ARTISAN AND ACROBATICS

It's Wednesday afternoon in a rather glorious Manchester and we find ourselves driving  in circles looking for a giant tent. Surely it should not be that difficult to find a huge circus tent. In the back of the car, we hold our precious cargo: a lot of chocolate, pyramids and pearls to the roof for the opening night premiere show of Amaluna, the new Cirque de Soleil extravaganza. After a while of questioning  whether we have the date wrong or whether all the madness of the chocolate world pre-Christmas has gone to our heads and we have just imagined the event, we finally spy a huge white tent. 

We navigate our way to the deliveries entrance. This isn't just a tent; it's the size of half the shopping centre it's erected next to.  Julien guides us in ; he's been with the show travelling the world for 12 years and he has  stories to tell. We are in awe of the sheer size of the cirque and a little bit in awe of Julien too. We set up chocolates on the bars, demonstrating  how to ensure they look perfect and of course what the chocolates are. Oh and to tap away some naughty hands as they attempt to pinch a few! Our pyramids of pearls and truffles make eye-catching centrepieces in all the right places. With the colours of the show being blue and silver, our Tahiti and south sea pearls and the house truffles look like matching jewels in the crown of the surroundings.

Before the show, we meet and greet guests:  the Salford Devils rugby team, who claim they only eat healthily but devour their fair share of choccies.  We are also thrilled to meet our two Facebook competition winners. Show time is called and we enter the tent, eager but with no idea of what to expect. The first half of the show is mind-blowing with so much to see and so much to take in. Acrobatics like you have never witnessed. Bodies bending in ways that make me doubt they have the same number of bones as mine. I wonder whether any of the performers eat any chocolate for fuel as chocolate used to be a drink for warriors. This is not war but certainly demands energy, concentration and a lot of sheer hard work. 

At the interval, we emerge from the main tent to watch our pyramids being carried and tucked into, disappearing as fast as the flight of the trapeze artists.  It never gets tiring seeing people enjoy our chocolates. I get dragged into the VIP to spot which famous faces are indulging, a few footballers and many of the cast of Coronation Street - So I am told (sorry I do not have a TV). In the main concourse, every pyramid and every bowl empty are empty. It is soon time to go in for the second half  of the magic that only happens when passion meets dedication. Have a passionate week, Miss Anne x