If someone had tried to explain to me what Barbu encompassed I would never have believed my ears. Barbu by Cirque Alphonse is truly something that needs to be experienced in order to savour the brilliance. The best image I can give you begins with ‘circus’. The classic strongman, juggling, contortionism, and aerial acts feature in this show but then throw in rollerblades, a disco-ball-wearing man with a large hoop, underwear, and beards. Sometimes individually, often several at once. Barbu oozes sex appeal, humour, and talent. Perhaps this photo will explain what words can’t.
The accompanying band set the tone with the performers joining in songs when they caught their breath. They seemed to be having the time of their lives performing for us. The opening number merely wet our appetites, demonstrating the strength, teamwork, and trust in their troupe. It worked like a well-oiled machine. I was constantly scared one person would miss a catch or slip, but every time I was reassured by their routine.
Loukas, the oldest of the troupe, showed off killer pins with sky-high high heels before being subjected to being target practice. His eery acts, at first coming across almost scary and turning humorous, broke up routines of jaw-dropping flips, balance, and juggling. The four male performers graced viewers with their fashionable beards, causing several men in the room to turn green with envy, and their muscular bodies which were soon glistening with sweat. The two ladies outshone their male counterparts, proving their washboard abs were earned, their routines not only appealing to watch but astonishing.
This wasn’t my first ‘circus’ experience but I must admit Barbu has proved to be the most entertaining. While I spent most of the show amazed, the music and the atmosphere complimented the show and allowed a thoroughly enjoyable audience experience. My only complaint was the seating was quite cramped together, but once the show started I forgot how close the stranger next to me sat and how uncomfortable the seating was.
I highly recommend this show to adult audiences who are looking to be amazed and entertained. Barbu is showing at The Pleasure Garden as part of Fringe World Perth until the 3rd of February. Make a night of it and explore what the Fringe World has to offer! For more information visit the Fringe World website.
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