Local media and politicians were showered with double passes to tonight’s opening of the new Cirque Du Soleil show (Dralion) running on the southern shore of Lake Burley Griffin until 16 November.
With the face value of each ticket running at $270 this was a substantial gift.
RiotACT was not a lucky recipient of the largesse. But we have friends, and I thus got taken along for the ride.
Canberra star spotting is a dismal business. But the Wright family were in attendance, as were the Seselja’s (Zed on his mobile during the interval), Katy Gallagher was deep in conversation with Virginia Haussegger on the way out (one assumes with ABC rules that Virginia had not taken a comp), Megan Doherty from the Canberra Times was sighted, as was Jorian Gardner from CityNews, and Alby Schultz’s grand children were fidgeting next to Alby in the row in front of me. I refrained from calling him a big wuss over the firing squad thing and will regret it for some time. There might have been others, but that’s what I saw.
The show itself was a bit like the opening of an Olympic Games. Lots of empty hokey symbolism without much plot or character. The music was a grab bag of shallow faux-world arrangements. In parts it descended into Eurovision kitsch.
And yet it was absolutely astounding.
If it seems to drag in parts it’s only building to some terrifying crescendo. The sweeping aerials and acrobatics were timed perfectly with the music and the lighting to take the breath away.
The portion where a merely adequate juggler set the scene for the juggling of humans off trampolines was simply astounding.
So a big two thumbs up from me, even if the beers were selling for $8 for a 250ml Kronenbourg.
Looking around I was reasonably sure that even in the cheap seats you’d get a decent view.
At the end of the day there’s nothing cheap about this production.
Struggling families might have to make do with watching it on DVD.
But if you have a lazy $500 it’s one hell of a show.
[Note: The expensive cattle get herded out by a single exit at the end, it might be worth having another very expensive beer and letting them all clear out before chancing your luck in the crush]