It’s hard to figure out whether this was a strip show with some acrobatics or an acrobatic show with the odd bit of stripping. Whichever way you look at it, it didn’t really achieve either. It was however, very entertaining, particularly if you like watching scantily clad men doing handstands on things.
Bar fights, card tricks and errr… a horse making love to a unicorn
Set in a Wild West saloon, there were bar fights, card tricks and errr… a horse making love to a unicorn. Literally and metaphorically speaking, there were some highs and lows from Head First Acrobats for this year’s show. Impressive elements included the 'cyr wheel' (or 'large hoop' to you and me) which was masterfully commanded by Harley Timmermans as he circled around the stage with a grace that was at odds with his half-cut cowboy persona.
Some of the more comedic elements dragged in places. The rose and the whip went on far too long, but Adam McMahon later redeemed himself with some impressive diablo skills. The highlight of the show was Cal Harris’ balancing tricks on the ladder. Clearly an accomplished acrobat and master of balance and control, he was extraordinary and got a huge cheer from the crowd.
The chair-stacking acrobatics were impressive for their height, but unfortunately by the time he’d got to the top and done yet another one-handed handstand it wasn’t that much of a surprise. The slow descent wasn’t very comical either and seemed too drawn out and a bit of a waste of time. It’s understandable that the performers need to bide time between acrobatics, as its very physically demanding and costumes and sets need to be changed, but this could have better incorporated into the act.
Harley Timmerman’s aerial acrobatics, while dressed as a unicorn in chaps, were spectacular. The Spiegeltent crowd gasped as he plunged face first to the floor, leaving himself centimetres away from catastrophe, but with such well-honed skill that he was bound to succeed.
Overall, the performance had some great moments, loosely tied together with some not so great ones. However, if you’re in the mood for some bare-chested, raunchy acrobats dressed as cowboys, you can’t really go wrong with Railed.