Interview with…. Lydia Harper

The acrobat chatted to Emma Clarendon about starring in Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK – The First Flight, playing at the o2 Arena from the 26th to the 30th June.

Hi Lydia, huge thanks for talking to me. What can we expect from TORUK – The First Flight? Hello!! TORUK – The First Flight is unlike any other Cirque du Soleil show. Audiences will be completely immersed in the world of Pandora and James Cameron’s AVATAR. Our show combines acrobatics, large scale puppetry and incredible visuals and storytelling to bring audiences an out of this world experience. It’s a visually stunning odyssey with projections covering our massive stage for a total surface larger than five IMAX screens.

How are you feeling about being part of the show? I love being a part of TORUK! My background is in physical theatre and circus so this show is perfect for me. Our show is a prequel to the movie so we all play the well-known Na’vi characters, combining acrobatics and character work. This show is magical to be a part of – the visual effects we have give me butterflies every night!

This being your first show with Cirque du Soleil – how do you think your previous experiences working with circus companies will have helped you to prepare for this experience? Before joining Cirque du Soleil, I was working on a small scale circus with six friends. I was both a performer and acting as producer for the company…. so joining TORUK was a massive change! On top of being a performer, I am an artist coach on TORUK, meaning I work with the coaching team to help manage the artistic, acrobatic and logistical content of the show. My experience as producer has really helped me get my head around these challenges. On this adventure there have been a lot of changes to my lifestyle – I’m now a pro at living out of a suitcase.

What are you most looking forward to about bringing this particular show to the UK? It is always exciting bringing the show to a new country. We have presented this show in 22 countries around the world now… but I am especially excited for my friends and family to be able to see what I have been up to for the last 4 years! I also can’t wait to show the cast and crew of TORUK around London!!

Have you seen many of Cirque du Soleil’s productions? What did you think? Yes, I have seen about sixteen other Cirque du Soleil shows! What I love about Cirque du Soleil is the audience’s transportation to a different, magical, zany and wonderful world. And you can definitely find that on TORUK.

Having watched the trailer for the show it looks incredible – how would you describe TORUK from your perspective as a performer?It is just so magical. Anywhere you look something incredible is happening. We put our hearts and souls into this show so we can bring the audience into Pandora with us and bring them on this beautiful journey… it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity not to be missed!

By Emma Clarendon

TORUK – The First Flight will head to the O2 Arena from the 26th to the 30th June.

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