fringe: bromance

adelaide fringe - bromance by barely methodical
Bromance (noun) - A close, non-romantic relationship between two (or more) men. It is a form of affectional or homosocial intimacy.

Bromance is also one of the most beautiful circus shows I've ever had the privilege to see, and the first one that has ever brought me to the brink of tears.

It's also genuinely funny show from Barely Methodical, with three very sweet, likeable and talented performers... Englishmen Charlie (the lithe little comedian), Louis (the beast of a base) and Beren (the "little bear" acrobat extraordinaire).

Everything starts with a handshake... one handshake becomes two, two becomes three, and that line between what form of affection is acceptable between straight men and what is going too far gets explored in every possible way.

It all starts out humorously... there's some comical pratfalling, throwing each other around, a little dancing...

Then Charlie leaves the stage and Beren and Louis proceeded to break my heart. I've said a million times when talking about dance performances that it's all about music and mood, and if you don't have the right piece of the former, it's hard to always create the latter. These boys have both in SPADES!

What could have just been an energetic acrobatics routine became, to me at least, a tender and touching love story... not sexual, but still incredibly masculine and romantic all at the same time.

Like I said, I absolutely teared up at that point. And I didn't want it to end...

But thankfully young Charlie returned and brought the funny back with him, as well as the Funky Cold Medina (and yes, Louis, you did indeed make me blush when you pointed directly at me during that number).

Fortunately it was then Charlie's time to shine with the Cyr wheel... the giant metal hoop where the performer spins inside while moving around the stage.

Again, it was just breathtaking. I've only seen a couple of live performances of the Cyr wheel before, but it didn't seem as frenetic and beautiful as this (maybe I haven't had a front row seat to it before... and there is something about a giant metal wheel whizzing inches past your knees that does make one pay attention). And once again, I found a catch in my throat more than once as Charlie made that wheel a living extension of his body.

What I loved even more than that when Louis and Beren returned was that (at least in my eyes) the wheel became that barrier we all use to stop people getting close, or that other people impose on us to keep us at arm's length. It was incredibly subtle, and maybe I was reading more into everything at that point than was actually there, but if it was there, it was masterfully done.

And the routine where Beren uses Louis and Charlie as part climbing frame and part slingshot is just amazing. I've seen pairs of acrobats and I've seen groups of acrobats, but I think that was one of the best routines I've seen using three bodies and intertwining them in all kinds of ridiculously powerful and beautiful ways.

Now up until the finale, all three performers had been in pretty normal (if mostly colour coordinated) street clothes, but what's the point in having a trio of beautiful boys with amazing athletic bodies if at some point in the show they don't strip down to their underwear and show off a little...

adelaide fringe - bromance (charlie, louis and beren)
Yeah, like that... but in red not purple.

But even without that, I would have still loved this show to bits.

This was an incredibly fine start to my 2015 Fringe experience and gives everything else a high bar to live up to! Seriously, even if it's the underwear finale that gets you through the door, go yourself a favour and go and see the boys from Bromance.

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