FURA DELS BAUS
ACROSS EUROPE they've
played in factories, bus depots, town
squares, while in their native Barcelona
La Fura dels Baus have staged 'picnics'
of varying anarchic extremes attended and
enjoyed by families.
their London debut they had an audience
bussed from the ICA to a tastefully bleak
docklands setting. Inside an otherwise
empty warehouse (topped by the largest
unsupported roof in Europe) they
set up their implements and
invited the crowd to mill.
what to expect, where to stand or where
to look. By the end of the hour-long show
many had run in circles dodging fireworks
and bits of flying glass, been spattered
by paint and some had egg on their faces.
unusual evening began with some musicians
creating a mildly mayhemic synthesis of
early 70s Euro rock, drum machine,
trombone and trumpet. Spotlights picked
out two mud caked men at the back of the
building. They moved as if in pain,
rolled in sawdust, rubbed row egg into
their faces and then crawled into
car was ritually destroyed with axes and
sledgehammers while the band, aided by
the busy brrr of a go cart engine, played
merrily on. Wild faced destructivists ran
at and through the audience wielding
jagged chunks of former car...
was a loud bang; the cue for a display of
pyrotechnics. Fireworks sped on wires
above beads accompanied by more ear
climax found two protagonists fighting a
duel with bucket of paint and then,
sodden and slimy (but very colourful),
scaling a pair of ropes to make a daring
traverse of a high wire just beneath the
roof. Finally each crashed against a
white screen, bursting bags of red blood
like paint across the canvas and daubing
it fitfully with their flailing limbs.
All was then washed away by a high
pressure water hose.
a wave of subdued hysteria vibrated the
crowd; an odd combination of enjoyment,
terror and the strange uncertainty of not
knowing where the next confrontation
would be coming from.
search for a 'point' seems contrary to
the spirit. La Fura dels Baus create a
kind of adult adventure playground of
fun, danger, slapstick and fantasy.