Review: Moscow State Circus, Sunderland Empire

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RUSSIA’S finest took to the stage when the Moscow State Circus came to town for an evening of awe-inspiring entertainment with their award-winning show Legenda.

The show was an unusual mix of classic circus performance and the tale of Rasputin woven into the evening’s proceedings.

The female acrobatic team was truly breathtaking as it sailed through the air on floating silks.

A male and female duo writhed their way through a series of body contortions making them appear as a single person with heads and legs becoming hard to attach to their rightful owner. You could have heard a pin drop while they performed.

Every circus needs some clowns and this pair certainly didn’t disappoint, with perfect comic timing and some cringe-inducing audience participation. Valik and Valerik made me very relieved to be safely out of their reach in the Dress Circle.

Their daredevil stunts had an eager audience eating out of the palms out of their hands and, although their antics were incredibly funny, they were no less impressive than the rest of the performers, as they tackled tightropes, step-ladders and a knife-lined hoop to name a few things.

My highlight of the night was the “elderly” trampolinist who bounced his way to rapturous applause from the audience. Appearing painful in parts, his routine induced some leg-crossing moments and gasps of sympathy from the men in the theatre.

The whole night was a real feast for the eyes and as this was my first visit to the circus I was very pleasantly surprised. I don’t think I could have asked for a better first-time experience.