Review: “Un Poyo Rojo”: the fight of the century in physical comedy gold

Special Festival Coverage

“Un Poyo Rojo” (Photo: Ishka Michocka)

If you must make the sad decision of seeing only one show in Montreal Complètement Cirque‘s entire programming this year, “Un Poyo Rojo” will leave you with no regrets.

This show has been a crowd favourite in Argentina for the past ten years, and it is easy to understand why. It has also toured internationally from 2015 onward, and this brief pit stop in Montreal hopefully won’t be the only time this hilarious masterpiece grants us a visit; I hope every person has the good fortune of seeing it at some point in their lifetime. With a title that translates to “A Red Rooster”, this piece is its own very unique kind of cockfight. Part dance battle, part seduction, “Un Poyo Rojo” will make you laugh out loud while also blowing your narrow views on masculinity wide open.

Set in a men’s locker room where sweat lines all surfaces and egos collide, “Un Poyo Rojo” intertwines the epic duel and inescapable attraction between two of the most agile, birdlike, and pop-culture-savvy beings you have ever laid your eyes on – and from whom it is impossible to take your eyes off. As we know, flirting is ridiculous, fighting is ridiculous, and the macho demeanour adopted by men performing either of the two is what’s most ridiculous of all. “Un Poyo Rojo” has built a comfortable home for itself right at the heart of all that ridiculousness.

“Un Poyo Rojo” (Photo: Ishka Michocka)

Performed by the multitalented Luciano Rosso – dancer and lip synching sensation – and Alfonso Baron – pro athlete turned performer – the show is different every night: most of the sound comes from a radio switching from channel to channel, playing whatever is being broadcasted live – news reports, ads, music of all kinds – informing the performers’ actions and reactions. The dynamic duo doesn’t speak a word, but their bodies and faces tell us everything we need to know. The judgemental glares they exchange are priceless, and they effortlessly hop between not only different styles of dance, but different highly creative and comical ways of moving the body, which the word “dance” cannot accurately describe. Do you think you know how many moving parts the human face has? Watching Rosso in action will double that number. Also, speaking of bodies, I once made a joke about going to circus shows as a means to see attractive people, and I don’t know if it’s still a joke…

“Un Poyo Rojo” mockingly suggests, or dare I say proves, that literally anything can be sexy. And it showcases the world of possibilities that is opened up once we let go of the notion that physical contact is awkward and wrong. Cleverly crafted, impeccably delivered, and universally funny, it is physical comedy at its finest.

The Montreal Complètement Cirque Festival presents


Venue: Centaur Theatre
(453 St Francois Xavier St, Montreal, H2Y 2T1)
Dates: July 10th – 14th, 2018
Admission: $19.00 – $38.00
Box Office: In person at Centaur Theatre or TOHU,
by phone at 514 376-TOHU (8648), or online at

Check out the festival’s full indoor lineup and free outdoor programming at

Violette Kay

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