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Fringe review: Circus Abyssinia - Ethiopian Dreams

Adelaide Fringe

Circus Abyssinia explodes with African charm and energy while weaving the real-life story of two brothers chasing their circus dreams in a country that had no circus culture. ★★★★

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Combining bright colours and contagious beats with a natural energy and rhythm straight out of Abyssinia, Ethiopian Dreams is a standout show in the saturated “circus and physical theatre” category of this year’s Adelaide Fringe program.

Impressive acrobatics, extreme hula-hooping, impossible contortions and flawless juggling were met with gasps, heightened eyebrows and plenty of energetic claps and cheers from audience members in Gluttony’s Peacock tent. However, the element that holds the performance together and makes it feel genuine is the amount of fun the performers appear to have on stage – their smiles and energy are contagious.

Brothers Bibi and Bichu, who started their performing career busking on the streets of Jimma, join the troupe in Adelaide with their charismatic juggling act. After being discovered and experiencing a world of success in the industry, they now sponsor a circus school in Ethiopia, where many of Circus Abyssinia’s performers were nurtured.

Bibi and Bichu’s real-life Ethiopian circus dream is told on stage through some of the highly talented artists that they have inspired, and on this night Circus Abyssinia’s showcase of spectacular performances earned a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience.

Ethiopian Dreams is a wholesome, heartwarming and invigorating show, suitable for people of all ages looking for something that captures the essence of the Adelaide Fringe.

Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams is playing at The Peacock, Gluttony, until March 17. See more Adelaide Fringe reviews and stories here.

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