Part of Midsumma’s program at the Gasworks Arts Park, Uncovered promises a high-octane exploration and celebration of sexuality that challenges the idea of what circus is, and despite its lofty claim it manages to deliver on its promise. Combining circus with dance, comedy, and cabaret elements, the hour-long show provides an engaging, entertaining and energetic take on love, dating and sex in the gay community.
Host and performer Emily Gare (performing as “Lola”) manages to Ginger Rogers the hell out of the four boys, performing her whip and trapeze routines in gigantic stiletto heels and an unflappable smile. As the host she segues between the performances with grace and humour, and seems to have a ball keeping “her boys” in line. The boys do hold their own though, with each getting the chance to show off their considerable skills on the aerial silks, the aerial hoop, and on the floor.
Despite the clever fusion of mediums it is the circus elements that stand out the most, leaving more of an impact than the dance, the cabaret, and even the comedy, offering more originality and unpredictability (which makes sense, given all five performers come from circus backgrounds). Which isn’t to say the dance wasn’t a lot of fun – just as I was thinking how much the show was channelling Magic Mike, they burst into an energetic take on Genuwine’s Pony, and a hectic bluegrass cover of Anaconda helps the show keep up its pace throughout. Despite its claims of a story the show doesn’t really have much of a narrative, but each of the segments makes for a light-hearted take on gay culture, poking fun at everything from Grindr to being a woman in a gay club. The physical performances are incredible to watch, with some of the acts dropping jaws across the entire audience (just ask the guy in the crowd who loudly gasped “wow!” after every trick).
The acts did experience a couple of hiccups, but the song choices were fun, the performances had all of the energy under the sun and a few first-night glitches did little to dampen the mood of the evening. If you love circus, dance or the gay community (and are okay with terrible lip synching and a whole bunch of naked butts) you are in for a treat. Creator/performer Dave Coombs wants the audience to leave the show with a smile, and if opening night is anything to go by he will get his wish.
Uncovered is showing at the Gasworks Arts Park until Saturday the 30th of January. Performances are at 8pm each night, with an extra 5pm show on Saturday. Tickets through gasworks.org.au