Thursday, 30 April 2020

THEATRE REVIEW: Cirque Du Soleil: Zed - Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo. Japan.


Like many companies during these strange and uncertain times, the world famous Cirque Du Soleil, are uploading some of their past glories onto their YouTube channel so that we can still gasp and be wowed by their artistry and skill in the comfort of our own homes, until such a time as things return to a comparative norm.

This particular show however, was a little special for anyone outside of Japan, since Zed has not toured elsewhere and was a resident show at their own Cirque's stage in the Tokyo Walt Diseny Resort just outside Tokyo.

As with all the shows that I have ever seen from this incredible company, there is a very loose thread or theme to the show, the very barest of a storyline connecting all the different acts together. In this instance there was also the inclusion of a couple of clowns who made more than one appearance, adding a little something more for the children (they were knock-about comedian type clowns), and bringing the company nearer to its roots of traditional circus. For the storyline however I quote from the brochure...

"Inside a living poem: in a complex astrolobe sculpted in copper and brass, buried in an imaginary cosmos inhabited by voices and shadows, a lone character named Zed sets out on a journey of initiation and discovery. As he wanders through this mysteriouis world suspended between earth and sky, he encounters astonishing vibrant characters, including Nouit The Great Goddess, A Shaman, The Sphinxes, and The Satyrs. But who is this inquisitive character dressed all in white resemebling a pierrot? He is you and me. Holding up a mirror to our own true selves, Zed represents all of humanity, in all its wisdom and folly, in all its strength and fragility."

As with all Cirque's shows, they produce a complete holistic experience of both aural and visual spectacle. No expense is spared and nothing overlooked. Original music played live as well as onstage singers; a set of unbelieveably technical proportion in order to accommodate all the different acts such as high-wire, aerial, acrobats, tumblers, martial artits, and goodness knows what else; a lighting design that is simply out of this world; superb costumes, and of course world class performers all of whom are at the absolute zenith of their individual disciplines. Everything arranged and designed for maximum thrill-factor. Where the Cirque excels above similar companies though I feel, is that they never lose the feeling of 'circus'. I remember when I was young being taken into a Big Top and watching what was, for the time, a normal circus. A pot-pourri of dare-devil antics, albeit that many of those involved live animals, there was a true mix of the bizarre, the comedic, and the dangerous. These three ingredients go into Cirque's shows in equal measure, and this, combined with using only the best talent in the business, is the key to their longevity.

With Zed, like all of the shows I have seen from Cirque Du Soleil, you are guaranteed beauty, artistry, thrills, and a show which is the true embodiment of the word 'spectacle'.

Reviewer - Matthew Dougall
on - 29/4/20

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