Review: Le Noir – The Dark Side of Cirque

Le Noir calls itself the ‘Dark side of circus’… and it was certainly the best side.

I’ve been to many circus acts in my time and was expecting something much along the lines of the others. I’ve seen the weirdly elastic bodies and the acts by those who seem to simply have a death-wish and Le Noir showcases such acts, however, they have done it perfectly… and it makes all the difference. Le Noir showed other circus acts exactly how it’s done.

The Civic Theatre was its usual glorious self, with guests having the option of being seated ‘ring-side’, which for the Civic meant being seated on stage. Seated on the top floor, I had wonderful views of all the action, however, could very easily have been tempted to sit on stage to really appreciate the spectacularly abilities of the performers… but be warned, audience interaction may be a consequence of having such wonderful privileges!

Not once was I bored, the acts kept coming and my jaw kept dropping. Boasting the skills of Cirque du Soleil but with the atmosphere of a sultry Moulin Rouge, the show was evocative and endearing. I was genuinely impressed by each act – how could I not be when the show has something for everyone? From acrobatic to outrageous, skilful to hilarious, it was a circus act I couldn’t stop watching (and gasping!) throughout.

Le Noir is circus-on-steroids, with bigger, better and funnier acts than your average circus show. The costumes were vivacious, glittery and glamorous and the men boasted equally beautiful and sexy costume designs (or lack thereof). The simplistic setting didn’t overpower the action on stage and each act was just enough to leave you wanting more.

A spectacular mime artist separates each act and I usually hate poor, over the top mime… but he had me entertained in fits of laughter, which after witnessing such extraordinary talent meant you could absorb the act that had just left you on the edge of your seat.

With each performance being equally amazing, I do confess, I had a favourite. The Colombian Wheel of Death… yes, it sounds cheesy… but oh so amazing! Seamlessly put together, the act takes place at the front of the stage, you’re up close and personal, where you can see the potential for so much going wrong. It was an immaculate finish to end such an incredible show.

Le Noir had me captivated. You think you may have seen it all when it comes to circus, but circus being so flawless, exuberant and breath-taking? Well, you’ll have to see Le Noir for that sort of standard.

Le Noir is showing in Auckland until the 8th November and begins in Christchurch from the 12th November.

Review by Casey Radley

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