Some shows do exactly what they say on the poster. Rouge promises to be ‘Circus for grown-ups’. You expect from that description a selection of circus performances with a cheeky, sexy twist and that’s what this talented cast of six circus performers deliver. With the huge successes of BARBU from Cirque Alfonse, Briefs, and Fringe staple La Clique, sexy circus isn’t a new genre and Rouge certainly takes it cues from its predecessors.
The perfect late-night Fringe show. Sexy, sassy and self-aware.
All the circus skills on display are excellently executed. Rouge is certainly a feast for the senses. There’s opera from Isabel Hertaeg and the performers are sensual and confident and yet they play most of the sexiness for laughs. A few of the routines are a little racy but nothing too shocking – if you brought your mum along, you’d have nothing to fear here. We get a bunch of well-choreographed dance, acrobalance, acrobatics, trapeze, and even some unicorn bondage dressage. A duo cyr wheel routine is a particular highlight and there’s some fun surrealism that sees lampshade-wearing dancers and hula hoop routines baffling but delighting the audience.
At the opening, one of the cast announces that the audience is welcome to film and photograph the show – an excellent social media marketing ploy that makes perfect sense in today’s world where, if you’re not on Instagram, you don’t exist. Unfortunately this means that I viewed most of the show via the phone screen of the lady in front of me who seemed determined to film the entire performance. It certainly impacted my experience but at least I can now find the entire show on her Facebook if I need to re-review.
Rouge is a slick production that may not be revelatory for a circus aficionado but it is the perfect late-night Fringe show. Sexy, sassy and self-aware. Well worth checking out.