Review: OVO – Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s OVO has hatched in Melbourne. I was lucky enough to go along and see what it’s all about.

As we made our way towards the massive blue and yellow big top, we knew we were in for something special- and for this first-timer, Cirque du Soleil’s OVO certainly didn’t disappoint.

A ‘headlong rush’ into the secret world of insects, OVO is a vivid, colourful production bursting with life, and boasts just the kind of jaw-dropping stunts that Cirque du Soleil have come to be world-renowned for.

Enter this secret world, and for a spell-binding two and a half hours you will be surrounded by the most colourful group of beetles, grasshoppers, ladybirds and ants you will ever meet… complete with the show’s music being played by a band of cockroaches!

When a fly from outside the insect colony arrives carrying an egg (or ‘OVO’, in Portuguese), the other insects are instantly awestruck, captivated by this mysterious object that represents their circle of life. But while the insects puzzle over the egg, it’s love at first sight when the fly lays eyes on a particularly fabulous ladybird. What unfolds next is a series of hi-jinx as he tries to impress her, making for all sorts of entertainment.

I was along for the ride with a pair of seasoned Cirque-goers, who were excited to see the show return to the big top. The last time Cirque came to town, it brought Saltimbanco into the Rod Laver Arena, a move which saw the show lose a lot of the intimacy and atmosphere that’s a crucial part of experiencing the circus.

But OVO made up for this in spades, with bug-catchers and crickets roaming through the audience, and scarab beetles soaring overhead as part of the trapeze.

Other amazing stunts see an acrobatic butterfly emerging from its cocoon, six red ants juggling corn and kiwi fruit with their feet, and a contortionist spider balancing upon his web. You almost forget that these are actually circus performers- they just inhabit their characters so well. This effect is also thanks to the absolutely incredible costume design by Liz Vandal, who has created something truly spectacular.

While OVO may not quite match the innovative technical wizardry of previous effort Quidam, it is nonetheless an immersive, incredible experience, and celebrates what it is to be alive.

I loved every minute. If you’ve never been to Cirque before, do it. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

Catch OVO at Melbourne Docklands til March 24th. Tickets can be bought at the Cirque du Soleil website.