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YUCK Circus - Edinburgh Fringe Festival (UK)

Reviewed by Kate Gaul

Zoo Southside - Studio

16:20 - Aug 24-28

50 minutes

Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)

Country: Australia

Group: YUCK Circus


- Blending incredible shows of strength with hilarious (and sometimes horrifying) anecdotes, YUCK Circus is a balanced and humorous social commentary on life as a modern woman in a world of toxic masculinity and cultural norms -

I’d been wanting to experience the Yuck Circus and finally, at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe I made it! Yuck Circus is an all-female, WA based, Australian high-flying acrobatic, comedy show that gives a thrilling display of strength and dexterity. Each woman has her own unique, impressive talent. Yuck Circus shows us that women can be as strong as men. The troupe has skilfully interrogated how to build a pyramid of women, how to throw, catch and balance without the traditional male ballast at the bottom holding it all up. This is a show that blends incredible shows of strength with hilarious (and sometime horrifying) anecdotes of life as a modern woman in a world of toxic masculinity and cultural norms.

Photos from Yuck Circus website

Dressed in their signature underwear the troupe exploit the fact that no one onstage is ridiculously skinny and take every opportunity to show off everyone’s raw power. They arrive onstage dressed as “the boys” complete with fake moustaches, bumps in undies and heaps of machismo. Kissing biceps, playing fisty cuffs, leering and enjoying all the bogan tropes. Yuck Circus is here to bring them down!

I describe the show as unapologetic, daring, and raucous! After the machismo, they dive straight into the taboo subject of menstruation. This means lots of anecdotes supported by the acrobatics and in this case red ribbon choreography. We cover toilet etiquette, body positivity, binge drinking and dating. This is social commentary balanced with humour, wit, and wild abandon! The company cover messy nights out, pubic hair to ‘dick pics’ and a poke at how women are perceived in “other” Circus shows. Some topics more explicit than others. One scene starts as a chilling musical number that descends into hilarity combined with an aerial display that seamlessly combines acrobatics and perfect comedy timing. If it challenges our perceptions of the world, you will find it in Yuck Circus.

What else is great about this company? Beyond Yuck Circus there is a huge commitment to getting professional circus trainers into remote communities, partnering with women’s’ orgs wherever the company perform to support women and open conversations. Take a look at the website – it’s not all women who get the benefits. Programs exist for men and support isolated communities. I’m all for throwing money at women’s sports in the light of the Matildas emergence but let’s not forget that the arts go a long way to changing hearts and minds too – Yuck Circus is at the forefront of change – go support these all-Aussie gals!


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