Ovo – 3Arena – Review by Frank L
Until Oct 14th, 2018
Created by Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal based circus company whose origins trace back to 1984, is on tour with Ovo which enables the audience to enter the world of insects or bugs. The show begins when there arrives into this particular bug kingdom a new foreign insect, an outsider, who bears on his back an enormous egg. Ovo is the Portuguese word for egg. The carrier is an outsider and as so often is the case in human society the arrival of the newcomer generates resentment in the resident community. This colourful society of sixteen different types of bugs make clear their dislike of this new insect and initially attack him. However, he fights his corner, spots a magnificently sassy ladybug (a dame not to be messed with) which leads to a fractious relationship which undergoes many ups and downs. This is the clown part of the circus.
The live music has a South American feel, Brazilian in fact, and we enter into a Brazilian rain forest where jugglers, trapeze artists, acrobats, tight wire and tight rope walkers metamorphose into a series of exotic and at times creepy bugs of beautiful structure. The acrobatic skills of these bugs knows no bounds. Early on there is a troupe of foot jugglers, who appear as ants, juggle large pieces of kiwi fruit and then pieces of corn on the cob on their feet. They never miss a beat. The discipline to achieve such perfection is hard to fathom. But then the troupe of ants dispense with the kiwi and the corn and then juggle each other!
The standard is maintained with each of the other bugs or in some instances an individual bug. One such bug is a yellow caterpillar and he or she moves around with no sign of any limb to indicate how mobility is achieved!
The speed and the skill of the scene changes encourages you to sit back and be transported into another world. Towards the end there is a tour de force as a collection of crickets dominate the stage. They have been buzzing around all evening in their acidic green costumes, being useful a lot of the time fetching and carrying props, but now they are centre stage with an eight metre wall as their backdrop. On that wall, a spider-like contortionist splays herself but the excitement comes from the crickets who treat the vertical wall as if it was horizontal, they walk on it as they soar up from two trampolines. The laws of gravity seem to be defied. At the same time, apparently demented crickets emerge at speed from a gap in the wall gyrating, twisting and turning, performing complex acrobatic movements. It is thrilling to watch.
It is to be expected that each viewer will have their own favourite and that is right and proper as the quality of the acts, which Cirque du Soleil lays in front of its audience, is within a hair’s breadth from perfection.
For aficionados of Cirque du Soleil, Ovo will be a return to happy past excitements. To those visiting for the first time, it is a delight which needs to be experienced.