I’ve been following Cirque du Soleil for a while now, wondering what their next big theme would be ever since I watched the Saltimbanco show on DVD around 10 or so years ago. I was enraptured by the artistry being portrayed by the human body on stage and amazed by how they make it look so easy. Then came Quidam, Alegria and Dralion to name a few. I was absolutely hooked by Cirque since the day Saltimbanco swirled it’s way into my life and vowed that one day, I would see them perform live. Then along came Varekai.
An adaptation of what happened following the Greek myth of Icarus after he fell from the sky when his wax wings were melted by the heat of the sun. Varekai, translating to ‘Wherever’, is where he ends up. Wherever appears to be an enchanted forest full of imps, daemons and exotic creatures who roam the green world.
Following the camaraderie of two of the shows characters who opened the show with something humorous we were greeted by an unusual piece. We meet bizarre creature gathering all the hum-drum noises we hear on a daily basis and churning them in a contraption to appreciate the sound of birdsong. Not before too long, a masterpiece unravelled as Icarus dropped from the ceiling, gliding and falling with style before he reaches the ground. His wings were stolen and he was captured; a sad state to be in but providing a spectacle for the eyes as he tries to break free from his netted cage.
We follow Icarus on his journey through the forest and his attempt to locate his wings and regain his strength through a series of mesmerising acts and avant garde sights and sounds.
There is some serious talent shown on stage and every second more phenomenal than the last. I never thought someone flailing sticks about the air would make my jaw drop but seriously, someone sign me up to where I can learn that skill because it is seriously impressive. Sitting in awe of each and every single aspect of the performance from the live instruments, the incredible voices and the stage set-up; I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
A fine mix of aerial acrobatics, heteroclite hoop work and sheer strength were just some of the extraordinary executions of art we were treated to throughout the evening. Team that with a few comedic sketches of the pair from the very start which had the whole arena crying with laughter; the peculiar, almost alien like costumes and the final act of the night, the Russian swings alluring the audience and giving them reason to gasp aloud.
Varekai is a show that will have your heart breaking at the beginning and racing at the end with plenty of moments where you find yourself lost within this bizarre but beautiful world of Cirque du Soleil. It’s a show for everybody, for the dreamers, the intriguers and the not-so-keeners.
Tickets for the Nottingham Motorpoint Arena are still available with the performances running through to Sunday, alternatively check out the Cirque du Soleil website for other venues so you too can enjoy this magnificent display unravel on stage right before your very own eyes.
*Thank you to LD Communications for the tickets, Cirque du Soleil for the impeccable performance and Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham for hosting the opportunity of a lifetime ❤️