Fuego Carnal

Produced by Dream State Circus and housed within the custom-built Empyrean tent, Fuego Carnal is a bizarre fusion of performance, from fire twirling, acrobatics and sword swallowing, to an ice skating/trapeze synthesis, to burlesque-style feather dancing and flaming bagpipes.

Steveo Extremeo’s opening was phenomenal – sparks and fire everywhere! While the angle-grinding Valkyries of 2016 were missing, the performance was still just as mesmerising. The control he has over whatever flaming thing he happens to be spinning around him was perfection. This was followed by a sword swallowing strip tease, trapeze on the world’s smallest ice rink, and a musical interlude on the most dangerous bagpipes I’ve ever seen.

The variety of performances in this show helped to keep things fresh – although fire is basically amazing, it could have possibly become too much of a good thing and the balance of arts worked in their favour.

From start to finish it was full on fire and potential danger, especially with the audience sitting so close to the action. Often the performers would have a look of overt concentration or slight worry flicker their faces, and it was difficult to tell whether they were legitimately concerned or if it was all part of the show. Either way, it added an extra level of excitement to the show and no one walked away singed, so I’d call that win-win.

I utterly adored this show, and not just for the fire and circus prowess. The atmosphere created by the performers was fantastic – little instances throughout that showed they were having fun with each other as much as creating laughs for the audience. I find that circus shows of this nature can become overly serious but I particularly enjoyed the light-heartedness that weaved through Fuego Carnal.

This went especially for especially for Sophie and Jacob McGrath, who set a vibe of mischievous sexual tension that the other performers happily carried on throughout the rest of the show. The McGraths also put on a stunning finale showcasing their strength, control, and trust as they vaulted, spun, and climbed over one another. Their fire spinning routine, which saw Sophie perched atop Jacob’s head while both spin their fire sticks, was particularly brilliant.

This is the sort of show that everyone will get a kick out of and is definitely worth checking out this season.

★★★★½