Caravanserai: Luna Parc, 15 May 2023
Head First Acrobats are no strangers to the Brighton Fringe, bringing in their mix of sass and impressive physical feats to the seaside and a packed opening Monday night audience. Word has got out that they’re back, with a brand new table of contents to titillate and amaze. As well as some salt-of-the-Earth sly winks and easy banter, keeping it all engagingly friendly and flirty throughout.
Part circus part burlesque, there’s a streak of goodnatured humour shot through the evening’s proceedings – from MC Cal Harris’s warm opening greeting and easy links, to the male members of the ensemble’s own take on the famous balloon/dinner plate vs nudity dance as a finale. Which had the mostly female audience members howling with laughter and also a certain degree of awe, as they balanced semi-modesty with classical Renaissance art tableaus, showing off their muscular physicality and co-ordination to great and joyful effect. As much as the laughter is integral it never undermines the professional nature of the show, with times of levity utilised to emphasise the actual impressive nature of what is being performed here.
The international debut of Alannah Hills suspended on hoops in the air and contorting into the splits in a number of spellbinding twists is absolutely breathtaking. And ex Cirque de Soleil member Alex Caulfield’s held poses and moves from the suspended rings showcase an impressive upper body strength and coordination in the close quarters of the venue. There may be elements of clothing-optional that the male members of the cast tease with, but the safety and consent of all keeps the night on a playful footing and respect for these players’ skills uppermost to our attention.
All six members of the cast are hugely talented – bringing street performance, aerial acrobatics, balance, and strength together in a collaborative explosion of cheeky fun and entertainment. They make it look easy, but show that it’s not, unafraid to pair hard-won physical skills with a new punchline and a friendly grace. It’s no wonder the crowds were queuing up on a Monday night.
Brighton Fringe: Crème de la Crème
Check out more Entertainment Now theatre news, reviews and interviews here.