Friday, 4 January 2013

Fuerzabruta, Roundhouse - well worth a look.

Fuerzabruta at the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm

Last night we had our annual family outing to a show. Would that it were more often than this, but we're not always in the same city at the same time, so it's not always easy. Fuerzabruta caught our eye as it looked completely different from anything else and was more affordable than the West End. And none of us had been to the Roundhouse in London's Chalk Farm since it's been refurbished, which is shocking as it's been open at least 6 years.

Fuerzabruta (which means Brute Force) was actually the show that re-opened the Roundhouse in 2006 and is now here until 26th Jan - so there is still time to go if it grabs your interest any.

So what is Fuerzabruta exactly? I did lie awake this morning trying to figure out how I was going to describe a performance that is neither one thing nor another and have come to the following conclusion.

It's not dance. It's not really theatre. It's not circus. What it is, is a performance pulling together all three into a show that never really lets up in terms of surprise and is enormously entertaining. Is it performance art then? Well nearly, but I'll come on to that...

The Roundhouse is the perfect venue as you stand in a space with the action taking place above head height. There are moving walls, a perspex (or something similar) box suspended above your head filled with water where nymphs play, loud bangs, a live drum orchestra, cardboard, wind, water, tissue paper by the load and lots of trapeze.

It isn't as acrobatic as something like Cirque du Soleil so comparison isn't fair. And to describe it as performance art comes close but it really isn't anywhere near as pretentious as this so often can be. My daughter is studying Theatre and Performance which should make her err towards being a bit pretentious herself, but strangely if anything, it has just heightened her 'bullshit radar' - and she loved it.

Crashing through cardboard walls, Fuerzabruta
This is not a show for those who can't stand for an hour or those who don't like being in close proximity to others. If you like a bit of a rave you'll love the music - lots of the younger audience members (and there were many) joined in with signature hand-waving and air-punching in time to the beat.

It is sexy - but not in an overtly sexual way. Interestingly the male performers remain fully clothed in suits throughout whereas the females get down to luminous pants and not much else. But even the ardent feminist in me who still surfaces occasionally wasn't put off by this obvious inequality.

The performers defy gravity, make us look at things through a lob-sided world and throw themselves in with great abandon. 

The Telegraph newspaper gave it rave reviews back in 2006 and it looks to be the same show. It's an hour which is long enough and is great value for money - it's from Argentina (Buenos Aires to be exact) and has sold out in New York. Catch it while you can... you certainly won't catch them!

Fuerzabruta, The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, London. 

check out this trailer

and here is a scene from the watergirls section

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