When renovation becomes a real balancing act

By Myron My

Making their Melbourne International Comedy Festival debut, Three High Acrobatics Knock Off revolves around three men who walk onto a building site and attempt to construct a contemporary circus show in eleven easy steps, including ensuring there is a love story present and having dramatic pauses throughout the story.

Three High Acrobatics

When it came to the acrobatics, the guys (Sam Aldham, Taka Seki and Christ Carlos) were strong as both charismatic performers and impressive athletes. The broom-balancing segment was beautifully performed and the aerial work had the audience mesmerised. There were a few mishaps here and there, but any show that involves such high physical demand from its performers is occasionally going to falter and, if anything, amplifies the mood in the audience to support them and see them succeed on the next attempt. The strength and the skill these three possess is not to be undermined and this is particularly proven in the final few moments of the show.

There are quite a few musical numbers– with the parody version of 90s song “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks now changed to “Bloke” being one of my favourites. One of their ‘steps’ is to include a contemporary dance scene and the one they chose had me grooving in my seat as it is also the one choreographed dance sequence by a boy band I wish I could perform! The music played is used to support and alter the mood they are trying to convey during each segment: one particularly clever example of this was during the love story, which allowed the guys to ham things up when needed.

However, as a comedy show I felt the humour in Knock Off was lacking in most parts. The energy was certainly visible but the comic element was often being stretched and didn’t feel very natural. The characters were not all that endearing and I found the ‘apprentice’ to be more annoying than anything. Clearly these guys were more comfortable with the acrobatics than with the acting.

Knock Off loses a little of its charm when it comes to the comedy, but Three High Acrobatics provide an entertaining show that will engage you with their exciting circus skills.

Venue: Wonderland Spiegeltent, 120 Pear River Rd, Harbourtown Docklands

Season: Until 20 April | 7:00pm

Tickets: $20 Full | $15 Conc,, 9602 1311 & at the door