Having reopened the Roundhouse in a roar of testosterone six years ago, stunt-packed Argentinian performance clubbing extravaganza 'Fuerzabruta' has spent the intervening half-decade butchly swashbuckling its way around the globe.
Back for 2014, it's not aged significantly, largely because even in the heady days of 2006, 'Fuerzabruta's vibe was basically that of the club scene in any given schlocky Hollywood action flick, all unsubtle beats and lurid industrial chic. It's about good times and loud noises, not being cutting-edge.
This is, after all, a show in which the chief attraction is a ruggedly handsome man in a white suit getting shot several times before proceeding to run headlong through a series of walls. Closely followed by a pair of enormous plastic fish tanks that descend from the ceiling to a point alarmingly close to the audience, at which point an octet of lithe female performers belly flop, deafeningly and repeatedly, just a few inches above our heads, much to the awe of the teenage-boy-heavy crowd.
If I'm making this sound anything less than fun, then I apologise, because 'Fuerzabruta' is a hoot: a joyous, unselfconscious overload of drums and guns and things smashing that's perfect for blowing away the January cobwebs.
But it is also rather lumbering: in an hour and 15 minutes there are only really three major set-pieces, and what could have been a real whizz-bang 45 minutes feels padded out by cheesy drumming sequences, minor acrobatics and a flaccid ending. Next to the nimble Aussie cabaret-fests 'La Clique' and 'La Soirée' that have brightened up the Roundhouse's post-Christmas programming over the last few years, 'Fuerzabruta' is a bit of a dinosaur. But when it roars, it really makes you jump.
By Andrzej Lukowski