It’s an appropriately hot night inside the open air Empyrean tent – a lush, draping structure purpose-built for the flaming spectacle to come.
‘Fuego Carnal’ embodies so much of what the Adelaide festival season is about: raw daredevil energy, offbeat glamour and moments of shock and wonder.
Returning to the Fringe for the second year in a row, Dream State Entertainment’s production evokes the feel of a classic carnival – corsets, fire breathing, acrobatics – with a dark and sexy Latin twist. It’s a 50-minute rollercoaster of wild stunts, exotic beats and of course, twirling, blasting and mesmerising flames.
The energy is relentless, from the whip-cracking ringmistress’s dizzying aerial opening act on a flaming chain to the hypnotic swirling of fire staffs. Scotland’s national instrument gets a fiery makeover as a leather-kilted, mohawked bagpiper pumps out a high-powered rendition of ACDC’s ‘Thunderstruck’, complete with strategically timed flames bursting from the pipes.
Ice meets fire in an elegant figure skating sequence, which sees an astonishingly seamless transition from twirling, flaming candelabras to trapeze (skates affixed to the Ice Queen’s feet the entire time).
‘Fuego Carnal’ is packed full of magical jaw-dropping moments, fuelled by sensual choreography and a wicked sense of humour. For those with pyrophobia: consider yourself warned, but it’s worth facing your fears.
'Fuego Carnal' plays at Empyrean at Gluttony until 19 March.