Circus, Fringe World, News, Performing arts, Reviews

Swinging cowboys

Fringe World review: Head First Acrobats, Railed ·
The West Australian Spiegeltent, February 2 ·
Review by Steven Cohen ·

The circus is in town and shamelessly clowning around in all its slapstick acrobatic glory.

Following the success of their breakthrough performance at last year’s Fringe, Melbourne-based Head First Acrobats return with Railed, this time co-opting the Western genre in a high-octane, frenzied festival of comedy and gymnastics.

But don’t expect the non-abrasive gentility of Cirque du Soleil. Railed is a hyper-cheerful, puerile comedic performance. Combining clown gags with highly specialist acrobatic skills, Callan Harris, Thomas Gorham, Adam O’Connor-McMahon and Harley Timmermans take us on a gay-themed journey, from bank heists to shoots out and everything in between.

The homo-erotic humour is important.  It subverts the show, providing a sentimental education. But unlike the novel of the same name, Railed is upbeat and wholly unironic, lampooning queer culture with silent one-liners spread across a quadrant formed by four men zinged high up in acrobatic manoeuvres. Combined with the character acting, the show was highly entertaining, whipping the full  full house into a frenzy.

Timmermans and O’Connor-McMahon provided the comic relief with an uncouth yet hilarious portrayal of a unicorn pleasuring a horse.  The charismatic and charming Harris gave a stand-out performance, balancing uncannily upon a stack of chairs, whilst Thomas seemingly suspended gravity in his Cyr wheel.

The soundtrack to this off-off-Western was co-opted perfectly, creating peak emotional mood and sensory impact.

The only drawback to the show was that it was sold out! The venue, while cute and circusy, was not large enough to hold the thousand or so patrons on a hot summer’s night.

But don’t let that detract: the circus boys were a delight, inducing visceral thrills and belly laughs aplenty.  Highly recommended.

Railed is playing at The West Australian Spiegeltent until February 10.

Caption top: Blazing acrobats – Head First pack out the Spiegeltent.

Photograph: Naomi Reed Photography

 

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RAILED
Calendar, Circus, Fringe World, Performing arts

Circus: Railed

22 Jan – 10 Feb @ The West Australian Spiegeltent ·
Presented by Head First Acrobats ·

The kings of narrative circus are back. From the creators of the smash hit Elixir (winner of Best Circus and physical theatre Award at Adelaide Fringe 2018), comes an all-new acrobatic adventure.

Welcome to Railed, a western themed circus spectacular, combining the trademark physical talents, finely chiselled bodies and hilarious comic timing of the Head First Acrobats.Prepare yourself for when bare chested circus meets bare knuckle bar fights. A racy, heart stopping display of the finest acrobatics by the most ridiculous story tellers in the circus.

Leave your expectations at home, come to the wrong side of the tracks, and let the boys of Head First steal your hearts.

More info
W: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/railed-fw2019
E:  Tomacrobatics@gmail.com

Pictured: Head First Acrobats, credit Frank Packer

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Circus'cision
Cabaret, Calendar, Circus, Fringe World, Performing arts

Cabaret: Circus’Cision

18 – 19 Jan, 1 – 9 Feb @ The West Australian Spiegeltent ·
Presented by Head First Acrobats ·

Returning to Fringe World after a complete Sell out season in 2018. Welcome to Circus’Cision: Those that made the cut!

A variety mash-up of circus superstars, Spiegeltent legends and the hottest acts of this year’s Fringe World. Presented by your favourite acrobats, the boys from Head First (creators of smash hit Elixir). With a rotating cast each night, different guest artists get to showcase their best, weirdest and most hilarious talents, backed up by the incredible acrobatics of HFA.

WARNING: There will be naked acrobats, offensive language and late night shenanigans!

More info:
www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/circus-cision-fw2019

Pictured: Circus’cision, credit: Frank Packer

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