Modern circus performances are gradually developing a new blended art form where the traditional skills of the performers are embedded into a stylised dramatic narrative. Quebec based Cirque Éloize are leaders in this new approach, blending the finest of circus skills with a funny, stylish, elegant and cleverly co-ordinated performance set to atmospheric live music.

Hotel is a delightful show from start to finish, presented as one long sustained piece of drama looking at people checking into a stylish art deco design hotel, at the receptionists, porters, bell boys and a myriad of others who interact in an hotel lobby.

Musical Director Eloi Painchaud creates an inviting aural landscape which also serves to keep the show moving fast, with the gorgeous voice of Sabrina Halde serenading us as the tumblers tumble, the jugglers juggle and the ten strong troupe give ever more gravity defying displays of their skills. The cast all join in with the music-making at times with the jazzy feel of Hot Club Du France in an elegant salon. Their costumes match the design of the set just as the staff are uniformed to match the style of the finest hotels.

Each cast member has a distinctive set of skills and they are all first rate. One or two stood out for me, such as the diminutive César Mispelon, a small but amazingly skilled performer who demonstrates the strength of men twice his size. The elegant Tuedon Ariri by contrast is tall and slim but fearless of heights, scampering up and down the most vertiginous parts of the big set and twirling about in an impressive aerial display. Philippe Dupuis is a juggler, but where most keep up just two or three balls he has a bucketload above him. Jérémy Vitupier is a gifted clown and high wire performer who also has an engaging stage presence which includes frequent moments of apparent narcolepsy where he just falls asleep anywhere and everywhere, only to be rudely awoken by his colleagues.

While there are several solo star turns often the stage is very busy with all the crew doing their stuff simultaneously so it is hard to know what to focus on. They all look as though they enjoy every minute of the performance, as do the audience who never know whether to clap or gasp or just sit back and enjoy this lively show.

The next few weeks sees Cirque Éloize perfume around the world in Peru, Spain, Austria and many other venues before heading to their Canadian home. There is one more show in Norwich tonight – if you can get a ticket, don’t hesitate to catch this dazzling and joyful show.

© Julian Swainson 2019



Cirque Eloize – Hotel, Friday 28-Saturday 29 June at 7.30pm. Tickets £10-£32.50. Discounts for Friends, Over-60s and Under-18s.

Book now at or call the box office on 01603 630000.

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