Melbourne-based Head First Acrobats have arrived at this year’s Brighton Fringe with an adults-only only mix of story-telling, physical prowess and often hilarious circus skills. The plot, such as it is, provides a sneak peek into the lives of the Gods on Mount Olympus in Ancient Times. We follow Hercules, God of Strength, as he moves from demi-god to his rightful place: eating ambrosia with Cupid, God of Love, and Dionysus, God of Wine! But if I were you, just forget the plot and marvel at the physical antics of the four circus performers who work as a group and individually.
Cal Harris is not only an all-round acrobat, he is also a past master of work on the ladder, fluently using it as if it were part of his body, making everything he does look so easy!
Thomas Gorham is a wonderful break dancer, again with a fluidity that is amazing, and Liam Dummer is a thrilling “straps” artiste with a background in diving so that he appears totally fearless in all that he does, besides exhibiting a wonderful sense of fun, clearly revelling in his own skills.
The fourth member of the troupe is Jordan Twartz, not only a marvellous acrobat but an impressive Diabolo performer. The Diabolo, for those who don’t know, is a juggling prop made of bamboo in the shape of a dumbbell which is spun and tossed on a string tied to two sticks, one held in each hand. It sounds simple doesn’t it, until you experience it in the hands of a master.
The four artistes have devised a piece of circus theatre which is not only thrilling to watch, but is also very amusing, perhaps the highlight being the extended ‘nude’ scene where the four try to hide their ‘bits’ using three metal plates. This is not only very funny, it also needs split second timing. The show is subtly (occasionally obviously!) camp but the use of traditional objects such as five chairs which are erected to form a high tower on which a balancing act is performed as well as trapezes adds to the simplicity yet delight of the occasion. The audience is seated very close to the action so that Head First cannot get away with anything, except perhaps the whip used to light and snuff out candles – but this is done very tongue-in-cheek in any case, as if they want us to know how it is achieved!
All in all, this is seventy minutes of amusing fun and thrills: the time flies by and it is true to say that there is never a dull moment! These highly talented performers have justly won five-star reviews at fringe events all over Australia. An undoubted highlight of this year’s Brighton Fringe.
Head First Acrobats are also performing a “Family” show at the Spiegeltent until 3 June.
Review by John Groves
Time to get Greeced! ⚡️
A hedonistic dive head-first into the lives of the ancient gods of Olympus!
Follow your favourite gods like Cupid and Hercules as they paint the scene of Ancient Greece and bring you to the biggest party to hit Mount Olympus since 500 BCE.
Your favourite group of comedy acrobats take their unique mix of storytelling, circus, and physical prowess to godlike proportions. Expect a bodyssey of gravity-defying stunts, true tests of heroic strength and muscularity, and surprise comic twists.
Winner – Best Circus – Fringe World festival 2022
Winner – People’s Choice – Melbourne Fringe 2022
Winner – People’s Choice – Wynnum Fringe 2022
Winner – Critics Choice weekly – Adeliade Fringe Festival 2022
Winner – Best Circus weekly – Adelaide Fringe Festival 2022
22 May through to 3 June 2023