Scantily clad cowboys in chaps, climbing all over each other and racing around an old saloon for a couple of hours? That’s not what you expect when you hear circus, right? Well down at this year’s Brighton Fringe, you will see just that – the unexpected.
Coming all the way on spurred heels from their critically acclaimed performance in Perth and Adelaide Fringe is a circus act defying the boundaries of the circus tent. This show, wait for it, goes off the ‘rails’ with their innovative take on acrobatics. Channeling Cirque Du Soleil with a flash of The Three Stooges, the award-winning troupe known as Head First Acrobats are venturing out to this year’sBrightonFringewiththeirwackiestshowtodate- a western-themed circus spectacular.
Magic Mike meets Clint Eastwood in the Melbourne natives’ risqué production: Railed. Making its UK debut at Brighton Fringe’s Spiegletent this May, the side-splitting show will take us to Wild West, to catch a glimpse at the lives of four stupidly cheeky half-cut gunslingers as they paint the town red. These outlaws are out for more than just money as they desperately try to rob trains, but actually just end up robbing hearts and the liquor cabinet.
Complete with Head First Acrobats’ signature mix of slapstick comedy and inconceivable stunts, the group’s demanding circus production promises daringly human tower style tricks, with some raunchy antics thrown in for good measure.
With performances from 4 May to 1 June, the bare- chested circus will follow a who’s who of western outlaws. The mostly useless ‘Drunk Sheriff’; the powerful yet standoffish vagrant the resident barman keeping the boys liquored up, and the all-round good guy town hero.
Or, as they’re better known, ‘The most wanted bad-asses this side of Dodge City’, through bare-knuckle brawls, and mad storytelling. Their mid-blowing performances are fueled with tricks, flips and possibly splits, along with a range of homo-erotic comedy, including a tender moment between a unicorn and horse. The wild show will stalk our hopeful heroes through an hour of witty banter and ridiculous horseplay.
Regulars to the group include creator and performer Callan Harris, directors Debra Batton (of Circus Oz) and John Walton (of Elixir), along with acrobat and trapeze expert Thomas Gorham. They have roped in new performers, trained clowns, ‘Manipulator’ Adam O’Conner-McMahon, and Strut n Fret’s Harley Timmermans to join the rooting-tooting team.
With ten-gallons of talent, the Aussie kings of narrative circus are lassoing elements of their previous flagships. With nods to their adult variety show, Circus’cision, and the sillier Children’s pirate circus show, Arrr We There Yet, this theatrical mixture creates a tongue-in-cheek take on the fiendish outlaws of the west. Think Red Dead Redemption but with less clothes and more jokes.
But these cowboys don’t just wear fringe. The free rangers have seen acclaim in Fringe festivals across Brighton and Adelaide, winning the Best Cabaret Award in 2015, and Best Circus and Physical Theatre Award with last year’s zombie apocalypse inspired show, Elixir. If this sounds like the show for you, be sure to catch the chiseled cowboys in their gun-slinging action at Brighton Fringe.
Railed comes to Brighton Spiegletent from Sat 4 May to Mon 6 May & Mon 20 May-Sat 1June,as part of Brighton Fringe 2019.