While YUCK Circus falls short of delivering a feminist manifesto, it still has a subversive edge and is lots of fun, Jenny Scott finds.
Review: YUCK Circus, YUCK Circus ·
Big Top, The Woodside Pleasure Garden, 2 February 2020 ·
Reviewed by Jenny Scott ·
Subverting the seductive glamour of the typical circus showgirl, YUCK Circus offers up a production that is half acrobatic delights, half bizarre-o performance art.
The winners of last year’s Fringe World Martin Sims Award, the performers of YUCK Circus are more than aware of the audience’s expectations of an all-female acrobatic show. They play on these tropes from the opening act, entering the stage with great machismo swagger and drawn-on moustaches.
These women seem to delight in acting like lads, complete with gross-out humour and exaggerated chauvinism. As well as giving flirty winks to the crowd, they also chug beers, confess their drunken misadventures, lick their biceps, and give each other wedgies. Even the more conventionally “feminine” gymnastics are delivered with a wry edge or a playfully mocking attitude.
Creator and performer Georgia Deguara is a delight on the stage, and it’s a treat to watch the physicality displayed by all of these strong women, who also come across as highly relatable, despite their collective gymnastic prowess.
Interpretive dances addressing menstruation and online harassment are particular highlights of the show, along with a striking scene featuring woeful pick-up lines and a long metal nail. These acts dive a little deeper into the experiences of women within the patriarchy, pairing impressive physical feats with a subversive political edge – the ideal combination for a fringe show.
However, this production stops short of delivering a sophisticated feminist manifesto, instead focusing on skewering exaggerated masculine personas while enjoying some rollicking fun.
Some of the humour doesn’t always land, but the engaging performers and their seemingly effortless athleticism make this experimental circus show fun to watch.
Pictured top: YUCK Circus is an all-woman show that pokes fun at blokes.