Adelaide Fringe Review: YOAH

FIFTY+SA Arts Reviewer, Dr Diana Carroll, reviews a new-style circus troupe, YOAH, that effectively blends tradition with innovation at Adelaide Fringe.

As the new flag bearer of contemporary Japanese circus, CIRQUEWORK has made quite a name for itself since it was formed in 2021. Comprised of young circus artists with national and international experience, CIRQUEWORK combines traditional circus skills of trapeze, juggling, balancing, and diabolo with innovative and exciting music, lighting, illumination, and visual effects.

Adelaide Fringe audiences are seeing the Australian premiere run of YOAH, a show about a young woman looking to the moon for comfort and inspiration. This role is played with grace and flair by aerial artist Tsumugi Masui and even though the narrative is a little hazy we do feel her emotional journey. A little more narrative clarity would certainly help the audience.

The traditional circus elements are all here but unfortunately not everything went smoothly at our performance. Diabolos were dropped, cues were missed, and in one heart-stopping moment the trapeze artist lost his grip high above the stage, thankfully saved from hitting the deck by some quick work on his safety harness. The well-established chair-stacking routine with a high balance climax was impressive and had many audience members holding their breath as each one went higher and higher.

YOAH really comes into its own with the engaging sound-scape and lighting. The music is an eclectic fusion of Japanese drums, water sounds, classical music and electronica that is made quite spine-tingling when accompanied by the lighting, digital effects, masks, and costumes. It was the sound-scape that really added a new level of engagement and innovation to these traditional circus acts.

YOAH is definitely more family-friendly than many shows in the Fringe but younger children may find some of the elements a little scary; it’s perhaps best for ages 7+.


until Sunday 10th of March

The Moa at Gluttony

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