BARBU by Cirque Alfonse at London Wonderground

Barbu

Wild bearded circus came to the London Wonderground at the Spiegeltent this week. A team of six performers and three instrumentalists performed to an enthusiastic and packed circus tent.

Opening on roller skates there were moments when we thought someone would fly into the audience, the danger of the situation magnifying the excitement we felt from this adrenaline pumped opening. There was some brilliant acrobatics and feats of strengths from the chaps whilst the ladies did some beautiful ring swinging. The juggling was also very good, however, there were a couple of mistakes in this section. There was also a phenomenal magic trick in the middle of the performance, the kind which leaves you scratching your head as you exit the show.

The brilliance of this piece though was the way they weaved humour throughout. A brilliant recurring joke was about one chap trying to balance golf clubs, which was possibly a swipe at an extravagant version of the same feat performed by Cirque du Soleil recently. His attempts at balancing the clubs were always ruined by the interventions of others. The final part of this was hilarious with his male colleague dancing provocatively around him. The Mentalist added more comedy to the piece with his bizarre act plus nudity whilst the audience participation sections were extremely funny too.

There was a power cut halfway through, and we wish the musicians had responded to it more quickly. Eventually they abandoned their musical posts and came centre stage for an acoustic violin, drum and vocal song. Fortunately the power cut did not detract from the overall performance and we were even more excited when things kicked off again.

This was an extremely entertaining, bearded Canadian circus show. The perfect evening spectacle from these wild Québécois.

Highlight of the piece – The opening on skates – pulling each other around in a circle by their beards.

WIGS 4/5

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