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FUEGO CARNAL @ Empyrean gets 8/10

Fuego Carnal 
@ Empyrean at The Ice Cream Factory

Saturday, January 19, 2019


A sexy, dangerous and cheeky show ripe with attitude, Fuego Carnal is pure delight. With these phenomenal troubadours of flame throwers featuring at the purpose built Empyrean all season long, The Ice Cream Factory is a sure fire hit this FRINGE.

Revelling in fire art in all its facets, the show is thematically solid throughout as every single act brings some form of flame to the fore. It is frenetically exhilarating throughout, with excellently executed showmanship dedicated to the allure of fire.

Kindling our love is an easy task for most of the performers, showcasing feats of juggling, acrobatics, and fire-whip cracking delights, along with an assortment of circus oddities sure to spark up conversation throughout the festival. The only notable let down is the initial kneeling fire eating, ultimately redeemed once he swallows swords and performs some truly jaw-dropping acrobatics on silks in a circus combination for the ages.

Alissa Kelly’s archery/contortion/acro/fire amalgamation is nothing short of mind-blowing, and worth the price of admission alone. She is simply extraordinary. Not to be outdone, Fremantle’s favourite prodigal son, The Badpiper, will rock you with his flaming bagpipes as he flies from the heavens in his kilt with his personal rendition of Thunderstruck. Some epic knife throwing with the most engaging assistant you ever did see continues the thrills right through to the phenomenal climax.

Unfortunately, the show’s MC and curator lets it all down somewhat, with some misguided attempts at humour from a woman whose true talents are finally showcased in closing. Sadly, the singing Felina is also miscast alongside these beautiful sideshow freaks. While funny at first, her attempt at audience participation and a misguided magic act is confusing, as she communicates with an invisible stage hand called Esmerelda, leaving the audience scratching their heads as they search for the punchline to no avail. While her voice and stage presence are delightful, Felina is not so fabulous for Fuego, and would be wonderful when cast in another show more suited to her talents.

Despite these lapses, Fuego Carnal is well worth your 2019 festival dollars, featuring some fantastic and family friendly entertainment, the likes of which you have never seen before. Get on it.


Photos by Peter Pap Photography

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