FRINGE REVIEW: CIRQUE AFRICA 2.0, CIRQUE AFRICA BIG TOP

After missing out on 2017’s sell-out season, Cirque Africa 2.0 was on the top of my Adelaide Fringe list this year and it didn’t disappoint.

The high energy spectacle, emceed by the rambunctious Papa Africa, is fresh, funky and suitable for all ages – they even reserve the front two rows for the kids.

Sound tracked by a bongo drummer and native African music, the flashy performers kicked off the show with a dance that hinted at their upcoming skills.

Next, a man rode a range of unicycles that increased in difficulty and had the audience wide-eyed with amazement from the get-go.

A hoop dancer followed, who had hoops swinging from every limb and then had the highest number of hoops I’ve ever seen swinging from someone’s hips. The performers definitely lift the bar from your standard circus fare.

A bit of comedy broke up the acts, with Papa Africa bringing unwitting audience members onto the stage, myself included, to mime a James Brown track as a pretend band. I got off light as the drummer, but the singer was a good sport and we all got into it, much to the amusement of the rest of the crowd.

As I shuffled back to my seat, a raised platform had been pushed to the middle of the stage and a male and female duo appeared in skin tight leotards. They then proceeded to contort their bodies into some of the most unnatural poses I have ever seen. I was squirming in my seat as heads twisted and spines were bent. The balance and strength of the pair was extraordinary.

A death defying balancing act and a juggler who had a multitude of spinning tubs and umbrellas going wowed everyone. The show was rounded out by two young teens performing back-breaking acrobatics with the pièce de résistance a whopping 30 backflips in a row.

Cirque Africa had me exclaiming in astonishment, belly laughing and in the next moment hanging on the edge of my seat. A perfect show to take the kids to.

4.5 stars

Cirque Africa 2.0 is showing in the Cirque Africa Big Top in Hindmarsh Square at various times until April 3. Pick up your tickets here.

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