The wonderful women of YUCK Circus are serving up a whole new style of divine femininity in this brilliantly bold and utterly joyful show. There are no boundaries here - impressive acrobatics are intertwined with tales of embarrassing drunken escapades and period horror stories. The classic ribbon dance becomes a hilarious visual menstruation metaphor; elegant aerial silks morph into skilful aquatic impressions. Even as your jaw drops at the immense talent on display, your cheeks ache from laughing at the unapologetic depiction of all the glories of womanhood.
Director Georgia Deguara’s creation is a carefully crafted, well-constructed reflection of toxic masculinity and the absurdity of the gender stereotypes that pervade circus, the arts, and society in general. Horrendous pick-up lines and unsolicited dick pics are torn to shreds, and costumes range from painted-on moustaches and generously stuffed briefs to fluffy dressing gowns and pelvic flower arrangements. Every skit is humorous, but no matter how far these performers reach for the grotesque, they cannot fully mask the inherent elegance of their movements. Hoop and skipping-rope skills seem to defy the laws of physics, and even the most absurd contortions are beautiful; these are circus performers, after all.
A particular highlight for me, in a show of charming neon, was Ella Norton’s comedic storytelling, which is among the best I’ve ever seen - she could hold her own among (and, perhaps, out-perform) some of the biggest stand-up comedians at Fringe.
And, as a naturally curvy girl, I cannot overstate the genuine happiness I felt at seeing bodies like mine - bodies that don’t necessarily fit into the standard ‘athletic’ body type we are made to believe is the only one that can have any sort of physical prowess - performing incredible acrobatics. This isn’t about what they look like, but for me, it also kind of is, because I hadn’t seen people who look like me do circus before, and now I have. There is joy in that, and nobody can take that away.
YUCK Circus is truly exceptional, and a delight to watch from start to finish.
YUCK Circus is on at 16:20 at Assembly George Square Gardens until August 28th. For more information, or to buy tickets, visit the EdFringe website