This swashbuckling kids’ show is a warmhearted mix of excellent circus skills and somewhat old-fashioned, pantomime style family entertainment. There are silly plots and plenty opportunities for the under eights to literally scream: “it’s on the other side,” or “look behind you.” Head First Acrobats have a real gift for silliness, comedy timing and an impressive range of dance and circus skills, all of which makes for many slapstick comedy moments, the caliber of which is very high.
This show is good clean fun, the humour good natured and on the side of children. There are grown-up jokes too, but they are resolutely unseedy.
Rowan Thomas, who plays less the idiot savant and more just the idiot, is the one who breaks the fourth wall, giving the sense that failure to immerse yourself imaginatively, to suspend your disbelief and have a good time, well, that’s the really stupid choice, especially if you are at a pirate-themed circus show.
But what’s perhaps the most wonderful about Arr We There Yet?, is the very high standard of circus on display. Cal Harris’ Ladder routine is just staggering, Rowan Thomas’ Cyr act is full of grace and humour, and as a troupe, their range of acrobatic skill and juggling of cutlasses (so many cutlasses) is phenomenal. The show is high energy with lots of highly amusing patter, a brilliant mix of rambunctious stage fighting techniques and circus skills which make for zany sea-dog hijinx. The actual storyline is a little loose, but nobody under ten cares about character motivation, so it doesn’t matter. The overarching theme -friendship is the best treasure – suits this cast, who have a brilliant rapport with their young audience and despite being at the end of their Edinburgh run, they are still cracking each other up endearingly and quite obviously having a great time.
If you do go, make sure you have two pounds per child to buy them a ballon sword at the end of the show, as all the children then charge around attacking each other. It is most amusing, and will easily entertain them long enough for you to enjoy a pint.