Just a quick glance at the critics' remarks on the official Cirque du Soleil website tells you all you need to know. "A sensory delight", "A soaring triumph", "Joy and peerless beauty" - vivid descriptions all but merely the tip of a very superlative-laden iceberg.
Cirque du Soleil has grown from humble beginnings as a street-dance and circus-arts ensemble from Quebec - for the past two decades, the name has been synonymous with spectacular productions across the globe since their first profitable production "Nouvelle Experience", performed in 1990.
After racking up several awards for their creations and productions, Alegría is perhaps their most remarkable. Originally created as a tenth-anniversary show in the mid-'90s, it spent 15 years 'on the road', before being retired in 2009. The show's title can be taken two ways - in Spanish it means 'joy', in Italian it also portrays 'pain'. Despite the show's darkness, Alegría was adapted for arenas and has been touring again since the end of 2009, including this year's lengthy run in the UK. If you missed it, gather yourself - it's coming back.
For 2013, Cirque du Soleil will return with Alegría for another large UK tour which begins at London's O2 Arena on 18th July 2013 for four performances, then Wembley Arena for another five. The production will then 'go regional' with multiple nights in Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool and Nottingham, where the last show will take place on 10th November 2013.
Ticket prices average at around £50 with cheaper and more expensive options on offer depending on venue.