Having deliberated for approximately 3 months more than any normal person would have done, this year I bought my boyfriend tickets to Quidam for Christmas. Quidam is the latest offering from Cirque du Soleil to arrive in London and having been completely blown away by Totem, I figured another show by the Canadian troupe would be a safe bet. Sadly I was wrong. I spent the entire first half of the show waiting for things to get going, desperately nudging my boyfriend and pointing out certain jumps or rolly poleys in a vain attempt to alleviate the general tedium. The second half was a vague improvement but still fell very flat, to the extent that when it finished there was an awkward pause as the audience collectively wondered whether they were actually expected to applaud.
Whilst Totem had been an explosion of colour, costumes and stunts, Quidam was darker and more conceptual (at least it seemed so, although the actual concept alludes me). I was expecting acrobatics and impossible gymnastic feats, when in actual fact the show consisted mostly of disjointed characters running around the stage as filler. When you’re paying the best part of £100 to watch a few balletic leaps and limp juggles, you can’t help feeling like you’ve been stitched up.
On the bright side at least my boyfriend was polite about it, unlike the small girl behind me who afterwards sobbed that she wished her parents had taken her to a real circus. To be honest, I’ve got to agree with her.