Corteo @ O2 Arena Review

Corteo translates as ‘cortège’, a solemn procession, especially for a funeral in Italian – in what has been a tough time globally in light of the pandemic, a reality sadly quite familiar to many. Initially performed in a smaller venue in Montreal in 2005, Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo has gone onto to be enjoyed by millions of theatre fans, having returned for an arena tour in 2018 at the Royal Albert Hall  before being prematurely interrupted by the pandemic in 2020, the show currently returns, but at the O2 to mark our current times.

Leading the light hearted 2 hour procession, Mauro Mozzani nonchalantly cultivates a jovial and surreal encounter, the ensemble of angels and the community following along and with them illuminating the in the round set up with incredible feats of strength, grace and fearlessness. An occasion you’d typically associate as a solemn experience, Corteo stresses on the importance of ‘celebrating life’, being in the moment and cherishing those currently around you. The production’s clever staging choosing to have both sides of the arena face each other, a striking feature and one that encourages connection as we’re able to see the reactions to the show from the fellow audience, this incredibly important post a very isolating time. Cirque’s trademark array of circus disciplines are as ever, performed with ease and awe.

Transported into a mesmeric dreamscape, acrobats impressively bounce across beds, tentatively travel across tightropes, swing from great heights via chandeliers, whirl gracefully via cyr wheels, swing from bar to bar, a performer at one point navigating the air by means of multiple helium filled balloons. The evening is fun, and doesn’t take itself too seriously considering the subject matter, it takes away the fear from exploring the subject of loss and bravely fosters connection – a much needed production in the times we’re currently.

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

Corteo is current showing at the o2 Arena until Sunday 17th July 2022. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop