Be assured, there’s never any notion of buyer’s remorse after purchasing tickets for Cirque du Soleil, and KURIOS, now showing at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter, is no exception.


The show lives up to the standard and the hype generated by a reputation cemented in skill, grandeur, acrobatic ability, and performance storytelling. The preview (published earlier) tells of a world where the unreal becomes reality.  Writer-director Michel Laprise has looked to steam-punk for the art direction. There’s plenty of metal, leather, box and bin shaped robots, glowing filament lamps under glass driven magically around the perimeter of the stage, wandering mechanised gramophones … it’s a wonder to behold.

The style appears retro, but the technical ingenuity of staging the acts defies definition, as distraction and deception occupy the audience from spying the stagecraft (and the safety mechanisms), often disguising the next movement of the performance, resulting in gasps and cheers from the audience upon the subsequent reveal. As much happens off-stage as it does on-stage.

Supreme balance is the hallmark of scripting a Cirque du Soleil performance, igniting the wonder of the audience using an ebb and flow of athletic and acrobatic feats, each one building upon the astonishment generated by the previous, and always ending with a climax, only ever topped by the next movement.

There’s great contrast too in Kurios. The venue filling trapeze, where performers swoop back and forth over the heads of the audience (“tape work“ as circus people call it), near-missing their fellow artists, is delightfully weighed against a scene of finger puppetry, projected onto a floating hot air balloon using mini-camera and close-up techniques operated by the cast. It’s remarkable, intimate and touching.

Post intermission, their famous aerial work is adrenalised. The trampoline routine is incredibly choreographed, and beautifully accompanied with a soundtrack augmented by the company’s live musicians. And the energy from then-on is unrelenting until the final bow. The audience is engaged, entranced, with thunderous applause, whoops and ovations.

Cirque du Soleil has mastered performance art. The mechanics of staging a staggering performance in their Grand Chapiteau is beautifully set against the scenic art and costuming, alongside precise circus ability, and scored with a soundtrack that will have you humming all the way back to the carpark. It’s a great night out.

The ticket portal has an excellent 360 degree representation of the view from your seat when you purchase at

There’s so much happening in this show, don’t fear purchasing seats towards the back of the venue so you can take-in the entire staging. The Grand Chapiteau is big but not huge. But avoid sitting too far around towards the back of the stage. The front 3 rows are not raked, so it can be annoying in these seats if you are seated behind somebody tall. Don’t despair if you find yourself in this position, as much of the action happens high in the air off the stage, way above everybody’s heads. Booster seats are available for the littlies.

There are security checks at the door when the ‘foyer’ opens for snacks (hotdogs, pies, popcorn etc from $7) and drinks (beer, wine, vodka etc from $11) one hour prior to the performance. Don’t be surprised if you see actors already onstage as you enter. That’s part of the show. The 25 minute intermission allows enough time for a toilet stop ('delux' portaloos) and to join the queue at the bar. Drinks and snacks are permitted in the Grand Chapiteau during the performance.

If seeing the show in Sydney, the Entertainment Quarter has a flat parking rate of $7 after 6pm every evening. Pre-pay the fee when you arrive after parking the car, as the queues for the paystation can be tedious after the show. Note however that exiting the carpark after collecting your car requires patience, along with everybody else.

All pics copyright Cirque Du Soleil 2014 -2019