I've loved Cirque Du Soleil for an awful long time so when I found out last year that their show 'Kooza' was coming to the UK and playing at Royal Albert Hall, I didn't have to hesitate in booking tickets! On Tuesday (after what felt like forever waiting!) our time came to hop on a train down to London to see this fabulous production.
Ben and I decided to treat ourselves to a hotel for the night nearby so that there wouldn't be any travelling after the show. We are not too familiar with that part of London but after a bit of searching, we settled upon The Gore Hotel which is just around the corner and is an official partner of the Royal Albert Hall.
The hotel is supposedly the most photographed in London and I can see why.... absolutely stunning rooms, each one individually and traditionally decorated. Perfect for a romantic break!
We made use of the beautiful library during our stay which was complete with log fire, newspapers, complimentary snacks and drinks (including many varieties of Teapigs teas.... heaven!). We also spent much of the early evening in the hotel bar 'Bar 190' (most famous for being the location of the Rolling Stones album launch "Beggars Banquet" in 1968), trying as many different cocktails as possible. It was bliss!
The staff there were wonderful throughout the stay and the place felt so welcoming and very traditional. We had a problem with our hot water in the bedroom and the reception were prompt in attempting to fix it. When attempts failed they were apologetic and gave us keys to a beautiful suite next door giving us the full use of two rooms. Fantastic customer service!
That evening I can't tell you how excited I was to see Kooza. Billed as a return to the origins of Cirque Du Soleil, the show combines two circus traditions - acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show "highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendour and fragility, presented in a colourful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humour" (#)
As predicted, I loved every second of the show and came out with my jaw fully on the floor.... completely stunned by the skill of each performer! Amongst many others, acts included a trio of contortionists, a trapeze artist, double high wire and the most incredible balance act complete with the artist creating a 23ft tower of chairs and balancing at the peak upside down, doing handstands, etc!
(photos above not mine)
My favourite acts though were the high wire with the performers not content with just walking the tightrope, they used skipping ropes, had sword fights, jumped over each other and rode bicycles....
(photo above not mine)
.... and the Wheel of Death. I've seen this a billion times on screen but seeing it in real life was just breathtaking! A hypnotic performance of incredible and fearless acrobatics and perfect teamwork. I can't even find words to properly comment on this, just watch the video!
I was even rather enchanted by the various clowns who insisted on plenty of audience interaction throughout the entire show.... they had me laughing almost to the point of tears!
The show is now running at The Royal Albert Hall until 14th February (my birthday!) and I really can't recommend it enough if you get the chance to see it!
The rest of our trip was spent relaxing seeing a few sights of the capital and doing a spot of shopping. Harrods is always a must visit for us (just for the experience!) but we also love Covent Garden, especially for stores such as Joules, The Moomin Shop, Cath Kidston and Orla Kiely.
It was so bitterly cold out but I am sure glad that we avoided the snow! It was the most wonderful trip and i'm really looking forwards to my next Cirque Du Soleil show later in the year!