TRASH TALK: Fuerzabruta @RoundhouseLDN reinvents the “Roadie”

Theatre / Words

15 Jan 14

Welcome to TRASH TALK, our new feature weaving seemingly incongruous thoughts together by means of our trails of thought. The savvy reader’s Top Ten, if you will.

This time, there’s talk of Fuerzabruta @RoundhouseLDN spilling from our quill:

Things got out of hand pretty quickly.

Kicking, screaming, moving to the right, moving to the left, dancing, sweating, jogging, grinding (?!), roaring, roaring some more, singing a little bit, jumping – we, the audience, are having a good time of this.

Phew. Good workout, that. Well done us. High five. High five to the dude who had a canvas smashed over his head in the melee, and who continues to wear it about his neck despite the clear comic potential when fitting through doors.

This was not some left-field ‘legs, bums and tums’ fitness class (no, I do that on Tuesday nights) – it was Fuerzabruta, AKA the most exercise I have ever had under the pretence of spectatorship.

During the performance, you stand, which is a good start. Theatre’s always been good at making me feel very inflexible. If you, too, envy actors most of all for their high kicks and pliable vocal chords while you languish there in your posture-annihilating West End seat, then Fuerzabruta’s the London show to see this winter.

In its satire of white-collar monotony, and its suggestive scenes of a man shooting down a huge inflatable tube into a hole above our heads, Fuerzabruta is all about those endorphins. The Argentinean troupe have instilled in Trash Talk an old truth in an elaborate way:

A circus is the church of physicality; its sole commandment is bodily brinkmanship.

And this time, it’s not just the peeps on stage. The event is entirely immersive. Existing somewhere between gig and theatre, Fuerzabruta thrives on mimicry. It acts; you act. The performers shift clockwise? The audience – a mangled, moshing conglomerate – shifts clockwise. They start dancing in the middle? You too can do the same – should you wish. If you’re one of the lucky few, they’ll even get their super-strength fans to float you up near the rafters. It’s probably great for the abs.

Credit’s due the Roundhouse, whose layout facilitates different conceptual ‘sections’ to the show. You find yourself subtly rotating about the place as Fuerzabruta, like some benevolent PE teacher, redefines ‘circuit training’.

Audience kineticism in performing arts may be catching on – but at nearly a decade old, it’s worth acknowledging these South Americans’ pioneering role in that culture.

So try it – Trash Talk urges you to go and run away with the circus.

(But don’t forget your stretches.)