Head First Acrobats. Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019. The Octagon at Gluttony. Feb 20 to March 17, 2019

If you want a rootin-tootin’ night of cowboy fun, packed full of acrobatics, circus acts and just a touch of good healthy man to man sexual innuendo, then Railed is the show for you!

Circus acts are always crowd pleasers, but when a connecting narrative is added, the whole show springs to life and allows each performer to develop their own characters.

It is narrative circus at its best, set in a saloon bar into which burst 4 cowboys having just robbed a train and who are ready to celebrate big time.

They drink, fight, whoop and holler, tease each other and the crowd, who shriek with delight as booze and sweat fly through the air and give the playing space the necessary sleaziness to convert the Octagon into a Saloon.

Each performer provides their own highlights ranging from a giant hoop in which a cowboy spins with seemingly gravity-defying ease to unbelievable chair balancing, to dizzying heights.

A crowd favourite (and this reviewer’s) was a gay horse with a huge appendage that is used in a display of precision whip cracking and who later develops a relationship with a unicorn who gives us an amazing exhibition of aerial straps.

Sometimes simple props are the most effective – a simple ladder becomes a whole act that has the audience on the edge of their seats and Chinese spinning tops (latter called diabolos) whirl through the air at breakneck speed.

Of all the circus acts, whisky being spilt or vomited everywhere and buff shiny bodies aside, what makes Railed such a great experience is the relationships between the 4 male performers. Their ability to act, work and rely on each other and bounce off each other’s gags is what makes the show work. The boys really seem to be enjoying themselves and this joy has the audience begging for more!

Railed is highly recommended as a show you will not forget. Go and get your pictures taken with the boys- glistening with sweat- afterwards, for an excellent memento!

Barry Hill

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