Walking into Barbaroi is like walking into a familiar street scene from an early 80s movie. The Ukiyo circus tent is set up in an industrial way, with lighting that makes it feel dark and mysterious. There are six characters in this show who are introduced video game style: a bearded juggler, a bare-chested circus strongman, a garage mechanic, a Harley Quinn type, a blonde girl with attitude and a dark brooding dude. Each of the characters have their own strengths and have moments where they all play together and other times when they each get to shine. There are rolls and punches, jumps and climbs, and each trick requires strength and skill. There’s plenty of humour that goes with the swagger.
The show is without dialogue, the performers’ bodies do the talking. The performers pitted themselves each against each other and you could sense a real feeling of camaraderie.
What makes shows like this exciting is the total lack of safety that the actors have. When they’re swinging from the ceiling above you there’s no safety net. Many times, the audience had their hearts in their throats. As the audience is so close to the action you can virtually feel the sweat from the troupe.
Equally at home with the brooding lighting was the driving contemporary soundtrack. This show draws on many modern trends, yet has a unique and honest approach. Barbaroi is a fun, exciting and upbeat show that will have you on the edge of your seat.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Barbaroi plays at Ukiyo in Gluttony at the Adelaide Fringe until 15th March