Un Poyo Rojo

If you want a bit of light relief from Fringe shows taking themselves too seriously, come to this hilarious, technically mind-blowing piece which calls itself physical theatre but defies genre. Aurora Nova’s Un Poyo Rojo performed by Alfonso Barón and Luciano Rosso has it all: contemporary dance, wrestling, acrobatics, martial arts, mime, burlesque, farce, hip-hop battle, body percussion and just plain silliness in this male locker room scenario. This physical tour de force also takes on the clichés of male competitiveness, sexuality and seduction and turns them on their head. There are only two performers, despite the poster, but they create a myriad of characters from sporty body builders to drag queens.

This brilliant show is bound to be a sell-out so get your tickets fast.

As the audience enters, joyous Argentinian music greets us but when the show begins it is turned off. Disappointing at first, its lack is completely forgotten as the heavy breathing, muscle flexing of the two men performing warm-ups begins. Eyeing each other, one shows off a move and the other reverses it until, more and more competitive, they perform death-defying acts.

Just as you get over the shock, they descend into silly moves. Luciano Rosso’s face is particularly mobile as he pulls his mouth into a square, makes his eyebrows dance, struts like a chicken or flutters his eye-lashes, flirting with the audience. But his chief object of conquest is Alfonso. Will he or won’t he? Ah, you’ll have to see it to find out.

But I can tell you cigarettes feature. Luciano’s routine gets more and more over the top until Alfonso has the last laugh. At one point, they listen to an analogue radio, and there’s much switching between channels from Scottish dance tunes - quickly moved past - to a Radio 4 arts programme where Bernard MacLaverty’s latest novel is discussed - moved past - to stay with pop music. By amazing co-incidence, we get a snatch of an intellectual discussion about gay legal history and the Wolfenden Committee. This has to be pre-recorded I thought but no, at the end of the show, we are told that the radio is live. So every audience will hear something different. However, the double entendre with the radio aerial will no doubt stay in.

If you are lucky, Luciano may perform an encore demonstrating his incredible facial mobility. This brilliant show is bound to be a sell-out so get your tickets fast.

Reviews by Stephanie Green

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The Blurb

In an empty locker room, two men play with movement, an analogue radio and tiny shorts. The athletic bodies of Luciano Rosso and Alfonso Barón move fluently from wrestling to dance, acrobatics to physical comedy in an irresistible distortion of the expectations of manhood. A funny, raw, playful hour interspersed with competitiveness and camaraderie as well as seduction and sabotage, that showcases the best of Argentinian contemporary dance. Poyo Rojo is at Fringe 2017 thanks to the support of the British Council and Argentina's Ministry of Culture. UK premiere.