Art & Culture

Cirque du Soleil’s OVO stuns Manchester at the AO Arena

Fittingly for a Easter bank holiday run of shows, the whole thing revolves around an egg.

The Manc The Manc - 2nd April 2024

Just as advertised, OVO had those in attendance at Manchester’s AO Arena last week and over the Easter bank holiday utterly enthralled as they watched over a “colourful ecosystem teeming with life – where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love”.

While the already pre-fascinated audience made their way to their seats, a lone giant egg occupied the stage before being soon replaced by an array of bright-coloured insect-like performers, resembling crickets, spiders and other critters.

The captivating introduction to the world of OVO was then followed by what may very be one of the most beautiful and breathtaking shows to grace the AO Arena in many, many years.

A showcase of acrobatics, skill and sheer mind-blowing talent, the production takes you on a journey of awe, shock and bewilderment. As the insects and bugs swung around the stage, being thrown through the air and contorting their limbs those watching on were left gasping. Nothing but exclaim and applause.

From stunning set to stunning set, each performer evoked emotion from those in their presence. Soloists left the stands in stunned silence as they moved oh so gracefully around the stage, telling the audience a story they may not always quite understand but are simply left with no choice but to feel every moment.


Ethereal violins are the perfect accompaniment for the physical movement that had emotions swelling, chests tightening and eyes widening all around the AO.

Such moments were still broken up with more traditional comedic circus craft, as heads flew back in laughter in response to the rather hilarious love story of the travelling blue fly and ladybird love interest.


They even got members of the audience up on stage to create further amusement for all the family.

Plenty of comic relief amidst the madness too.

But then, before you know it, things whip straight back into a world of high-risk stunts you’ll struggle to believe you’re witnessing live — we certainly did.

Performers are thrown from trapeze to trapeze, basically being caught by pinky fingers and little toes, twisting and turning through their air and even flying between the support struts of the apparatus, before the cast are then thrown into the air and dive into the netting below.


Crickets throw themselves up walls, tumbling back down towards trampolines only to rebound right back to the top, as their counterparts tumble towards the crowd performing double and triple summersaults… and we’re still genuinely out of breath even just recounting it all.

The Manchester crowd absorbed every ounce of energy, clapping and whooping in sheer disbelief and wonder. As the story concludes the crowd are still left speechless but driven once again to fill the arena with applause.

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After half a decade since the world-famous circus and entertainment group last landed in Manchester, Cirque du Soleil truly brought an experience unlike any other to the city.

We might have to wait another little while before they’re back but we sincerely recommend giving this other-worldly performance art a go if you haven’t before. Better still, they rock up to our friends over at The Hoot‘s territory for a run of shows later this week.

You can grab your tickets HERE.


Lastly, if you want to find out more about every other big event coming up at the AO Arena in the first half of 2024, we’ve got a handy little list for you down below:

Great lineup.

For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.

Featured Images — The Manc Group