Melbourne Fringe: Yuck Circus

MF19 Yuck Circus - photo by Haze CapturesThe Melba Spiegeltent circus program is bulging, and thanks to something down their dacks, so are the women of Yuck Circus at the start of their eponymous Melbourne Fringe offering.

Taking the stage as blokey-blokes, these women proceed to slam that conventional view of girls being made of ‘sugar’ and ‘all things nice’ … but there’s plenty of the spice here!

Yuck circus have toured to Edinburgh and won awards around the Australian Fringe circuit. You can see why. Very quickly we’re drawn into the vigour of Yuck Circus, through which this troupe of powerful women can make us feel awkward and amused at the same time.

An interpretive dance group routine on menstruation was a particularly good example of cringeworthy comedy, and shows the talent of Director Georgia Deguara in keeping this barrage of odd episodes moving along crisply.

Some way into the show, a performer noted that we hadn’t seen too much actual circus yet, to a good amount of laughter. As the show is bursting with personality, it hardly mattered. The audience were clearly very amused by the dance routines, confessions of less-than-ladylike behaviour, and bursts of character comedy, which could relate to dead-beat men.

We might have formed certain views of the glamour and grace exhibited by female circus performers. Again, this troupe want to upend our expectations, with some examples of awkward musical accompaniment and inelegant conduct on ribbons being prime humorous examples.

Through this work, especially the finale of a (quite gymnastic) dance routine on online harassment, the antics of the company encourage women to find their inner strength, and rather than be good girls who don’t complain, have zero-tolerance for poor behaviour from boofhead men.

We quite enjoyed being kept off balance as the show subverted expectations. The payoff was good laughs in a high-energy show where the elements blended together well. This kind of wild ride is what keeps Fringe-goers coming back for more. You’ve got three chances (26 – 28 September) to see for yourself what all the ‘yuck’ is about.


Yuck Circus
The Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood
Performance: Friday 20 September 2019 – 8.00pm
Season continues to 28 September 2019
Information and Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au

Image: Yuck Circus – photo by Haze Captures

Review: Jason Whyte

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