My husband was amazingly lucky and won a competition with the Evening Standard for a VIP box experience with behind the scenes access to Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall.
We arrived a few minutes late as my husband had taken us on a detour (got lost). When we arrived we put on our VIP lanyards and sipped on a cucumber and mint mocktail while we waited for our tour guide.
Our Royal Albert Hall tour guide greeted us along with the stage manager from Cirque du Soleil and we began our tour of the iconic Royal Albert Hall. We were shown the empty hall from all perspectives. Standing at the stage looking out at all the empty seats was quite an experience.
One of the highlights of the tour was seeing the royal areas, we weren’t allowed into the actual royal box but we were allowed into the royal lounge area. This is where the royals enter the hall and hang out during the interval. It was very plush with lots of royal portraits hung proudly on the walls.
The guide had told us how The Royal Albert Hall is actually a registered charity held in trust for the nation’s benefit to promote the Arts and Sciences. It is not funded and the income is generated from the hire of the hall.
We were taken all the way up to the top of the theatre and shown the ‘mushrooms’ which dangle from the roof, these are the resolution to the bad acoustics created by the dome in the roof.
We were then taken downstairs backstage and had a sneak peak of the star of the show limbering up for the performance in the make shift gym.
When the doors opened up to the public we were shown to our own private box and provided with a full hospitality experience which included Pre-show canapés, a bucket of champagne, wine and beer all served by our own waiter! After we had been waited on the waiter left our box whilst we enjoyed the first half of the show, he returned during the interval to serve more food and delicious dessert canapés then left again so we could watch the second half.
Cirque du Soleil are celebrating their 20th anniversary at the Royal Albert hall and are premiering their show AMALUNA, which is about a Mysterious Island Ruled by Goddesses, the cast and the band are made up predominantly of women, as appose to the majority of their shows being made up of mostly men.
It’s basically a love story similar to that of Romeo and Juliet. Queen Prospera causes a storm, after her daughter Miranda’s coming of age. The storm results in a group of men washing up onto the island. A love story begins between Miranda and a washed up brave young suitor. There is also an element of comedy through the show as you witness the relationship blossom between the male and female ‘clowns’.
The performers are incredible, their strength is phenomenal. Each performer had me on the edge of my seat with their breath taking acrobatics. The artists performed a variety of stunts swinging by their necks from Aerial Straps, jumping as high as my house and somersaulting on a teeterboard. Synchronised swinging on the uneven bars and beautifully swimming and balancing around aWaterbowl. One of the performers did an amazing performance of balancing varying sized sticks, thetheatre was pin drop silent nervously watching on hoping that the stack of sticks did not fall…….. and they didn’t until she prompted them to.
At the end of the show our tour guide and the stage manager joined us once again and escorted us backstage to meet and greet two of the cast members, they were so tiny! Well I am 5ft 11 but the performers seemed really small to me. It was great to be up close and see their intricate make up and costumes.
We then went to wardrobe and looked closely at the costumes which have to be washed daily. So even after the performers have gone, backstage crew are still washing and drying their costumes. Each performer also applies their own make up, they use the brand Mac, both Cirque du Soleil and Mac inspires each other for new trends and colours.
This bought our tour to an end, what an incredible end to the most amazing VIP experience. If you get the opportunity to see the show (even if it’s not VIP) I would highly recommend.