Here’s the thing: Circus Trick Tease in its own right is a thoroughly enjoyable show, but pitted against the dozens of other circus shows at the Fringe, it just can’t compete.
Three comedic performers spend an exhausting hour-long show doing some eye watering gymnastics which impress but never dazzle. Balancing on each others’ heads; putting a bottle upside down and balancing on it upside down; balancing all three performers one on top of the other…. Can you see the problem?
The tricks are impressive but the show really needs much more variety and by about the halfway mark the fact you’re expected to clap every single time they do a movement really begins to grate. That’s not to say some of the moves don’t occasionally astound – they certainly seem to catch the audience’s breath as their bodies twist into some wince-inducing shapes – but there are only so many variations of balancing before your eyes begin to glaze over.
What it lacks in range it more than makes up for in humour, though, with a great running gag about two of the characters – Maria Walsh and Shannon McGurgan – having a roving eye for Farhad Ahadi, as both man and woman compete violently for Farhad’s affections. They are very funny and have a playfully filthy style which keeps them just on the right side of family-friendly.
When Shannon tries to seduce the ladies in the audience, floating around, showing off his body and giving them some of the worst chat up lines around, he gets some big laughs as he lifts four of them at one time on a pole with four seats; and you tend to forgive him for only being able to lift it a little off the ground, with the audience giggling along at his warm and inviting performance style.
This is a witty and entertaining show that pales against the competition but there is plenty of fun to be had and the finale, involving a fiery tantrum where the audience are booted out, is simply wonderful.