Presented by Afterdark Theatre, The Barbaroi is a solid performance of circus and physical theatre with a dark, gritty and almost post-apocalyptic vibe. The show combines traditional circus tricks with original feats of daring, and tries to present the best of both by showcasing acrobatics, aerial stunts, juggling and balancing acts.
Each performer was given the opportunity to showcase their distinct talent in a series of individual skill demonstrations. These included acrobatic displays on rope, aerial straps, pole and the Cyr wheel. As someone who struggles to do a plank, the sheer physical skill on display had me transfixed, and I marvelled at the strength, flexibility and control exhibited by the performers. It was a sold out show with a very invested audience, who clapped, gasped, and shared a visible sigh of relief when every acrobatic feat was completed without maiming the performers.
The show was well choreographed and performances were brought to life as the dynamics between the misfits were explored by way of theatre. The trust the performers had in each other was evident, as was the closeness and reliance on each other for safety and support. The performances were daring, intriguing and often created palpable tension, although it was sometimes compromised by tricks that didn't go as planned. However, these issues were mostly redeemed by the high energy and tenacity of the performers, and an outstanding performance by a table turning, suitcase juggling queen of the stage.
The Barbaroi is a unique, innovative, high voltage circus show, and a thrilling experience.