If Magic Mike and crew had trained at NICA, then ingested large portions of Aussie larrikinism, the resulting heart-palpitating cocktail would be all-male circus troupe Head First Acrobats. Fresh from their sold-out, award winning tour in the UK, the cheeky trio will dial up the heat when they bring Elixir to the Famous Spiegeltent for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Who said a zombie apocalypse couldn’t be sexy? Uninhibited by cliché or expectation, subversive and hilarious, Elixir follows three enthusiastic, slightly bumbling yet oh so skilled acrobatic scientists who attempt to create the elixir of life. The partially-clad mayhem that follows is an eye-popping mix of breath-taking acrobatics, impeccable comic timing and a good dose of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
While the show had its genesis in Melbourne, the full version of Elixir has never been performed here. It was born out of Thomas Gorham’s showcase piece for his 2013 NICA graduate show – a breakdancing, acrobatic zombie routine – and after launching the full show in 2015 at the West Australian Circus Festival it was picked up by a producer and taken to the UK, stealing the Best Cabaret Award at 2015 Brighton Fringe and, back in Oz, the Best Circus and Physical Theatre Award at Adelaide Fringe 2018.
“More than just thrills and spills, we raise the dead, throw them round and spin them on their heads to see if zombies can bounce,” said Callan Harris, who was Melbourne’s youngest professional street performer, busking at the age of 14.
NICA-graduates Thomas Gorham and Callan Harris started Head First Acrobats in 2013, then brought in another NICA-graduate Rowan Thomas (replaced by Harley Timmerman in the Melbourne season) to form a trio. The Melburnians couldn’t be more thrilled to bring their baby home.
“It’s not a show with a message, it’s literally the most fun you could have,” said Gorham.
“Playful and compulsory viewing for anyone who fancies a bit of eye candy” – Australian Stage
“Elixir could very well be the show of the Fringe” – The Outlier, Scotland
“Elixir is like if Magic Mike was actually good” – The Buzz, Sydney
March 29, 30, April 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 – 10PM
The Famous Spiegeltent, Arts Centre Melbourne