Presented by Cirque Africa
Reviewed 18 February 2017
Human circuses are a common entertainment but never cease to amaze audiences with just how incredible the human body can be. The real trick for a modern circus is to find a way to make the same feats unique so they’ll stand out from the competition.
Representing Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana, Cirque Africa corners the market with African cultures, bringing with it the colours, dance, songs and celebration of multiple countries.
The Fringe show, in a tent erected in Hindmarsh Square in the city, is a condensed version of the full Cirque Africa experience, but it still manages to run half an hour longer than the scheduled time. The energetic 90-minute show includes a short intermission for the 15+ performers to reset the ring for the thrilling second Act.
Papa Africa is the director and ringmaster, supported by a wonderful two-member band that underscores the excitement with music and song. The ridiculously fit cast of thirteen men and three women engage in heart-stopping balancing acts, strongman feats, human pyramids, impossible spinning and the most sensational pole work you may ever see, featuring 9 perfect specimens of the male physique.
Audience participation is invited with ample clapping, cheering and stomping that adds to the electric atmosphere and is all well-deserved. The one time that four audience members are invited to participate in the ring however, the comedy routine is both funny and ridiculously over-long, particularly for such a short show. It is too much filler, which could be dispensed with to bring the run-time closer to the advertised duration.
If you love circus, love African culture, or simply love a spectacle of colour and music, then Cirque Africa hits the right notes. It’s heart-stopping fun for the entire family.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 5: 4
Venue: Cirque Africa Big Top, Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide
Season: 18 February – 19 March 2017
Duration: 90 minutes
Tickets: $24 – $36
Photo credit: Photo by A Rejman Photography
Note: The YouTube clip above is for the full Cirque Africa experience. Not all acts shown in the video are in the Fringe edition.