We had all been waiting for months, but one of the most highly anticipated events in the college calendar finally came around on Thursday 21st January 2016… the Cirque du Soleil!
Everyone knows that the Canadian circus troupe Cirque du Soleil are at the absolute top of their game, and their 20th Anniversary run of Amaluna left no doubt in anyone’s minds about this fact. Amaluna is notable for the fact that 70% of the cast is female, as well as 100% of the supporting musicians. A story loosely based on Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, Amaluna tells the story of a group of sailors washed up on the magical island which gives the production its name. The queen’s daughter falls for one of them, and the story unfolds through the trials and tribulations of their love.
We are fortunate at Ashbourne to have the Royal Albert Hall just minutes down the road from us, and so booking this was an absolute no brainer. A group of staff and students walked down after college had finished, and we took our seats in the circle, giving an eagle-eyed view of the action below. Everyone had been looking forward to this moment for months, and when the lights dimmed and the show started there was a palpable sense of excitement amongst all the attendees.
The show itself almost defies description. The music soared almost as high as the performers on their bungee trapezes, supporting themselves only with a small strap around their wrists. The gymnastics displays on the parallel bars left everyone open mouthed, and the balancing bamboo scene had everyone holding their breath for almost a solid 5 minutes, not daring to make a sound in case it caused the performer to drop the impossibly supported 12 bamboo sticks that she was somehow constructing around her using her feet.
All in all, this was one of the most spectacular shows that Ashbourne has attended so far this year, and one that will be talked about for months to come! There is no doubt that this will be repeated the next time Cirque du Soleil come to London, and hopefully that will not be too far away.