Here’s where I stand on acrobats. (Insert joke here). I like them, I do. They are incredibly fit and strong and do things which an ordinary person not only couldn’t do without a huge injection of talent, but even then couldn’t do without a body transfusion or in a whole year of sundays. But here’s the thing: they have to be amazing. I think it’s extraordinary that someone can do a one-standed handstand on the top of somebody else’s head, and the first time I saw it done I was genuinely amazed. But now I know some of these extraordinary people can do it, I haven’t got much interest in seeing it again, because unless something goes despicably wrong, it will always be more or less the same. ‘What else have you got?’ I want to ask.
These guys have got a lot else. Ostensibly growing out of the notion of man to man greetings, the show starts with simple slapstick based on handshakes, but the theme isn’t really sustained, and it quickly develops into a display of the acrobatic talents of these three good-looking, muscular young men, including said head-stands, with some amusing, teasingly quasi-homoerotic business in between (nothing to raise your granny’s eyebrows, mind). My problem was simply that it didn’t come thick and fast enough. What might have been intended as dramatic pause extended, for me at least, into longueurs, and I wondered whether it was just that they didn’t have either the material or the stamina to keep it going.
The show is redeemed by an absolutely extraordinary performance by Charlie Wheeler (what, really?), on something called the Cyr Wheel. It’s a big metal hoop that he gets inside and rolls around the floor so that you just can’t tell whether it’s him taking the hoop, or vice versa. Genuinely indescribable, moving (in every sense – my kneecaps were shaved) and exactly the kind of thing that is the perfect answer to my question. Very much worth seeing.
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