Adelaide Fringe Review: Barbaroi, Gluttony 2023

Step inside The Peacock at Gluttony to see Barbaroi and you are greeted with a dystopian world where metal drums are littered about with neon signage and a gang of misfits run the streets.

The cyberpunk costumes of the performers in Barbaroi also help set the scene. With ripped jeans, leather vests and brightly coloured hair they fit the grimy, dystopian theme perfectly.

Set to an alternative soundtrack that featured the likes of Tool, Radiohead, and James Blake, the music choices complement the aesthetic well.

What sets Barbaroi apart from the generic circus shows you sometimes come across, is the narrative running through it, and this captures the audience from the get-go.  A lone woman walks onto the wrong side of the tracks to encounter a menacing gang and has to prove herself through an initiation of sorts to become accepted into the group.

A brilliantly choreographed fight scene kicks things off as the newcomer defends herself against the gang. From here the performers really get to display their skills.

You really have to see these amazing feats for yourself, but from juggling rings, to leaping through them, death defying drops on a rope to side alley trick with a set of razorblades that is guaranteed to put you on edge – the action doesn’t stop.

The use of props is really clever, with fluorescent poles being used to climb upon and electric clamps being attached to the newcomer at one point.

You can see why Barbaroi has been a mainstay of the Adelaide Fringe circuit for the past few years, it’s a truly striking show with a dark edge.

Barbaroi is showing at The Peacock in Gluttony until Sunday, March 5 or at The Vault @ Fool’s Paradise until Sunday, March 19. Get your tickets here.

Four ½ stars **** ½