The Head First Acrobats Slip On Their Cowboy Boots For Railed

Published in Arts  
Ride 'em cowboys! Head First Acrobats bring their new show to Fringe World in Perth, January-February. Ride 'em cowboys! Head First Acrobats bring their new show to Fringe World in Perth, January-February.

The kings of narrative circus are back.


Head First Acrobats are on a brand new adventure to the wild, wild west, combining physical awe, chiselled bodies and brilliant comic timing.

Here, one of the acrobats Thomas Gorham answers questions about the show.

Head First Acrobats are famous for their 'narrative circus'. Circus, as many audiences know it, is just lots of flips and tricks… What do you guys think a story adds to a circus show? Other than, of course, a story.
A story adds cohesion to a performance and makes the show digestible for the audience. Often I watch circus shows and I am left feeling a sense of confusion, why did they do this, what was the point. It has been fashionable for as long as I have been doing circus to neglect the narrative. We want to go against this trend.

We've seen you trying to come up with the Elixir Of Life, and now you're diving into a western-themed production. Tell us more about the show.
The show revolves around four idiot train-robbing cowboys in the American wild west. It is set in a bar/hideout and follows the fools as they drink, fight, get rowdy and overtly sexual with each other and the crowd. It's a whole lot of fun and idiocy, combined with sick circus.

Where did the idea for it come from?
We spent weeks going over different concepts, but the one that stuck with the group the most was a western.

Not to jump the gun, but have you got any ideas for another heavily story-based show after 'Railed' is done?
We have joked about sequels. 'Elixir 2' or 'DeRailed' ..... ;)

Railed 2 01 19
What do you love about putting on big, ridiculously entertaining performances such as this?
We love that nobody else is doing it. That's why our shows are so well-received. The show challenges us in every aspect of performance, as well as our bodies with technical circus elements.

You're debuting 'Railed' at Fringe World! Why does this show belong at this Western Australian festival?
Perth has always treated us the best out of any city in the world. After the phenomenal success of 'Elixir', it felt right to make the debut of our new show for Perth. They have the best audiences, they are the most hungry for good stuff.

Is there anything in the show that you've taken from any life experiences?
All the clowns in the show are just our own attributes but bigger than real life. I play an awkward uncoordinated clown in the show, that's just my real life but bigger.

What has been your best memory so far performing with the Head First Acrobats?
Winning the Best Circus award in Adelaide in 2018. Oh boy did we party after that! ;)

And how about an embarrassing performance moment? Everyone loves those kinds of stories.
I once fell off the stage in Barcelona in front of 1,200 people. I recovered quickly – thank God – and got up and finished the routine. But it was pretty embarrassing.

'Railed' plays The West Australian Spiegeltent at The Woodside Pleasure Garden (Fringe World, Perth) 22 January-10 February.

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