Barbu

Beards, gymnastics, acrobatics and sweaty bodies? That would be Barbu, the Québécois Cirque Alfonse.

If the thought of watching the glistening physiques of elite athletes contort and dance on stage is top-notch entertainment then Barbu is just for you. 

Currently showing at the Sydney Opera House until March 4, Barbu has been aptly described as a Canadian hipster circus. Tick, tick and tick.

Barbu is the acrobatic equivalent of a rollercoaster, throwing the audience back in time into a fairground-style world of kooky curiosities and feats of spellbinding strength and skill. 

Inspired by Montreal’s burgeoning circus scene at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, it’s a nod to a more innocent era. Well, an era before Trump anyway. 

Barbu bills itself as “a contemporary circus minus political correctness and replete with witty repartee, golf clubs, nails, beer-kegs, hula-hoops, roller skates and a liberal dash of nudity.” 

And everyone loves a liberal dash of nudity. 

Accompanying the performance is the throbbing sounds of an electro trad band – electronic music fused with traditional Quebec folk composed by André Gagné and David Simard – that transforms the heady mix into an exuberant circus rave set to compelling projected visuals by Frédéric Barrette of Cirque du Soleil: Solstrom fame. 

Barbu is now showing at the Sydney Opera House, where it will run until March 4. 

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