Fringe World 2016: El Bizarro review

El Bizarro is back after a sold out debut season last year, with the very best sideshow rarities, human oddities and variety superstars from all around the world.

While definitely not for the faint-hearted, this incredible show is hands down one of the best you will see at Fringe World this year.

Above all else El Bizarro is a celebration of the bizarre, a vibrant, energetic and fun spectacle that is sexy and shocking in equal mix. The carefully curated line-up of quality entertainers had the audience laughing and gasping, with an electric atmosphere that hung around long after the final performance.

Much adored host Magnus Danger Magnus was brilliant, as usual – infinitely upbeat, cheeky and able to whip the crowd into a frenzy, his masterful and genuine style has quickly become a favourite among the Perth scene, and he was absolutely on point on opening night.

The show kicked off with contortionist Ella Rose, who twisted all over the place with energy and grace before finishing up by impressively bending over backwards and slipping her feet into a pair of high heels.

Next up was a run of burlesque from Perth-darling Vivian Marlowe, former West Aussie now based in Canada Agatha Frisky and Victorian superbabe Elle Diablo. Each act brought something to the table to kick things up a notch – Vivian Marlowe had a gorgeously surreal costume and ended her hip-shaking number covered in a gloriously glittery number, while Agatha Frisky teamed up with her husband (the Great Gadso) to deliver a deliciously kinky performance and Elle Diablo finished with a bang by swallowing a sword.

Perth duo Circus Carnis – experts in pain art – were stopped mid-performance when someone in the audience fainted, but I was impressed with their graceful recovery (as well as with the professional way that the event staff responded). Their darkly playful antics delighted in pushing the audiences’ boundaries, as they moved through a showcase of almost-unbelievable acts that involved everything from skewers through the cheek to pulling each other around by rope hooked into their backs. Enthralling, disturbing and shocking, but ultimately entertaining, they excelled at keeping the audience in suspense.

(And just after they’d finished a second person became faint and needed to be rushed out into the fresh air.)

They were a hard act to follow, but the incredible David Eriksson – a Swedish circus superstar who has performed with the likes of La Soiree and has a run of guest spots throughout this year’s Fringe – was just the person to do it. Clad in bright pink lycra shorts and a Motorhead t-shirt, he delivered a whacky and wonderful number that was impressively hilarious and included everything from ping pong balls to balloons and a toilet plunger.

Ending the night in an inferno of glory was German performance artist Missa Blue. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a fire show like this before – there was literally fire all over the stage! She used various impressive props to pull off amazing pyrotechnic stunts, breathed fire like it was air and tied it all together a fierce personality and dazzling costume, and it made for one hell of a finale.

El Bizarro is on every night until 20 February (except Thursday 18 February) however Circus Carnis are ONLY performing in the late night shows on 13, 19 and 20 February. It’s on at the Big Top in the Pleasure Garden.

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*I received tickets to this show in exchange for my review (thanks Fringe World Festival). All opinions are my own. 

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