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Cirque Africa

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by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
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Last chance to see Cirque Africa in Australia
Cirque Africa has been touring around Australia for nearly 3 years now. Finally, they have brought the show to Brisbane City, just before the creative team behind this great circus heads off to France to develop their next show. Don't miss this opportunity to see one of the most exciting circus performances before they leave our shores for good. Great fun for young and old alike.

Acrobats performing at Cirque Africa
Acrobats performing at Cirque Africa

Founded in Tanzania, Cirque Africa is both pan African and international in its makeup. There are performers from many African countries as well as creative contributions from other regions. The focus is on highlighting both the incredible circus abilities of the performers as well as celebrating a unique African style and culture.

An amazing bowl juggling act
An amazing bowl juggling act

Moving out of the big top and performing at the La Boite Roundhouse Theatre still gives you that circus tent feeling because of the in-the-round setup of the theatre. Seating is not assigned so get there at least 15 minutes before the start of the show to grab the seats, that you prefer.

The Roundhouse Theatre provides the perfect venue for a circus style performance
The Roundhouse Theatre provides the perfect venue for a circus style performance

The show includes acrobats on poles and in human pyramids, a range of unicycles, amazing juggling acts that use hands, feet and more, balancing acts that will have you on the edge of your seat, African dance performances, unique cultural performances, clowns, audience participation and of course all of this is all set to African music and rhythms.

Masked dancer at Cirque Africa
Masked dancer at Cirque Africa

The show involves a wide range of performances and performers. Over the time that the show has toured Australia, performers have left to move on to new things internationally while new performers have come to fill the gap. So if you have seen Cirque Africa before when they performed at Logan or on the Gold Coast, this show should have some new elements that you might not have seen before, so it can be worthwhile seeing the show again.

A clown interacts with a member of the audience
A clown interacts with a member of the audience

The verdict

I caught the opening night of their performance at the Roundhouse Theatre. It is tempting to throw words around like colourful, vibrant, action-packed and so on, but that doesn't really do the show justice. What you have is a very fast paced circus show. The trend at the moment is to try and tell stories or add some other elements into a performance. This works when it is done well, but can really slow down a show and appear to be mostly filler. Cirque Africa takes the opposite approach and just gets on with the act.

First, the rhythm starts and the act is on. The beat, of course, is central to the performance. Acrobats, jugglers and other performers are dancing through their acts rather than just demonstrating their strength or agility.

In many ways Cirque Africa is exactly what you would expect from a circus show. But at the same time, every act has something a little special with a strong cultural influence. This ranges from jugglers to clowns, all doing things in a unique way.

Overall this is a great show. Brisbane audiences love circus performances and this is one the best and most fast moving circuses around. The wide-ranging audience enjoyed the show immensely and it is a show that will entertain everyone from young kids to anyone who is a kid at heart.

Other details

The La Boite Roundhouse Theatre has a very lovely foyer bar. On the day we went they weren't serving coffee, but I don't know if that will be true every day. However, there are a few coffee and tea options just up the road from the theatre. There are also numerous places to eat, but the foyer bar is definitely the best place for drinks before the show. Cirque Africa will also be selling a range of African gifts and jewellery in the foyer.

African gifts and souvenirs for sale at the venue
African gifts and souvenirs for sale at the venue

The show is 90 minutes long with a 20 minute intermission. Drinks can be taken into the theatre, though if they served them to you in a glass you need to decant the drink into a plastic cup that they provide.
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Why? Last chance to see Cirque Africa in Australia
When: Wed-Thu 8 pm, Fri, Sat 5 pm & 8 pm
Where: La Boite Roundhouse Theatre in Kelvin Grove
Cost: Regular tickets $89, Children $48, Family $199
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