The Crystal Bar in the GPO building opens its doors at night for a very unique and fantastic experience, called Barzirk. Luckily, my partner and I were able to go on Friday night. I never knew about the really nice and special bar scene on the lower ground floor of the GPO building. It’s a venue perfect for date night, or a night out with friends. For Aidan and I, the main event was to experience Barzirk.
To get to the show, we had to enter through the Crystal Bar. Which was situated in one corner of the lower ground level and tries to separate itself a little from the rest. The bar itself is not very well lit, which adds to the candle light mystery. We had to wait in a separate area off the side of the actual bar and restaurant. This area had huge mirrors with old looking golden frames, the grand doors opened and we made our way down the corridor.
I remember circus shows from when I was a child and was intrigued to see, how it would turn out in a bar setting. There was a small corridor leading to a hidden back room. The walls and ceiling of the corridor were sandstone, which gave it an old look. On the floor was a red velvet carpet. It almost felt like stepping into another world. At the entrance of the back room, we were stopped in a way, so that we weren’t able to look into the room yet. Then we were guided to our table by a waiter, which gave us the feeling of special treatment. In the middle of the room was a 360-degree stage. The tables were small round tables, with an oil lamp like candle and a small bottle of water on it. The bar was situated behind the stage and was accentuated by a lighted, crystal looking background.
After taking in the atmosphere and the modern circus music played by the DJ, I got ourselves a drink from the bar before the show started. Just before the show, every table was entertained by a roaming miming clown, or maybe he was a clowning mime. I was never a fan of clowns and clownery, but he was quite a character, with a seemingly limitless repertoire of potent facial expressions.
The show consisted of various acts, all intermitted by a little act from the mime. The first part of the show consisted of a demonstration of dance and strength. Beautiful women and hunky guys showed off their strength and acrobatics on stage and by using strip poles. After an intermission act with the mime and a member of the audience, the show commenced with more men and strip pole action. It was absolutely impressive to see, what the human body is able to do.
After that a juggler entered the stage, who didn’t only use balls to show off his talents, but various other objects. This act was followed by a very intriguing and cheeky act performed by two women in interesting harlequin costumes. It was a mix of ballet and a doll act and I think it was my favourite part of the show. The two women managed to create an almost convincing doll illusion. Both women were carried onto stage by two men. The blonde woman was sat on a chair and was slumped over, just like a doll. The other woman was placed to lean on the back of the chair, with her behind facing the audience, which created a sexy look. When the music started, both women slowly started to move, pretending as if their limps were stiff and not flexible like real human limps. During almost the whole act, the women remain standing, dancing and moving on the very tip of their tows, just like ballerinas. They also utilised the stripper poles for parts of the show and interacted with each other in a sexy way. At some point they were standing close together, holding each other on the hips and at another point, the blonde performer was ‘spanking’ the other performer on the bum in a sexual manner.
In the middle of the show, the performers gave people the chance for photos and asked some guests up on stage, to make photos with them. Before and after this intersection, a few performers and contortionists showed off their strengths and snake like stretching abilities. I especially liked the dance/contortion performance with a man and a woman on stage together. The song that was played in the background was a modern version of the song sung by the snake in ‘The Jungle Book’. I thought it was extremely fitting and it created a strange mood. The female was the contortionist and therefore the snake, trying to charm the man. It was a fantastic performance, during which the performers danced together and then separated again, representing a struggle of trust, I guess. The woman started out on the ground, a little distance from the man in the beginning of the act. In the end of the act, she was held by the man, above his head. The finale was an act by a female performer and a ring suspended from the ceiling and two guys with bungee ropes suspended from the ceiling.
All in all, both, Aidan and I had a fantastic night out at the Barzirk. It is a timeless and magical experience worth having, but not meant for children. It is the ideal circus for an adult audience. Tickets on sale from $48 and doors open from the Crystal Bar at 7.30pm.Monique Pitzer, born and raised in Germany and came to Australia for the first time in 2008. I have worked as a freelance Journalist and Writer in Germany for about 8 years. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and specialized in literature. In 2015 I have started my own business here in Australia and work as a writer, tutor, story editor and translator. I am also an author and self-published my first book in 2016.