Tuesday, January 10, 2012

News: Lepage, Cirque, Totem get second critical hiding in London

The run of Robert Lepage's Totem, produced for the Cirque du Soleil, is not receiving pleasant reviews for it's second run at the Royal Albert Hall in two years. 

The Telegraph said of the piece, "even Lepage hasn’t been able to rouse the company from its complacency. The clowns are still there, as fey and irritating as ever, while the big theme of creation and evolution doesn’t amount to much more than having humans dressed as monkeys and a bearded fellow who might be Charles Darwin pottering around the stage."

The Guardian's chief critic Michael Billington called Totem's last foray in London "low on humour and simple humanity", and stayed away. However, the critic sent, Lyn Gardner, offered worse, "'A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg,' suggested Samuel Butler, and you begin to feel the same way about Cirque du Soleil for whom every new show simply seems to be the mechanism by which the company can lay millions more golden dollars. Even the great director Robert Lepage can't crack the efficient but charmless formula in this mind-bogglingly daft show on the theme of evolution in which Darwin features as a bit of a tosser as he juggles in a glass funnel."

Time Out gave, "I would love, truly love, to see a Lepage show about Darwin. But this isn't it." The Independent was more kind, "Each of the acts... is internally beautifully structured on a rising arc of daring. But the show as a whole lacks any urgent sense of dramatic progression – the randomness of its sequence of turns a bizarre flaw in a piece that aims to illustrate our evolutionary progression from crawling creature to cosmonaut and our collective animal origins." (GLC)

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