Head First Acrobats
The Rechabite until June 20
When Marcus Canning, of Fringe World fame, brought the old Rechabite Hall on William Street back to life at the beginning of 2020 there were things neither he, nor we, knew were about to happen.
He didn’t know that the venue would be all but closed through the guts of the following year, and certainly unable to put an entertainment programme together in 2020.
What we didn’t know was what it would be like.
|pic: Katarina Witt|
We’ve got a better (though not complete) idea now with the release of the Rechabite’s season for June and July, Chasing Rainbows.
It’s a mix of circus cabaret, comedy and live music in the main hall and downstairs club, dovetailing with the eatery and three bars over the venue’s four stories.
Unsurprisingly, the spirit of fringe abounds throughout, even if Chasing Rainbows is not exactly fringe at its most eclectic and challenging; but any single venue you could walk into at 5pm and pour yourself out of (responsibly of course) at midnight, having been generously fed, watered and entertained along the journey is worth having. You should try it soon.
Nothing better demonstrates the idea of Chasing Rainbows than its star attraction, the return of Head First Acrobats and their 2019 Fringe World smash, Railed.
It’s easy to see why the show pulls a crowd, and the crowd it pulls. It’s a heady mix of hen’s night tease and cleverly constructed acrobatics heavy on visual appeal if not, necessarily, high on degree of difficulty.
There’s absolutely nothing new in the routines, a straight- forward mix of strength acts, balancing, juggling and aerial work, mixed in with some neatly devised slapstick humour and much nodding and winking. If you’ve seen a bit of circus cabaret, you’ve seen it all.
But, hey, that’s not a bad thing. This is a night out show, and there was plenty of whoopin’ and hollerin’ in the audience as the trapeze artist Thomas Gorman, the juggler Louis Biggs, the acrobat Louis Biggs and strong man and balance artist Callan Harris plied their trade.
Harris is quite a specimen, and clearly the crowd favourite if the enthusiasm of the delightful and delighted posse of hens-nighters next to me were any gauge (I heard Chris Helmsey’s name bandied about sotto voce between the girls as he strutted his stuff).
While his big finale (pictured) owes more to precise carpentry than extraordinary athleticism and derring-do, it’s guaranteed to raise the roof.
Which it did – and which is all that needs to be said about Railed.