The bronze allure of French 1800s steampunk lures within the walls of London’s Royal Albert Hall – through this new production by one the most highly regarded companies in the world. Guillermo Nazara reviews this montage of artistic awe and gifted oddities, to let us know what awaits in one of the most anticipated shows of the start of the season.
“Everything you can imagine is real”. Pablo Picasso’s sublime observation of art seems to have transcended the borders of splashed-painted paper, bursting into the sparkling flames of the beguiling and the bizarre. For years and years, a phenomenon of the rarest kind, reborn through the minds of those men who dared think the answers were always lying outside the box. This week, a truce has been signed between the land of the lords and the nation of the revulotionaires, as the standing ovation that’s concluded this last night of magic and spectacle can only wish for one word: success.
Inspired by the futuristic looks of Jules Verne’s illusory adventures, the show is, in both looks and essence, a delightful homage to the boundless power of human creativity – and its restless ability to reshape the universe around it for one single purpose: the search for beauty. That, aligned with the nail-biting excitement of its many visually staggering numbers, is in fact what encapsulates and summarizes the whole vibe and core of this production. Its story is no other than its aim: enthralling the mind by pushing the limits of expectation.
Written and directed by Michele Laprise, the piece majestically triumphs in mixing exquisite performing quality with impressive production values – taking us on a ride of ongoing furor and emotion, where charm and sensitivity are however its main leads. From jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics to simple finger puppetry and innocent make-believe, the spectacle unrolling throughout the following 2 hours of this whimsical rendition is a challenge to the attention – not because it’s difficult to enjoy, but simply because there’s just so much to see.
Exuding well executed pacing, its only flaw may reside, though, in its finale – this one lacking a bit of the increasing buzz and wrapping feeling needed for a satisfying ending, specially when we’re referring to a piece of such epic proportions. This, nonetheless, is not an obstacle for the overall enjoyment and, in all fairness, victory of the show. Ultimately, the whole journey we’ve been put through is more than enough for any viewer to be pleased (and possibly, mesmerized) by what the company’s put together on this occasion.
Also featuring live music arranged through an incredibly well instrumented and most refreshingly cohesive score, this intricate mosaic of dramatic crafts constitutes, almost with exactitude, the sort of show that any true experience seeker is waiting for: the one that has everything. With quite an extraordinary set design (credit to Stephane Roy), the entire atmosphere oozes an absolute fantastical feel, bringing out the shivering amazement of a theatrical dream. A vivid travel through the wonders of artistry, is final result is nothing but proof of what was once wisely said, “imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere”.
Kurios, Cabinet de Curiosites plays at London’s Royal Albert Hall from Wednesday to Sunday until 5 March. Tickets are available on the following link.