Obviously, it being a circus, there's a touch of the vaudeville, which came in the form of clowns, who began warming the audience up pre-show by posing as ushers. At first, I found them quite tiring - slapstick isn't really my thing - but by the end they had become almost as enjoyable as the main act itself.
My friend and I didn't quite follow the Varekai story line, if we're being honest. I mean, there was a bloke falling from the sky and losing his wings, which are nicked by an evil dude who proceeds to stalk him, wafting his new flying gear in the poor lad's face. Regardless, the now wingless youth finds love with what I can presume to be a caterpillar, who - spoiler alert - turns into a butterfly. It's like a fever dream. Puck and the fairy court are there, as are half of the cast of Indiana Jones & The Lost Tomb, oh and some mermaids... because why not, eh?
Regardless, when faced with such death defying acrobatics, plot is not forefront to an audience's mind. It's hard to process some of the dramatic feats the cast undertook. Like hanging from a trapeze by their necks and balancing their weight on one hand; a hand which is itself balancing on a tiny platform. Then there was the bendiness. No human should be able to pull contortionist shit like that. A spine is surely not meant to be bent entirely in half. This needs to be seen to be believed but trust me, any thoughts I had of running away to join the circus are now well and truly dashed.
Finally, a note on costuming. Incredible. The colouring of each performer's bodysuit really helped to highlight the story and worked well with the rather subdued set pieces. I wonder how the artists could perform the feats they did with various bits of fabric hanging off the suits, they're consummate professionals.
Varekai is a thrilling, wonderful show that is well worth checking out, should you get a chance. Take your kids, if you have any, and school them in the ways of flexibility. Otherwise, sit back, relax and be prepared to look on in wonder at actions no human body should ever be able to do. Wonderful.
Cirque du Soleil's Varekai, Motorpoint Arena, Wednesday 8 - Sunday 12 March 2017.
Cirque du Soleil website