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© 2017 The Strand Magazine

'Hotel', Cirque Éloize - The Peacock

February 24, 2019

This February, Cirque Éloize returns to London for their 25th Anniversary and dazzles with their combination of circus arts, theatrics, orchestration and comedy. The Montreal based company has transformed London’s Peacock Theatre into an art-deco grand hotel, with energy so electric, one could have thought they had been transported to 1920s London.

 

Cirque Éloize in Hotel © Pierre Manning - Shoot Studio

 

The opening introduced the general format of the show, presenting a young man running up and down the aisles, before meeting a friend in the ‘lobby’- this instantly broke the boundaries between audience and performers and allowed an interactive and engaging show to commence.

 

The decadence seen in the decoration was mirrored in the acts that followed: Impressive jugglers, elegant dancers and an array of props graced the stage to provide visual pleasure across a wide spectrum. However, despite the symbiotic staging and characterisation, the storyline, at times, seemed to vanish. With so many acts, the plot's nucleus, momentarily, ceased to exist - the focal point tended to become unclear amidst the physical extravaganza. Act and plot could have found a stronger, more comprehensible point of convergence, but the visual spectacle overruled any impacting concern.

 

Even in the slower moments, the overall concept was ignited with enthusiasm. Una Bennett was hypnotically liquid-like as she manipulated the ropes, and Tuedon Ariri’s beauty was secondary to her seductive straps set. A favourite moment was not centred on acrobatic tricks, however, but focused on something far more simple: love. A three-minute, 1920s-style romance melted the hearts of onlookers as one suitcase (yes a suitcase!) battled with the struggles of unrequited love. These antics not only softened the audience but drew playful parallels to the other romantic relationships presented. These enticing pieces proceeded to lighten the atmosphere and create a family-friendly environment.

 

The company’s experience was evident as they incorporated a variety of features in order to entertain all walks of life. From live jazz, to beats from a DJ booth, slick solo routines to the impressive and athletic double acts – we even saw a full cast spinning session with poles, ropes, twirling and tricks, their fitness levels appeared Olympic-standard!

 

The finale took a step away from such exerting physical exercise, as the twelve cast members performed a small concert under the plot umbrella of a final night in the hotel. This performance was well deserving of the standing ovation they received at the end.

 

 

Edited by Evangeline Stanford, Digital Editor

Cirque Éloize, Hotel 

Feb 20 - March 9 

The Peacock, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT

Tickets: £15 - £42

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