Fuerzabruta Edinburgh Festival Fringe Review

Fuerzabruta is a great show. But it’s ¬£25 a ticket. Fuerzabruta is a b***dy brilliant show. But it’s ¬£25 a ticket.

Two floating swimmers at Fuerzabruta, Edinburgh

I’m sure that is the conversation many of you will have when trying to decide if to see the Argentinian tour de force that is Fuerzabruta, at their humongous black tent home outside Edinburgh’s Ocean Terminal shopping centre. After witnessing the show first hand last night, there is no doubt that Fuerzabruta have constructed a masterpiece. It is genuine sensory overload. It’s the most vivid, fantastical dream which every hedonistic raver would love to live. And there’s no doubt that this is one expensive production. Fuerzabruta has a huge tent, incredibly creative and complex sets, many performers and props that need replacing every night. If paying the ¬£25 fee leaves you a mortgage payment short or means no baby food for a week, then you should probably miss it. Otherwise I can’t think of an excuse. You have to see Fuerzabruta in Edinburgh.

The arena was dark and crowded, with just a few red spotlights illuminating the crowd and smoke. Even now I was actually there, I still didn’t know what to expect. The hype said I might get wet or might get dirty. Well, I certainly got wet when a huge fan blasted water over the crowd or at the end when, longing for the show to go on a little longer, I started jumping under a heavy sprinkle of water released from the roof. Some audience members got dirty. The show opened with a male running on a treadmill. It extended further out into the audience, with members of the crew ushering the audience (as they would all night) around to make way for the Fuerzabruta set to break into the audience. Soon the runner was shot through the chest, but he kept running. Others passed him on the treadmill, only to fall off. The man ran faster, eventually smashing into walls that exploded over him and the audience. Maybe it showed perseverance, no matter what the obstacles. It was a surreal start to the show.

Swimmer making a splash at Fuerzabruta, Edinburgh Runners at Fuerzabruta, Edinburgh

From there on we saw races around the tent’s sides with two women somersaulting at breakneck speed, a wave engulfing the audience, persons clinging onto a sail as it revolved at breakneck speed, and much more. The finale was breathtaking. Fuerzabruta have constructed a technically brilliant production, that is as creative as it is ingenious for the set design. Somehow a clear plastic roof had appeared above the audience. On top of the plastic was water. Lots of water. Girls began to explore this water above our heads. The display ranged from pure childlike fun with four girls sliding and skidding from one end of the pool to the other to a form of synchronised swimming, which created stunning and almost ethereal images. As with all of Fuerzabruta, this ‘act’ encouraged audience participation with the pool being lowered to the point where audience members could touch the clear plastic. Somehow it’s strength held as the swimmers above dive bombed onto its surface.

The music throughout Fuerzabruta was brilliant and gave the show real energy and vigour throughout. Before Fuerzabruta I had never seen an audience, some 1200 in all, become so invigorated and captivated by one show. The least likely members of the audience were driven to dancing around and jumping in the air.

Many will look for symbolism in Fuerzabruta. But I will decline the chance. The meaning of Fuerzabruta is “brute force”. That adequately describes the show. It’s fast, frenetic, interactive and totally consuming. It’s so different to anything I have ever seen before. Genuinely original. Much of Fuerzabruta’s content is beyond the imagination, in some ways it’s a testament to mankind’s creativity and innovation. It really does make the impossible possible. My only wish would have been for the DJ to have stayed on a little longer at the end, as by that stage it seemed the audience were looking for an all night rave.

Before entering the main performance tent there is a bar/food area in the pre-tent. Here you purchase Fuerzabruta branded tokens for £1.50 each and exchange them for beer/wine (2 tokens, £6) or food. The bar stay opens for a while after the performance.

Needless to say this as full and as solid a five star show as you will ever see: the behemoth of Edinburgh’s Festival Season. And a total must visit.

More photos of Fuerzabruta from The Edinburgh Blog are available.

Fuerzabruta is playing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Black Tent venue. The show runs until the 1st of September.

The Edinburgh Blog will soon be reviewing Lucy Porter, Brendon Burns and Playing Burton.

3 Responses to “Fuerzabruta Edinburgh Festival Fringe Review”

  1. Mmm… I’m not convinced. At that price, I expected more than 50 minutes of technical set-pieces. As an example of staging and fx, it is a technical tour-de-force, but as a piece of theatre I found it sadly lacking.

    I think my overall impression was mild bemusement. The reason you couldn’t find much symbolism in the show is because there is actually very little of it. The runner showed promise as a symbol, but… if you’ll pardon my image… it didn’t go anywhere!

    Maybe I was expecting too much. It is inevitable that a ’spectacle’ like Fuerzabruta is going to be compared with Cirque de Soleil, and when it is, it’s sadly lacking. I was discussing this with my partner after the show and we came to the conclusion that you leave a show like CdS’s Varekai or Quidam amazed at the skill of the performers, you leave Fuerzabruta thinking ‘I could do that’… and yes, I know that you’d need to be pretty fit to even think about it, but sliding about on a puddle (there really wasn’t as much water as your review implied!) suspended above the audience is the sort of thing my kids do on sheet of plastic in the back garden of a summer’s day.

    Don’t get me wrong, despite the show’s brevity and the lack of cohesion, I did enjoy it, but I was left wanting so much more. I think it has the makings of a truly great show, but it needs to be about more than technical set pieces… it needs to be about people.

    I have no doubt that this comment will never see the light of day on your blog, not least because I know that the show is the cause celebre of this years’s festival , but I’d like to think that someone will at least read it, and if you do, consider this… Any show whose grand finale consists of 3 people swinging through a polystyrene and cardboard wall on a bit of string has got problems…

  2. This large lady has seen theatre the world over, but never anything like Fuerzabruta …………unlike the other blog event. I wallowed in the passion and energy of it all. I danced for the whole of the 70 mins plus set.I swear I have been bragging about my visit and encouraging others. Do Newcastle…………my home town…………..I have already sold you! When your web site is working put me on your mailing list. I can travel

  3. Exiciting, unusual, bring a packamac if you a dweeb. energy and passion brings out the best of us, wow at 52 I found I am still alive, I swear if the running man had fell off I would have stole him!

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