The world-famous Cirque Du Soleil is back in London after a year out following the Covid pandemic with Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities, a steampunk inspired extravaganza that’s reshaping reality and igniting your imagination. It’s a dazzling show that takes you inside an eccentric inventor’s curio cabinet, where the visible becomes invisible and perspective is turned upside down.
The show has been touring around the world since 2014 and is one of the biggest shows in the troupe’s repertoire. It takes 49 artists from 17 countries and requires 426 props throughout the show. The cast began their training in January in Montreal at the circus giant’s multi-million pound multiplex, a space that houses their acrobatic training rooms and production theatre.
A big part of the magic is in the costumes, which are a smorgasbord of steampunk influenced styles, from traditional striped circus attire to Victorian era garb. They’re shaped into a cohesive aesthetic unit by costume designer Philippe Guillotel.
While the story – about a ‘Seeker’ who believes he has a hidden universe in his cabinet of curiosities – is a little thin, it adds an air of whimsy to the show. It’s a story that doesn’t really need to be told, because the acrobatics and grand illusions are enough to make your stomach lurch with visceral fear and your heart leap with pure joy.
A satisfying old-school offering from the masters of concept circus, this is a show that has all the hallmarks of a Cirque masterpiece. There are jaw-dropping acts aplenty, and standouts include the four contorting ’electric eels’ that writhe in a manner that makes them almost indistinguishable from each other, and the pair on aerial straps who float right up to the lighting rig.