We’re not long into ANIMAL when what seems to be an elderly farmer is standing on top of a pole balanced on another man’s shoulder. From about 30 feet in the air – almost touching the top of the tent – he welcomes us to the show.

It’s a high octane opening. This circus company from Montreal has brought a show full of acrobatics, laughs and music to the Fringe, all themed around the farmyard. There’s a mischievous feel all the way through as the performers show off astonishing acts of physicality, and energy levels never drop.

A superb live band keeps it all moving for the 75 minute duration, creating a soundtrack like something you’d hear in a back alley club in Paris as the swinging sixties gave way to a more psychedelic time.

It’s the sort of show where your focus can be so taken by the acrobats at the front of the stage, it’s only at the end of the song you realise the trumpeter balanced a full-size vintage milk can on his head the whole time he was playing.

Eggs and huge, unwieldly cowbells are thrown and juggled; bodies jump, climb and pose, some rubber chickens almost steal the show, and acrobats often join the band when not performing stunts. The singing in French adds to the surreal vibe of this crazy farmyard as Cirque Alfonse bring an unforgettable night to a close with a mechanical bull, before one of the cutest curtain calls you’ll ever see.


4.5 out of 5 stars



Until March 17

The Roundhouse at The Garden of Unearthly Delights


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