“Every City Has A Secret. Only Dubai Has La Perle.” La Perle
Live entertainment in Dubai changed forever when the much anticipated La Perle opened at the end of August last year. The aquatic and aerial Vegas style extravaganza, curated by Franco Dragone, is located in a purpose-built theatre at Al Habtoor City offering residents and visitors a whopping ten shows every single week.
The permanent water based ninety-minute show (without an interval) is centred around a circular diving pool and features a large troupe of acrobats, dancers, divers, stuntman, puppetry and even motorbikes. While the plot is rather confusing the stunts and acrobatics along with the set, sound, visuals and backdrop are quite outstanding.
The main character, a lone girl seemingly distressed runs or is chased around the pool in an eccentric, fantasy world. Kidnapped by the bad guys she’s rescued in a somewhat archaic plot, by a topless, long haired muscled hero (think Tarzan). Meanwhile, in what seems like an unrelated storyline many, mostly male international performers emerge and dive simultaneously from the pool that holds 2.7 million litres of water.
The acrobats plunge from high (scuba divers are underwater at all times for the performers safety) and gallons of water cascades from the both sides of the stage. There’s even a six-metre high puppet and aerial feats aplenty, you can see why it’s all a tad confusing. There’s no doubt La Perle is visually spectacular giving visitors a 360 degree sound experience with high definition technology and image projection on the floor, walls, seats and the domed ceiling screen.
The very latest in theatre design ensures that every visitor has an excellent view, the seats are large and comfortable with optimum positioning above the rows below. Alongside from the VIP section there are just 1,300 seats spread across fourteen rows so everyone is close to the action, front row visitors should prepare to get a little wet from the spray. We were seated in the Gold section which was adjacent to the VIP section with exactly the same view (I would suggest sitting here to save the price hike for VIP tickets – click here for all ticket prices).
Unfortunately the much awaited Globe of Death, a death defying five strong motorcycle act with riders circulating inside a suspended metal sphere high in the air, was deemed unsafe on the day of our visit. A reason to return methinks to see it back in action, highlights for me included the two-man Chinese dragon and the performer posing as a visitor ‘plucked’ from the audience who ran around, on top and inside a fast moving gigantic hamster-esq wheel.
Having previously seen Cirque du Soleil’s water based show O directed by Dragone in Las Vegas ten years ago I was excited to see how his modern circus inspired theatrics would transpire to the stage in Dubai. It’s certainly enjoyable and well worth a visit despite the high ticket prices (cheapest ticket is AED 420 so keep an eye out for deals). I’m pleased to say the aesthetics and the extremely talented performers at this one-of-a-kind show are worth a visit alone. The venue is visitor friendly with good transport links and parking, there’s plenty of F & B outlets and retail opportunities too.
Location: Al Habtoor City, Downtown Dubai
Show Times: Tuesdays – Fridays at 7pm and 9:30pm and Saturdays at 4pm and 7pm
Children under 2 are not permitted. Visitors can take flash free photos and videos throughout the show on mobile phones.
I was given complimentary tickets to La Perle. All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved. Final photo used with courtesy of www.instagram.com/laperledxb/