Fuerzabruta @ Roundhouse, London

Some say the best way to let your beloved know the extent of your affection is to cook for them and thereby nurture them body and soul.


Given the choice between home cooked grub and a seeing to so good that your eyes roll back in your head, I can tell you which most people would rather have as proof of their partner’s indelible love. But when neither a slap up feed or a night of slap and tickle will do the trick, a guaranteed way to blow someone’s mind this summer is to take them to Fuerzabruta, at North London’s newly reopened Roundhouse.

Heavy on gravity defying aerial acrobatics and high octane dance, Fuerzabruta (literally brute force), is an expectation-shattering show that comes courtesy of Argentine troupe De La Guarda.

It’s a wild, chaotic celebration with all the colour and energy of a Brazilian street carnival, mixed with the edginess of an illegal rave – as lithe bodies fly through the air, strobe lights transform everything around you into the hyper real.

Set to banging electronic beats, you stand for the duration of the show and are jostled around the auditorium while stage hands move epic bits of kit. Performers occupy every inch of space from walls, to the floor to the ceiling, morphing into aerial sprites and water nymphs that seduce you in wild displays of physical theatre or encircle you, as suspended from the roof, they run across a wall of foil, undulating like a huge silvery wave as they sprint over it.

This whole sensory onslaught starts with the lights going up to reveal a man in a white shirt running on a treadmill for all he is worth. Suddenly he is shot and collapses bleeding, but then picks himself up and runs on, crashing through walls, bursting through partitions as he is joined by other cast members, who hurtle and chase each other until the light fades.

And when the lights come up again, suspended 30ft above you, is a man harnessed to a flat bottomed Perspex box, imprisoning a woman who is swimming inside. Lying on top of each other and separated by the thinnest of materials, they move frantically together in an attempt to passes the barrier between them and make love.

More than once in my hour spent submerged in the sur-reality of De La Guarda, I stood mouth agape, stunned almost to a standstill – so I don’t want to give away anymore of the hypnotic vignettes that make up this production or give you an inkling of the show’s breathtaking and erotic centrepiece, except to say that it will be one of the most bewitching things you may ever see.

Frenzied and intense, visual stunning and utterly out of this world, Fuerzabruta will set your pulse racing and leave you begging for more.

The Roundhouse could not have chosen a better show to herald its re-emergence and proclaim its renewed status at the forefront of innovative and unsurpassable theatre.

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