What has big hair, wailing electric guitars, and stands on its head, on a ladder? Not a riddle—just a tiny glimpse of the fun in store when Australia’s Pants Down Circus brings its Pants Down Circus Rock show to the Virginia Arts Festival, April 8 at TCC Roper Performing Arts Center.
“One of the things we had to think about when we booked this show was making sure the venue had ceilings high enough,” noted Virginia Arts Festival Artistic Director Robert Cross. “These guys’ acrobatic antics get pretty high up there!”
A hit at Australia’s Perth and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, this cheeky company of four brings diverse performing backgrounds to their show, and that just may be the source of its charm.
Acrobat Joshua Phillips started out designing furniture, and decided it was more fun to balance on chairs than make them. He has since performed for such luminaries as the Princess of Brunei and served as an ambassador for Vegemite, that beloved Australian sandwich spread.
Strong Woman Hannah Cryle grew up being a junior roadie for her Dad’s band, and went on to master the hula hoop, trapeze, and German Wheel (that devilish contraption inside which acrobats and gymnasts balance while careening around the stage). Clown Idris Stanton fronted a heavy metal band in high school (“Our songs are not for sale and never will be…”).
And Aerialist Caz Walsh tried for years to be a clarinetist until she realized she was tone deaf. Fortunately, her youthful competition in gymnastics and springboard diving helped her turn her ambitions upside down (in midair).
Pants Down Circus Rock sets this troupe’s eye-popping acrobatics to head-banger hits from some of classic rock’s greatest, including Aerosmith, AC/DC, Joan Jett, Queen, Metallica and Bon Jovi. And at just under an hour, it’s a show to thrill even the shortest attention-span fans.