Acrobat – Smaller, Poorer, Cheaper (FringeTIX)
Acrobat @ The Garden of Unearthly Delights (Acrobat Venue)
8:30pm, Sun 9 Mar 2008
Just reading back on Acrobat’s act from 2002, I really gave them a rave. And, if anything, their show has got even more rave-worthy since.
They’re not in the Umbrella Revolution anymore, opting instead for a rather lower-rent custom outdoor venue. And, when Garden staff announce before the show “Just a little warning… this performance does contain nudity”, heed that warning – because the next person you see will be a stark naked woman.
In fact, clothing doesn’t make an appearance until about 10 minutes into the act… and then, only fleetingly. Jo Lancaster is a ridiculously good tumbler and her strength belies her scrawny appearance. Mozes does his naked hanky-hiding antics – still as deliriously funny as every – and some fantastic trapeze work. There’s also a gorgeous routine with a red rope… oh wait, that’s blood dripping down… ummm… wow… Simon Yates is the only performer that works with a semblance of clothed modesty, performing his “life on a tightrope” routine and some incredible flips.
All the acts are very self-contained – after all, each performer is responsible for their own twenty-minute solo act (though there’s some wonderfully avant atonal live musical accompaniment). And, despite the familiarity to the previous Acrobat show (the only really new piece I can remember was Mozes’ roller-skating antics), it’s actually improved over the original performance.
It all feels so fresh and – as I remarked six years ago – so real. You’re up close and very personal with this raw, uncompromising, and extremely talented group. It’s astounding reading about the trials of the Acrobat crew since we last saw them, but none of that matters now – because they’re here, they’re in your face, and they’re brilliant.
Watching Mozes’ extended nude performance (including a bizarre aerial trick where he spun around a rope horizontally, genitals a-dangling), he finally donned some pants – presumably to keep his tackle safe during the next trick. “Thank god for that,” muttered the teenaged boy in front of me. Funny!