I was thrilled to be able to get a backstage tour and a sneak peak at rehearsals for the beloved Cirque du Soliel’s stop in London for their touring production Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities. When I entered Royal Albert Hall’s auditorium, I already felt the excitement that comes with the anticipation of a new show. The stage was almost ready – an impressive feat as they had only started building a couple days previously. The stalls floor has been raised and the stage extended to have the feel of the iconic circus ring. The stage itself is decorated with steampunk elements that will tie into the show.
We were first taken to wardrobe, where we saw a few of the 8,000 costume pieces used in the show, from shoes to mustaches to hats. Some of the costumes were so expansive they almost seemed like props! The steampunk inspired costumes designed by Philippe Guillotel are custom made in house. All repairs and washings are also done in house – an especially impressive feat on a three-show day!
We were told tidbits about the show while walking backstage, including the all-star team that makes something as large-scale as Cirque possible. The crew is massive, and there is a person for every job, from making sure visas are acquired to operating the 750 pound metal hand that will be seen in the show. One of my favorite things I learned was that every Sunday there is a Cirque brunch where performers’ children can learn different disciplines from the fellow cast members.
Finally, I had the pleasure of seeing an acro-net rehearsal – an act created especially for Cabinet of Curiosities! The physicality of these performers is seriously impressive, and they seemed to float in the air. It was a joy to watch them goof around when not actively practicing and encourage each other. If I’m this impressed by their rehearsal, I can’t wait to see the live performance!
Cirque du Soleil Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities is on from January 13th at the Royal Albert Hall. Look out for my review from press night on January 18!