Thursday, 11 October 2018

BOSS Squad - Circus Review

What: BOSS Squad
When: 11 - 14 October 2018
Where: Melba Spiegeltent
Performed by: Marina Gellman, Lisa Goldsworthy, Flick Lannan, Marcela Sheuner,  and Amy Stuart
Lisa Goldsworthy, Amy Stuart, Flick Lannan,
Marcela Sheuner and Marina Gellman

BOSS Squad is a joint venture between Point & Flex Circus and Madhouse Circus. Together they have created a crazily energetic show which celebrates the strength of women and it is on show at the Melba Speigeltent until this Sunday as part of Sidesault.

Dressed in the purple, green and white of the suffrage movement, this ensemble of insanely strong and vibrant women have just enough black to remind us there are no powder puffs here. This troupe mean serious business.

BOSS Squad is a glorious array of circus acts and a few sideshow elements which take us back to the glory days of freak shows and the idea of the super human.  This show debunks the myths of femininity being a synonym for fragility, delicacy, and weakness. These women are strong and fit and not afraid to be just a little bit gross when the moment warrants it.

The show begins with a fantastic teeterboard routine. It immediately set the tone for much of the show, demonstrating an eye for the ensemble and switching in and out between the whole troupe to show there are no specialists - everyone of them are powerful and can do it all. We have all heard of the ubermensch, well here are the uberfrau!

This interchange process carried through most of their circus tricks including the juggling and the acrobatic skipping with various degrees of success. Whether the tricks landed or not was not as important as the skill and strength they demonstrated in doing some very complex work. Awe and incredulity were in ample supply amongst the audience from start to finish.

We often see the Cyr Wheel in circus these days - less so the older German Wheel. It is a big, heavy, unwieldy apparatus and usually used by men but Lannan shows us just how much power she has as she skillfully moves this wheel in a dance of grace and delight.

Gellman loves the sideshow elements. What she does with milk after drilling a hole in her nose is something you need to see for yourself, and her appetite for light bulbs is... enlightening? She is also a phenomenal singer with a voice of great poignancy.

Proving that women are not fragile, Goldsworthy and Gellman dance a beautiful acrobatic duet on a pile of shards of broken glass. This routine is still a little rough, but then I defy any of us to find our core with a broken bottles under our feet!

The score underlying the show is a medley of iconic feminist power pop songs (including Miss B of course!). There are fantastic voiceovers including debunking myths men have about women. My favourite was - and I had never heard this before - there are men who think women can control their menstruation kind of like we can hold in our pee!

Women do bleed, and Gellman reminds us of that in another sideshow routine which involves a staple gun and her arms and a commentary of being labelled. Standing still as the blood drips down her body, she makes the strongest statement possible. I couldn't help looking at the bruises and other marks on her body too from her circus training which all spoke to the same story interestingly.

BOSS Squad is a fantastic show and incredibly empowering for women. The team still need to work on their tricks. It is not that they aren't highly skilled. It is more that what they are doing is so incredibly complex. I love that they are not afraid of that though, and are in it for everything they have got!

BOSS Squad is a late show (9:30pm) but we are all still Fringe fit so why not see all three shows, starting from 6:30 and just make a night of it? Circus Oz have opened an indoor bar for between the acts and there is popcorn and choctops and all your circus faves, as well as a liquor shelf to warm your cockles on these still a bit to cool nights.

3.5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your lovely review!
    Just wanted to let you know that it is Lisa Goldsworthy and Marina Gellmann that do the act together on broken glass (not Stuart and Gellmann)
    we think you summed up our show really well, thanks for taking the time to see our show and write a review.

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