Cirque du Soleil, Hallam FM Arena

REPUTATION more than precedes this legendary Canadian entertainment force. But few can agree how to define their latest show. A multimedia musical? A concert? Contemporary dance?

Monday, 15th October 2007, 8:44 am

One thing many do agree on is the verdict – spectacular.

A cast of nearly 40, twice that again in the crew, Delirium is a West End-level production on a global arena tour.

It is a truly 21st century show – three wide banks of computers and equipment dotted around the venue to maintain the lighting, urban-inspired sounds and screens – that pitches state-of-the-art stagecraft alongside breath-taking circus skills and innovative dance.

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Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon's Delirium is the product of an unbridled imagination and a budget to suit, pursing a dreamlike and fairly nonsense storyline as a vehicle for stunning acrobatics, complicated dance routines, persistently potent visuals and a set of songs that are the right side of cheesy.

The only one criticism from this Cirque virgin is there's possibly too much going on at times on this 100ft stage so you miss a trick or two. But that's hardly a spoiler. From surely the world's biggest skirt-cum-marquee to individuals who have you wincing and marvelling in equal measure at their sinew busting, bone bending acts this company of the Montreal-originated phenomenon is a treat for the senses.

Where some promoters now dare to charge 70-plus a ticket to wheel out some old rockers Delirium is a modern and ambitious feast, a tidal wave of lights, music, athletic vocalists, design, dance, bar-raising imagination and sheer human endeavour that arguably merits its premium ticket price.