Elixir was astonishing! As you would expect during the comedy festival, the laughs were frequent. But it was the acrobatic skill and strength of the performers that was truly amazing. And this type of performance always seems doubly impressive when seen up close and personal in the famous Spiegeltent. There is not a lot of room for error when 3 grown men are throwing each other around on a stage smaller than the average lounge room.
A disembodied voice invites the audience to view clinical trials as scientist work to create the elixir of life. The storyline, such as it is, is there more to support the comedy than the acrobatics, which are shamelessly stand alone and really need no connection to the overall plot (such as it is). Within the show they are played as tests of strength, balance, dexterity etc. after each ‘scientist’ drinks a range of mysterious elixirs they are brewing, one of which has dire consequences. The theme allows for some traditional slapstick comedy antics, as well as the feats of strength. And may inadvertently start the zombie apocalypse….
Head First Acrobats are made up of Cal Harris, Thomas Gorham and Rowan Thomas. Their skills are varied, but complementary. Harris made the audience sit up and take notice, starting the show with his impressive ladder balancing act. Harris and Gorham performed an adagio counterbalancing act, and synchronised use of the handstand platforms. For a while it seemed as if Thomas was part of the show primarily as comic relief, until his moment, when he revealed his mind-blowing talent on the Cyr wheel. The group performed other traditional circus acrobatics such as tumbling and using the teeterboard.
Gasps of awe were balanced equally with bouts of laughter throughout the show. The show took a somewhat surprising turn towards the end of the performance, leaving all logical connection to the storyline behind, but leading to much hilarity. Don’t bring the kids to this late night show – take them to see Arr We There Yet? instead!
Elixir is a truly entertaining show of slapstick comedy and breathtaking acrobatics, with a healthy dose of eye-candy for those so inclined.