Splash is the epic story of a young mermaid stolen from her father, King Neptune, by Kraal, the King of the Orcs, as a child. The hideous Kraal plans to marry her on her 21st birthday.
In desperation, Neptune strikes a bargain with a pirate... Rescue and return his daughter, or Neptune would turn him into a fish!
The show starts just before her 21st birthday, when she has escaped Kraal's clutches and has been found by a passing circus troupe...
Sell-Out Tour! Get your tickets quick, and turn up early for the best seating.
As we entered the tent it was nearly pitch black. We had been issued with tickets in the Elevated Seating section, which apparently gives some very good viewing. I had asked for seating near the entrance ramp, as that gives an almost front-on view of the performing area... however, due to my son's typically kid-like ability to destroy even the best-planned schedule, we arrived late and the best seating we could be given had us right behind one of the major support struts, thus we actually missed a fair percentage of the acts. This was no fault of the circus however... So, be sure to arrive early since "allocated seating' means only what section you are placed in, and not any specific seats.
As the show began, I was immediately struck by the amazing backdrop (I SO want a copy of it, even if it's only A3 size) and the first impressions of the costumes clearly showed some amazing work. Major kudos to the costume designers.
The first half was filled with some great acts, but those that really impressed were the Rugby Dogs, which included an "Aussy player" who kept lifting his leg on the goalposts, and the Frame Jugglers were also quite spectacular, especially when combined with music by Rammstein who are one of my favourite non-English speaking bands. The sheer power of the polemen also warrant note.
After a 15 minute Intermission, the 2nd half started with a rope act above a lake with fountains, backed by one of my favourite songs, ironically 'Desert Rose' by Sting. The lake stayed for the whole second half, as it was integral to the storyline. One of the highlights of the second act, the 3 balancing/contortionist girls were unnatural in their ability and grace. It was amazing to watch. Some of the formations they performed were reminscent of flowers opening in the morning light, it really was beautiful to behold on a number of levels.
Suddenly, just as the highwire act was about to start, the Voiceman informed us that due to a transport glitch, the performers had gotten lost in transit. Some 'members of the audience' piped up claiming that such an act was easy and even they could do it. Despite security being called, the lad, acting remarkably like someone stoned off his nut, climbed up onto the stage and did a dance and comedy act instead. During this, one of his cohorts started to climb up to the highwire. At this point it was becoming quite obvious that this was all part of the act. It was supposed to look real, and it did at first, I admit. What gave it away was the lighting crew had the spotlights aimed and waiting and the music was cued up already, but by the time it was apparent it was a setup, the act was well underway and the humour value imparted by the antics really worked.
Near the end, there was a very impressive bungy trapeze act, it was amazing. UV lighting on fleuro outfits gave it an etherial feel totally unlike anything I have seen before... and the nearly-invisible bungee harnesses made for some breathtaking aerial acrobatics.
Overall, this has to be one of the best circus shows I have seen since, well, since last time the Weber Bros Circus passed through town. There is another circus that passes through shortly before Webers, and though it has animal acts on the playbill, it just doesn't compare. For Kiwis who enjoy circus acts, make sure that you catch the Weber act and don't confuse it with the other one. If you only see one circus a year, and it has big animals, skip it, you'll miss out on the better show. Thanks Webers... another wonderful show indeed... can't wait for the next installment! I am not at all surprised to find out they sold out the entire weekend's shows, and had to put on an extra performance on Sunday!
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