Family Show Review: OVO By Cirque Du Soleil, Royal Albert Hall, London
OVO by Cirque Du Soleil
What’s It All About?
A truly spectacular show centred around a fantasy ecosystem of high-flying and death-defying bugs and insects, OVO by Cirque Du Soleil is bound to astound, mesmerise and entertain the entire family.
What Do We Think?
Having wanted to see a Cirque Du Soleil show for a number of years now, we recently got the chance when OVO made its UK debut at The Royal Albert Hall in London. Based around the idea of biodiversity and the ecosystem, we were entertained by ladybirds, spiders, crickets, ants, caterpillars, butterflys and a plethora of other insects as they provided an incredible, modern-day circus performance.
Despite a very hefty price tag (£303.30 for two adults and one child for Premium Stalls), we were not disappointed one bit. In fact, it was a truly spectacular show that blew us all away – and that includes our 3.5 year old daughter who was enthralled from start to finish. Even though OVO is marketed as being family-friendly (minimum age 3), we were a little unsure whether she’d enjoy it. Any fears were instantly allayed though as she was mesmerised by the colour, movement and costumes on show.
So what’s OVO by Cirque Du Soleil all about then? Well, meaning egg in Portuguese, the show loosely revolves around the discovery of an egg within a fantasy insect world, and then the budding love between a bluebottle fly and a ladybird. Over the approx. 120 minutes show, there’s all manner of incredible circus performances, including synchronised juggling, daredevil acrobatics, extreme trampolining, aerial dancing and humorous clowning.
In total, the show comprises of 50 performing artists who are all dressed up to represent different insects. Highlights include an army or red ants harmoniously foot juggling slices of kiwi and corn on the cob, a troupe of gold scarabs set high in the air who are thrown between each other and an incredibly flexible black spider who contorts herself into unimaginable positions.
There’s also a firefly who juggles spools on a string, another spider on a tight-rope with a unicycle and a stunning finale involving high-flying grasshoppers using trampolines to bounce up a wall. Each act lasted for around 10 minutes – this kept the show moving, provided a good energy and ensured that you (and the kids) didn’t get bored.
In between each act, we had the story of the randy bluebottle as he pursues the ladybird. Although this did provide light relief, it felt more like filler than anything else. This was probably the only ‘questionable’ part too – I’m hardly a prude, but considering that this is intended to be family-friendly, things like thrusting his groin in her direction and burying his head in her ample bosom could be deemed slightly inappropriate for children.
Even with this, I would call OVO by Cirque Du Soleil family-friendly. The mini-beasts concept appealed to our daughter and the lights, sounds and movement meant she was glued to the action – well in between endless questions such as “why’s that spider doing that” or “what’s he doing with the egg”. To compare it to something kiddie, it was a bit like a live action version of Bug’s Life or Antz.
We went to a 7.30pm showing which finished way passed her bedtime, however this didn’t dampen her enthusiasm. They do have a few matinee performances on weekends and select weekdays, so that’s a viable alternative to better suit the kids. There are also some loud noises and occasional darkness which could frighten some children – to help with this, we were given some of those rubber foam earplugs by a member of staff which was appreciated. Personally, we think 3.5 years old would be the minimum age – anything younger and concentration may wane.
In summary, the show was incredible and we’ve not seen anything like it before. The price tag was hefty, but as it was a one-off, we feel like it was worth it and can be justified. We highly doubt that anyone would not be bowled over by Cirque Du Soleil and the OVO show, so we’d definitely recommend it for the family. It’s at The Royal Albert Hall until 4th March 2018, then embarks on a UK arena tour from 16th August 2018 at venues in Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow, Nottingham, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham.
What Does It Look Like?
What Do I Need To Know?
Type: Circus and Acrobatics
Dates: Royal Albert Hall, London (7th January to 4th March 2018), then UK arena tour (16th August 2018 to 7th October 2018).
Price: From £20, however expect to pay £60+ for decent seats.
Duration: Approx. 2 hours 20 mins (including 20 mins interval).
Age Range: Babies and Toddlers (0-3), Young Children (4-8), Older Children (9-12). Children 3+ must have own ticket and seat. Under 3’s welcome if parents feel suitable.