The 1,200-seat theatres on Celebrity’s Solstice class ships were originally designed with the intention of hosting Cirque du Soleil. While a deal with Cirque never materialised, all the technical equipment did and so each vessel now boasts its own circus show.
A scene from Eclipse at the Eclipse theatre on the Solstice
Eclipse isn’t quite up to the impeccable standards of a Cirque du Soleil production, but it’s a fine introduction to the genre for an audience new to this modern reworking of one of our most traditional art forms.
Speciality acts are supplemented with Enya-esque music and costumes that are best described as Egyptian/sci-fi chic. The set is spectacular, allowing the acts to perform against a backdrop of a ruined Mayan temple. All the circus favourites are here - acrobats, rings, diabolo juggling, contortionists, aerial work - and it’s all of an impressively high standard.
The undoubted highlight is the climax of the evening, which involves spesh act Peng Fei Su performing slack rope walking - an impressive feat at the best of times, but on a moving ship, simply staggering.
If there’s one criticism of the production, though, it’s that the whole thing takes itself a little too seriously. A clown would help to puncture the po-faced atmosphere which is created by all the chanting and silly costumes. Still, the audience doesn’t seem to mind, responding enthusiastically to a show that is likely to play well to anyone who is a newcomer to the Cirque-style approach to circus.