Circus review: GODZ

Performances almost beyond mere mortals.

I headed to GODZ, a show by Head First Acrobats, with high expectations and my pen ready: I knew it boasted a slew of five-star-ratings from critics from its Adelaide run. 

Based on the R18+ rating and the promo photos, I anticipated a Magic Mike-style parade of gleaming musculature, with a hint of humour. The kind of show that charms partly because it doesn’t purport to be more than its surface: verve, backflips, remarkable physiques. 

But I was short-sighted about GODZ. If its performers utilise their looks, it is to benefit a clever, gleefully homoerotic, hilarious pantomime of Greek mythology. The show could draw crowds through its acrobatics alone, yet storytelling is far from an afterthought. 

GODZ kicked-off with Zeus’s voice booming from the ether, introducing us to a quartet: Apollo, in sports shorts and sweatbands; Dionysus, draped in a wine-red toga; Cupid, in puffy white and wings; and Hercules, clad in a gladiator kilt and sandals. The reputations of these gods were tested, and disharmony between them was subtle but unmistakable in the heaven-bright lighting: the flex of a pec, a resigned expression passing over a face, an eyeroll. 

Every stunt was staggering, earning the transcendence suggested by the show’s title. A ladder was involved, as was a whip. The men hopped on each other’s shoulders, forming sculptural configurations, nearly reaching the ceiling, guaranteeing gasps and laughs and whoops. 

I held my breath as Cupid perched atop four chairs stacked on a table. The music grew comically tense, protracting his supposed predicament. ‘Do a flip!’ called an audience member. ‘Don’t do that,’ implored another.

The most uproarious stage of any performance was bound to be when the three gods assembled with gold plates over their groins, with Hercules subjecting them to a long-reach duster as if they were statues in a gallery. Then he, too, was compelled to abide by the nudity. 

Things got hectic. During an unexpected number that incorporated nun costumes, ‘S & M’ by Rihanna blared. A banishment to ‘Christian Hell’ escalated into wince-inducing crudity I can’t disclose. Eventually Zeus pranced out, corporeal now, in a grey beard and diamanté stilettos, to treat us to mind-blowing pole-dancing. 

Read: Theatre review: Shut Up I’m a Vampire

GODZ seemed to perfectly execute the bold and literally ballsy feat it intended. The show was a rare respite from normal life: providing enough awe and amusement to extinguish all other thoughts. 

Performed by Head First Acrobats
Mentor: Malia Walsh

Runaway Festival Park (The Vault) – Testing Grounds Market Square, Queen Victoria Market
Tickets: $37-$43
GODZ will be performed until 23 October 2022 as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival

Olivia Arcaro is a freelance writer and English tutor based in Naarm/Melbourne. A student of RMIT University’s Bachelor of Creative Writing, she is at work on a collection of essays and a coming-of-age novel. You can contact her at, or on Instagram: @oliviaarcaro.