REVIEW: Cirque du Soleil Varekai – The Hydro Arena, Glasgow

Having grown from 20 street performers in Quebec in 1984 to the largest theatrical producers on the planet, every superlative that could be, has been bestowed on the global cultural phenomenon that is Cirque du Soleil.

Varekai, in Glasgow this week, is one of the company’s oldest shows, and attempts to weave a narrative around what is basically a jaw-dropping display of what the human body can achieve.

Meaning ‘wherever’ in the Romany language, it draws on the myth of Icarus. However, after flying too close to the sun there the similarities with the Greek myth ends, and instead of plummeting into the sea and drowning, our hero lands in a verdant forest filled with magical creatures.

This enchanted realm teams with life and the magical creatures are attired in Cirque du Soleil’s trademark style, eye-poppingly coloured, the fabulously adorned costumes prove to be a visual feast.

But it’s not the eye-catching costumes, nor the gloriously voiced singers or first-rate musicians delivering the pounding soundtrack that steal the show, rather it’s the astoundingly talented cast, displaying feats of physical prowess that are frankly unbelievable.

Among many stand-outs, the male Aerial Strap duo, the stick balancing act and the Russian Swing troupe, particularly impress.

Despite the scale of the arena production, there is an intimacy to the show and the heart-stopping moments of astonishing courage and skill, register ever more greatly because of this.

Cirque du Soleil is everything people say it is – jaw-dropping, eye-popping and heart-stopping – quite simply the very best of the best.

Catch the global phenomenon at The Hydro Glasgow until 19 March 2017.

All images provide by and used with permission from Perla Global Media for Cirque du Soleil.