Tag Archives: SSE Hydro

REVIEW: Gary Tank Commander – Mission Quite Possible, The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

There’s an air of trepidation as you approach Glasgow’s massive Hydro arena, just how well would one of Scotland’s best-loved TV comedies Gary Tank Commander translate to the (massive) stage? Well, in the hands of comedy genius Greg McHugh, brilliantly is the answer.

Hapless, naive and utterly loveable national treasure Gary and his mates in the “armeh”, parachute into their Afghan camp and deliver their usual brand of madness and mayhem featuring camels, chaos, cheesy pasta and chips.

With appeals not to give too much away, this is a story of heroism and doing the right thing – two things not entirely easy for our Gary.

Huge credit must go to McHugh’s script which sustains the laughs over a two hour period and while there a few little lulls it really is hysterically funny. The set design is also worthy of mention, cleverly filling the huge stage.

Like it’s predecessor that transitioned from TV to the stage Still Game, the resounding success of this live show will hopefully mean a return to the small screen for Gary and the gang. Based on the reaction of this audience alone, the BBC would be foolish not to bring it back.

Image: Martin Shields

REVIEW: Andrea Bocelli – SSE Hydro, Glasgow

The man who, Liz Taylor said gave her “golden goosebumps” and about whom Celine Dion once proclaimed: “if God had a singing voice, he would sound like Andrea Bocelli”, is in Glasgow for one night only as part of his Cinema World Tour.

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To satisfy the broadest range of tastes, and to showcase his undoubtedly outstanding voice, the programme includes the most popular classical arias as well as highlights from latest album Cinema. La donna è mobile from Rigoletto, La Traviata’‘s famous Brindisi: Libiamo ne’ lieti calici and Puccini’s Nessun Dorma are inevitably here, but there are less familiar pieces too, Come un bel di’ di Maggio and Vicino a te s’acqueta from Andrea ChénierThe cinema-inspired second act is just as diverse, ranging from Be My Love, made famous by Mario Lanza, through musical theatre standards Maria andThe Music of the Night to the stirring Nelle Tue Mani (Now We Are Free) the theme from Gladiator.

If any reassurances are required about the quality of the evening, Bocelli is backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union and a series of hand-picked guests from the classical musical world: Soprano Elisa Balbo is outstanding in O mio babbino caro and Casta Diva and in the encore duet with Bocelli, Con Te Partiro. American violinist Caroline Campbell brings some spice in the form of Bizet’s L’amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera) from Carmen and drama with Nino Rota’s Brucia La Terra better known as the theme from The Godfather. Less successful is ‘pop guest’ Christine Allado, delivering a decidedly ropey I Will Always Love You, however, she redeems herself in Canto Della Terra, her duet with Bocelli.

Bocelli polarises critics and continues to suffer from the snobbery afforded to anyone who dares to move between the classical and pop worlds, but the reception he receives from the sold-out Hydro arena leaves you in no doubt about this audience’s opinion. There’s no denying the beauty of his voice, the sound is delivered effortlessly and is so perfect that it seems truly otherworldly at times – this is a class act from start to finish. Bocelli is one of only a few artists who can claim true global superstardom – and it’s easy to see why – not bad for a one-time lawyer and piano bar singer.

 

REVIEW: Cirque du Soleil – Dralion SSE Hydro Arena, Glasgow

Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion has arrived spectacularly in Glasgow, drawing inspiration from Eastern philosophy and its quest for harmony between humans and nature (the name itself derived from the eastern dragon and the western lion), the four elements of nature take human form, each represented by its own evocative colour: air=blue, water=green, fire=red and earth=ochre, and as cultures blend, man and nature become one and harmony is achieved.

costume02It is a rare and wonderful thing to see true mastery of a craft, and after thirty years, Cirque du Soleil are true masters of theirs. Seamlessly blending jaw-dropping circus acts with live music and song this is a sensory stimulating spectacular of stunning quality.

The acts are listed simply: trampoline, juggling, skipping ropes, … but none conform to any idea that the layman has of these terms.The ‘trampoline’ is a seemingly effortless, gravity defying show of superhero skills which is astounding in its display of strength and control.

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The ‘juggler’ combines acrobatics, choreography and the mere task of keeping an astonishing nine balls in the air!

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And ‘skipping ropes’ isn’t your usual playground game, instead it’s a sixteen person human tower skipping in unison (see the trailer below). The rest of the acts are equally, if not even more breath-taking, including hoop diving, single hand balancing, diabolos and a mesmerisingly beautiful aerial pas de deux.

3804_hoops-740_r667d186Underpinning the visual narrative of the show is a hypnotic musical score performed by two truly gifted vocalists who sing in Cirque du Soleil’s unique invented language accompanied by a six-piece live band and a trio of chaotic clowns who entertain the crowd both before and during the show.

A spectacle in the true sense of the word, this is the show and Cirque du Soleil the company to blow any pre-conceptions or prejudices you have about the circus away. An astounding visual treat from start to finish.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit http://www.cirquedusoleil.com.

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Photo Credits: Daniel Desmarais Costumes: Fran√ßois Barbeau © 2010 Cirque du Soleil

All images for promotional use only and may not be copied for personal use.