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‘Railed’ lads nail it once again

Melbourne’s multi-award winning troupe Head First Acrobats return to Perth to perform their knock-out circus-come-comedy production Railed.

The stage is set a little differently at The Rechabite Hall in Northbridge to what it was at Fringe World a few years ago. Propped up at front of the venue, the set-up is less ‘in the round’ and more facing the audience. And while it feels less immersive, the current set-up works well for the guys. Act after act, there was plenty of applause and of course a decent dose of cheers and wolf whistles to match the ‘yeee-ha!’ cowboy vibe.

Indeed, this awesome foursome know how to use their good looks, chiselled bodies, and acrobatic and aerial skills to impress a crowd.

Cowboy costumes, sharp spurs, smashed booze bottles and suggestively hung pistol straps see the guys whipping up a wild west frenzy.

In fact, Railed is as racy a show as anything you’d have seen at Fringe earlier in the year. Its Western theme incorporates a slapstick narrative and lively music into a ridiculous, laugh-a-minute ride. But all laughs aside, the acrobats and tricks throughout are most impressive – from straddling ladders to setting their butts on fire.

Cowboy costumes, sharp spurs, smashed booze bottles and suggestively hung pistol straps see the guys whipping up a wild west frenzy, demonstrating wicked acrobatic and aerial tricks, cyr wheel delights and slapstick fun. There’s a lot of stripping, of course, and some obvious use of familiar soundtracks – yes, we’ve all heard Ginuwine’s Pony during male striptease. Still, it had the crowd begging for more.

Funny, rowdy and breath-taking all at once, the lads in Head First Acrobats are always a crowd pleaser. Passion and enthusiasm from these guys is fired off in spades, and they obviously have a great working relationship with one another, operating on cue to see that the show moves fluidly, one trick to the next.

The team, consisting of Thomas Gorham (the “drunk sheriff”), Callan Harris (the “vagrant”), Louis Biggs (the “clown”), and Harley Timmermans, all have backgrounds in gymnastics and breakdancing, and have worked long enough together to have built an intuitive trust.

In one skit during the show, we see Harris straddling five rickety chairs artfully. After balancing precariously on top for about 30 seconds (an improvement from the 10 seconds we saw last time), the artist beckons playfully to his cowboy mate, “Help, I’m scared I’m going to fall,” revealing a certain humility and touch of vulnerability. Humble yet confident, these dudes deserve respect.

In short, Railed is an uplifting, action-packed, damn funny show that deserves singular billing away from the Fringe circles. At least until the summer comes ’round.

See it if you haven’t already. See it again if you have.

Antonino Tati

‘Railed’ is on at The Rechabite Hall, Northbridge until June 20.

Tickets are available through megatix.com.au and therechabite.com.au.

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