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Barbu (London Wonderground, London): #FreshOffTheStalls

barbu Screenshot from my #FreshOffTheStalls review for 'Barbu'.

Bombastic and ballsy, James Waygood and Ian Bell get their thoughts together after the Cirque Alfonse bat-shit beardy, Barbu.

Barbu is the new show from Cirque Alfonse, who rode a buzzsaw into London last year with their dangerously lumbersexual circus show, Timber! Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Cirque Alfonse bring their new show Barbu to the British capital, mixing traditional circus with post-modern kitsch. Underbelly Productions, teaming up with Cirque Alfonse, return to storm the London Wonderground spiegeltent following other sensational headliners like Limbo, Scotch & Sodaand the almighty Briefs, with Barbu adding some saucy “sacre bleu” to traditional circus acts and aesthetics. Accompanied by a live band, Cirque Alfonse and Barbu will seduce, stupefy, and tickle your funny beards with their trademark facial hair and high flying verve.

Despite Barbu’s queer-leaning look – men in make-up and heels, and undeniable homoeroticism – founder of Cirque Alfonse, Antoine Carabinier-Lépine, said in an interview with Grumpy Gay Critic, that he hopes people don’t judge the show for it.

“…we hope that the audience are open minded and don’t judge just on our look. Our look doesn’t serve the show as the audience think at the beginning but you need to see the show to understand.”

London Wonderground is now in its fifth year after opening its doors alongside the Udderbelly festival in 2012. The festival has quickly established itself as London’s biggest and glitziest summer festival dedicated to cabaret, circus, and performance art, taking place in a gorgeous original 1920s spiegeltent. The festival runs until late-September and offers a smorgasbord of the bizarre, the sensual, and the downright daft! When the Udderbelly leaves in mid-July, the entire site will be filled with sideshows, eateries, and the famous 60-meter high Sky Flyer ride.

BARBU plays at London Wonderground, London, SE1 8XX until 25 September 2016. Tickets are from £26. To book, visit
This review was made possible by Theatre Bloggers. For more information about the group, please visit

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