Just when I thought I’d seen it all, Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza arrived in town.
The blue and yellow big top sits next to Auckland’s Alexandra Park and houses a collective of awe-inspiring acts that will leave you entertained, enthralled and at times totally enchanted. It takes traditional circus shenanigans and turns it up to eleven
The story of this show follows ‘The Innocent’ who receives a delivery and within this mysterious box it emerges ‘The Trickster’. He is introduced to the world of Kooza containing amazing and magical performances.
As his grey world turns to colour, a hidden structure is revealed behind large canopies. It moves onto the stage revealing a full band, singers and performers who leap and glide around the circular space to get us ramped up for what’s to come.
Eight acts make up the programme with intervals from clowns and dancers to break up each one. These prove to be some much-needed light entertainment next to some of the hold-you-breath-please-don’t-fall stunts you are confronted with. This does include some rather amusing audience participation too – always a winner (for those not picked anyway). Watch out for that cheeky dog though!
The main acts consist of contortionists, unicyclists, acrobats, a hula hooper, a gravity-defying chair stunt and some daredeviling high-wire action that totally blew my mind.
The first act closes with the most extreme tightrope walking I’ve ever witnessed in a double high-wire extravaganza. Be prepared to have your breath taken away and a new appreciation for the skill and bravery involved in this art form.
There’s not much rest bite though, as the second half kicks off with a bang with the ‘Wheel of Death’. This evil contraption consists of two giant hamster wheels that two clearly fearless men decide is a great toy to play in, walk around skip on top of as it rotates at various terrifying speeds. You can’t take your eyes of this act, although at times you might want to.
The finale is another nail biter when the teeterboards are brought on stage. Various performers are flipped, thrown and catapulted into various finishes that you wouldn’t have thought possible. Another truly amazing spectacle of traditional circus entertainment taken to a level you’re unlikely to have seen before.
Throughout the show the band and singers are the heart and soul of the show, bringing tension and atmosphere amongst this talented cast. The costumes too are exquisitely put together for each act depicting the perfect mood change each time. I particularly enjoyed the build-up and dancers ahead of the ‘Wheel of Death’. And, the big top location allows for some wonderfully theatrical lighting that adds extra impact to all that grace the stage.
Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza is an unforgettable night of world-class entertainment for the whole family. It’s full of fun frolics and frightening death-defying stunts that’ll make you feel glad you’ve got your feet firmly planted on the ground.