No Show @ Summerhall

An absolute treat packed with humour and offering a critique of preconceived gender roles in the world of circus

Review by Alice Lannon | 25 Aug 2017
  • No Show

No Show is an absolute treat – filled with humour, whimsical aesthetics and of course, some extremely impressive circus skills, it feels rather like eating a large slice of frosted sponge cake.

The all female cast enter in sparkly, stripy costumes – with massive grins on their faces, they embark on a rather twee circus routine. But don’t be fooled: these girls are strong and immensely skilled acrobats and performers. Indeed, unravelling society’s preconceived ideals of what a ‘female acrobat’ should be is the whole premise of the show. Performing ever more dangerous, difficult stunts, we see that the idea of the feminine, ‘pretty’ acrobat is rather weird and warped.

This message is conveyed with tongue-in-cheek humour, silliness and giggles at all times, which ensures that the show remains fun and truly engaging the whole way through. The performers are breathtakingly skilled and some of their stunts look very dangerous – this is not a show for the faint-hearted. They also perform fluidly and expressively, in a way that is beautiful without adhering to the frequently-mocked stereotype of pretty female acrobat with the coathanger smile.

The only criticism that could possibly be made is that the show might have been better suited to a larger space that allowed more room for skills such as trapeze, allowing the whole performance to become more of a spectacle. That said, the more intimate room allows for a friendly and cosy feeling. Overall, No Show is an absolute delight and a must-see. 

No Show, Summerhall, until 27 Aug, 4.15pm, £10-12