Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

Winner of various awards on the Australian festival circuit, the seven-strong all-female YUCK Circus troupe, clad in black crop tops and Bridget Jones’ big knickers, will probably leave audiences divided.

Be warned, this show is less about circus and more about having a pop at the patriarchy. The smear of black makeup on the upper lip, macho poses, crass smutty sexual references and socks stuffed down those big knickers set the tone for this loose description of circus. There’s no doubting the strength and unitedness in the athletic moves of the troupe as they explore topics such as lady gardens, ‘menstr(u)ation’, ex male partners, tampon talk and alcohol boasting, but the display is more akin to a school gymnastics’ performance than first-class circus skills that they’ve won awards for.

There’s an ironic nod to this as one of the troupe declares, ‘we realise you guys bought tickets to a circus show but there’s not been much circus so far,’ which is followed by a very short balancing act of three of the troupe, one of them with her pants pulled into a wedgie, which gets a wry laugh from some of the audience.

There’s nothing particularly spectacular circus-wise that makes this a standout show of this genre with the only redeeming part being the impressive aerial display, but this is let down by the annoying accompaniment of one of the troupe playing guitar as she wails ‘Phoebe-esque‘ like. And the nail-up the nose trick, whilst clever, left this reviewer cold.

This show is like Marmite and on this occasion it failed to cross the cultural divide. Forget the hype; this is an hour of unremarkable circus that won’t have family appeal and is more suited to a late-night billing rather than its 4 pm slot.