The King of “KOOZA”
The amazing Cirque du Soleil is in town this month with their production of “KOOZA”. We speak to Gordon White, who plays the King, about his role in this exciting show.
What makes “KOOZA” different to other Cirque productions? “KOOZA” is a return to the grassroots of the traditional circus, focusing on breathtaking acrobatics and ‘in your face’ slapstick clowning, both of which will keep you on the edge of your seat. “KOOZA” is raw, exhilarating, very fun and totally entertaining.
Tell us about your character, the King. The King is a very fun role to play… and ‘play’ is the key word because he’s really just like a big child, always living totally in the moment with the attention span of a gnat. Although he’s the superior to his pair of footmen who are complete fools, the King is the biggest fool of them all.
“KOOZA” combines acrobatic performance with the art of clowning. Do you have a favourite act or part of the show? That’s a common question, but, honestly... no, I don’t. It’d be very difficult for me to choose one particular act or part of “KOOZA” as a favourite. That would be like comparing apples to oranges for me because every aspect of this show is so unique and enjoyable. You originally started with the company back in 1993 and have performed in various shows like “Saltimbanco” and “Varekai”. What made you first join the company? When I first joined the company in ’93 it was Cirque du Soleil who initiated things. They were searching for somebody to assume the featured clown role in “Saltimbanco”. At that time, I was recommended to the directors by someone who had seen my one-man physical comedy show in Vancouver. They called me from Montreal, I auditioned… and I ran away with the circus.
What’s it been like seeing Cirque expand into a huge empire with multiple shows on different continents? Sometimes it feels a bit surreal, when I look at how many different Cirque shows and projects that are being presented all over the globe, and then realise that I’m actually a part of that ‘huge empire’. A very small part, mind you, on the greater scale of things, but still genuinely gratifying. You first performed in “KOOZA” in 2007. Have you noticed changes in the production between then and now? Oh, yes, for sure. But while keeping the main structure and storyline of the show intact, “KOOZA” still continues to evolve in minor ways. This is bound to happen naturally over time as artists and acts depart to other projects and shows, and new people come in with fresh ideas and energy. What do you enjoy most about touring the world with Cirque du Soleil? Appreciating a rare opportunity to experience so many different countries, cultures and lifestyles first hand. And, in terms of comedy and clowning, I also find it fascinating to explore the differences of humour from one region or country to another. But, absolutely, the most enjoyable part of touring the world, by far, is going back home between cities for down time with my family and our dog!
■ For more information on “KOOZA”, see What’s On, on page 4.