections where the eye-watering ticket prices start to make sense. The Human Trapeze act that ends Act 1 is a true showstopper and shows real strength, as does the Act II wall finale with the grasshoppers – while there is also a beautiful aerial duet with the moths which is beautifully realised.

Colker’s show is sadly more style over substance, the storyline is arguably one that is forgotten after the first ten minutes and disappears almost completely by the end, the bug world is an interesting concept but sadly with OVO it hasn’t come to life in the same jaw-dropping, inspiring way we have come to associate with Cirque Du Soleil of recent times.

Runs until Sat 13 April and continues on Tour

The Reviews Hub Score

Style over Substance

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The Reviews Hub - North West

The North West team is under the editorship of John McRoberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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