This Cirque du Soleil show is big, slick, impressive - and just a wee bit impersonal.

All your expected, obvious acts are on show - the aerial silks, the human hamster wheel, contortion balancing, and acrobatics among others - and they're all executed with exceptional skill.

Although not particularly original, they're feats of strength, balance and beauty.
Instead of the intimacy of a Spiegeltent circus, the arena show has the soaring ceiling which allows for hoop swooping, rope climbing and dramatic drops galore.

The arch that carries the aerial performers cleverly stretches over the stage, like a metallic rainbow, while the marvellous Banquine tumblers use the height to make a human tower several storeys high.


Meanwhile, Wei Liang Lin shows rare personality among the cast, wrangling his diabolo (Chinese yo-yo) with leg flicks in a kicky purple jumpsuit. An adagio pas de deux between Alexander Pestov and Natalia Pestova is breathtakingly full of difficult lifts.

However, instead of a legible story thread connecting the "wow" moments, there is a lot of distracting filler and pseudo profundity.

Rather than meshing with the circus acts, the theatrical elements compete with them for our attention.

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Quidam is "dreamlike" in that its images are disconnected: a man with skeleton wings, a headless suit, a red balloon, floating ghosts. It doesn't help that the costumes are mostly sombre and monochrome, and the lighting is moody.

On opening night, audience participation was in such poor taste as to be offensive: a male clown repeatedly simulated sex with a young woman "volunteer" after she'd fallen on the stage, and cajoled another "volunteer" to do the same.

Now 20 years old, Quidam feels a little out-dated but it's a grand spectacle of world-class expertise.

What: Quidam
Where: Vector Arena, until February 14