Review: Cirque Du Soleil’s Ovo, Newcastle Arena, until Sunday, September 2

Ovo by Cirque Du Soleil
Ovo by Cirque Du Soleil

It may be a show themed around the brilliance of nature, but Ovo is a feat of super human agility.

The latest production from Cirque Du Soleil has back-flipped its way to Newcastle Arena and brings to life a colourful ecosystem of insects who perform a weird and wonderful box of tricks.

As with all Cirque shows there’s no dialogue, aside from the odd shriek and grunt, and the plot is not its strong point, but as always this talented troupe of 50 performing artists from 17 countries tell a story of sorts through a universal body language.

It all begins with a glowing giant Ovo, meaning egg in Portuguese, a portal into this kaleidoscopic world of spectacular insects. From an army of ants who juggle corn with their feet to a larger-than-life ladybug who brings comedic intervals to the acrobatics, there’s a whole host of characters to marvel at in this series of acts.

Particularly majestic were the butterflies who swing and soar across the stage in straps from the ceiling in a feat of balance and strength that had me looking away from the stage more than once for fear they’d fall. They didn’t of course.

If that isn’t to leave you on the edge of your seat the scarabs who fling each other through the air like frisbees on aerial cradles probably will.

Back on the ground a white spider contorts herself into unimaginable shapes in a freakishly flexible display that had me wincing.

There’s always a clown element in a Cirque show, which in this production is centred around the courtship of a fly and a ladybug, and although they’re never my favourite scenes in the otherwise dazzling drama they help to break up the death-defying stunts. The bumbling clowns also allow for audience interaction which had the younger members of the audience giggling along.

Said drama comes to an impressive crescendo with a giant trampoline wall which sees a group of athletic crickets leap off the floor and bounce and tumble from the wall to the tune of a thumping track which almost leaves you out of breath just watching it as they become real life Spidermen.