Don’t Mess With the Dummies

Don’t Mess With the Dummies blends acrobatics and humor.

If you’re looking for daring acrobatics, strong women, and lots of humor, look no further than the hilarious ensemble called Don’t Mess With the Dummies. The brand-new acrobatic trio of Ellen Henry, Maya Tregonning, and Shona Conacher dazzled the crowd at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in Australia last month.

After their gravity-defying stunts, I asked the acrobats about their unique profession. Conacher described the group’s act as a wild adventure into the jungle with three strong, but incredibly silly, women.

“The appeal is for the whole family,” Conacher said, “and inspires young girls and women to be funny, strong, flexible, and fierce.”



All three performers immersed themselves in circus training from a young age. The trio rehearsed and trained for three months in the lead-up to their debut at the comedy festival.

Henry offered insight into the group’s training schedule. A typical session includes juggling practice and continually perfecting the trio’s impressive stunts. 

“We have quite a few acrobatic tricks that require us to sync up,” Henry said, “which as you could imagine, can go not to plan every now and then. Thankfully, we haven’t had any tricks go wrong in a show.”


A typical training session for the acrobats includes juggling practice and perfecting their gravity-defying stunts.


The performers don’t just perform daring acrobatic feats. They also use comedy to engage their audience.

“Humor is a way of connecting with other people around us and can also be an escape,” Conacher observed. “Sometimes, we all need a distraction from what’s going on in our lives and what’s going on in the world around us. Sitting in a comedy show for an hour can do just that.”

Conacher added that bringing joy to the audience also benefits the performers. “It’s not often you find a job where you get such instant feedback,” she said. “When I’m onstage, I can see people smiling, laughing, and clapping.”

When asked her advice for aspiring young performers, Conacher said: “Don’t be afraid to do things that are different and say what you want to say. There will be someone out there who needs to hear it.”


Photos courtesy of Ben Weinstein