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REVIEW: Cirque (UK Tour, Glasgow)

Updated: May 26

Cirque review, entertainers 2024

Cirque: The Greatest Show

from entertainers

18 May 2024

Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow


Cirque: The Greatest Show promises a theatrical extravaganza where musical theatre meets circus. It's something a bit different, and given the popularity of variety shows such as Britain's Got Talent, it sounds like a great idea!

Indeed, the show opens with Britain's Got Talent finalist and mime artist Christian Lee. He is our silent compere for the evening and he invites us in to his black and white world. Together we discover the colour and vibrance of 'Cirque' - an array of singers, dancers, acrobats and more.

I was sceptical: I am not at all a fan of mime nor magic, but I was prepared to suffer through it to see the other acts. However Christian Lee proved me completely wrong. He pops up in-between the other performers to fill the time while the stage is set for the next act. There is no spoken word in the show - other than during the songs - and having a silent, physically funny ringmaster of sorts works brilliantly. Lee is very good at what he does and he made me laugh despite myself. He had the audience in the palm of his hands and the kids adored him. I may have been converted.

At the core of Cirque is a selection of aerialists, acrobatics, jugglers, magicians, singers and dancers. It's like a good old fashioned variety show but with more thrilling stunts. It's truly family friendly, and there's something for everyone. There's always something exciting going on, and if you don't like one, well, the acts are only on stage for a few minutes each. It's a dazzling line-up of skilled professionals the likes of which I'd expect to see in a show in Vegas. (I imagine - I've never been.)

Cirque is also packaged well and looks great with excellent lighting and even the odd pyrotechnic effect or two. The costumes glitter and sparkle, and the sound levels were perfect. It's a very well produced show and way above what I would expect from a touring circus type show. But that's where the "West End" element comes in. Max Fox and entertainers have cleverly taken the best of both worlds and created a multifaceted, dazzling show sure to delight even the shortest of attention spans (and sceptics!)

The more unusual acts include Billy George: a man with LED wands and a light wheel (I'm reliably told it's called a "cyr" wheel) which is so much more entertaining than I'm making it sound! There was a fantastic 'quick change' routine the likes of which I've not see for years. It was so well done and the audience were in awe.

There were dangerous and daring tricks on a tiny platform from rollerbladers Duo Eclipse. The acrobatic rollerbladers did have a slight mishap at the show I was at, but they safely stopped what they were doing and re-set. I was so impressed by that; that they put the safety of their partner first. That's absolutely how it needs to be, and I liked them even more because of how they reacted when it went wrong.

In amongst the cacophony of thrills are a company of excellent vocalist. The songs within the new 2024 production of Cirque are not musical theatre; they are from the movies - but still with more than a hint of show business! They take us through The Greatest Showman, LaLa Land, Rocketman and Moulin Rouge all backed by stunning dancers. It's a true spectacle of a show.

I did feel the show was a little off balance at the performance I saw. There was more variety and just more content in Act I than in Act II. But that's a tiny observation on what was nevertheless a great value show. I can't speak for other venues, but top ticket prices in Glasgow were around £42 plus fees, and for the number of acts and sheer entertainment value, we'd be unlikely to find much better value for money in the city.


📸 Production photos: Cirque

Cirque the greatest show 2024 review


Cirque review, entertainers, Glasgow Pavilion Theatre, May 2024.

Cast: Max Fox, Christian Lee, Robbie Waugh, Wesley Bromley Tori Murray, Nikita Coulon, Jamie Long, Jennifer Van Cool, Tom Barrandon, Duo Eclipse, Billy George, Adam Boom, Dione Hassell, Shonagh Leatherbarrow, Rhys Richards, Stephen Strain, Brogan Paris, Liam Raven, Megan Dawson, Chris Travers.

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🎟️ Disclosure: I was invited to review this show and received a complimentary ticket in exchange. Neither the venue nor show has a say in what I write. I'm completely independent and invites have no impact on my analysis or star ratings.

Lisa in the Theatre, Scottish Theatre, UK theatre blogger, reviewer, critic


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