Post by stevejohnson678 on Oct 9, 2017 11:21:38 GMT
I really enjoyed Cirque Éloize's Saloon production yesterday which has pitched up and hoedowned at the Peacock Theatre for the next couple of weeks.
As the title suggests, it’s a circus show themed around the Wild West, set in a saloon bar, where we meet a talented troupe of rootin' tootin' acrobats and musicians, many of whom not only perform a variety of spectacular stunts but also play a variety of instruments and sing live.
Saloon is 85 minutes in duration with no interval and features stunning acrobatics, trapeze work, Chinese pole, a Korean plank act, as well as mime, juggling and lassoing, all fused with music, theatre and dance. The standout for me was a cyr wheel routine, performed by Shena Teschoften, that provided four or five minutes of breathtaking spectacle that brought the house down in the packed auditorium.
With a principle cast of eight performers and three additional musicians, there's a narrative of sorts, explained in considerable detail scene-by-scene in the programme, although it's all fairly disposable and predictably merely a vehicle to lead from one set piece to the next. The music is a mixture of folk and country & western, much of it original to the show but with a few random cover versions thrown in for good measure. Yes, if you've ever wanted to hear Cotton Eye Joe performed live on stage, this is that moment!
Priced much more reasonably than Cirque du Soleil, there's certainly no less talent on stage. To see cast members switch from swinging sideways or descending vertical poles at speed one minute to playing the mandolin, violin, guitar, piano or harmonica the next is quite something to behold. It has to be said that the musicianship in the show is quite exquisite and while two of the musicians (Trevor Pool and Sophie Beaudet) lead on the vocals, several of the other performers also get their chance to sing too. The whole thing is delivered with a charm, humour and energetic flair that further enhances the whole experience. It’s slick and polished without ever feeling predictable or robotic. Relentless without ever feeling exhausting.
A year short of the company's 25th anniversary, Cirque Éloize's Saloon is well worth catching if you fancy an evening filled with foot-stomping music, lasso-throwing action and phenomenal physical feats from a hugely impressive troupe of performers.