Ice skating and circus skills combine to stunning effect in Cirque De Glace at the Kings

Cirque De Glace
Cirque De Glace
The Gorillaz helped record numbers of people flock to Portsmouth Guildhall

Portsmouth Guildhall rocks record numbers through its doors

0
Have your say

THE Kings Theatre is to be transformed into an icy wonderland for a visit for a spectacular show combining skating and the circus.

THE Kings Theatre is to be transformed into an icy wonderland for a visit for a spectacular show combining skating and the circus.

You can’t learn a good circus trick with a few weeks or months of practice, it takes a lifetime of dedication

Cirque De Glace producer Julian Deplidge

With a storyline taking in the creation of our planet and man’s evolution, the 25-strong troupe of Cirque De Glace will endeavour to take your breath away with their incredible feats of strength and skill.

The Kings is one of the smaller theatres the Russian Ice Stars will visit on this UK tour, but as producer Julian Deplidge says: ‘We’ve played smaller, it’s a beautiful little theatre. It’s been a few years since we’ve been there, but we’re thrilled to be coming back.

‘One of the biggest problems we have is levelling the stage to build the ice rink – it takes a specialist company about eight hours– but once we’ve done that it can’t even be half an inch out from one side to the other or the ice doesn’t set evenly and that can create a different set of headaches for the dancers.’

The show’s origin lay in an idea Julian first had nearly 20 years ago to do a Cirque Du Soleil-style show on ice – but was initially, as he puts it, ‘laughed out of the building.’

It took another decade for others to come around to the idea, and since its debut in 2008, the show has been a huge hit.

And for their performers, the company takes nothing but the best.

‘I’m a great believer, if you’re going to do something well, you need to dedicate a bit of time to it,’ says Julian. ‘Most of them have competed in the world championships, the Europeans, the Olympics, that sort of thing.

‘We also have some crossover artists from Moscow Circus, they started in circus, came from circus families and then adapted their routine on to ice. They’re accomplished skaters, but they’re not competitive skaters – it’s a different discipline.’

And he admits that there’s one act, involving leaping up to 25ft above the ice, that still gives him ‘kittens, every time... even after seeing it hundreds of times. If this goes wrong, it’s never going to end prettily.

‘It really is impressive.

‘Accidents do happen, but fortunately for us – touch wood – we’ve not had anything major, predominantly because we work with the best performers in the world who train day in day out, both while we’re on tour and prior to the rehearsals.

‘You can’t learn a good circus trick with a few weeks or months of practice, it takes a lifetime of dedication. We don’t want an injury but we don’t want to shortchange the audience by taking shortcuts.’

The Kings Theatre, Southsea

March 7-12

kingsportsmouth.co.uk