The Revel Puck Circus: The Wing Scuffle Spectacular

There’s popcorn and candyfloss on sale as the audience make their way into the Lafayette big top at Underbelly’s Circus Hub. A mic’d-up carnival barker is giving it the hard sell and ensuring there’s a long line of families ready to fork out £3 per portion. As I had made a point of arriving early for this sold-out show, I watch this for over 20 minutes and realise that there’s possibly more money to be made in sideshow snacks than circus stunts. But now that the children have been filled with sugar and expectations are high, we open with a Rube Goldberg machine that kicks things off and sets the stage for what is clearly going to be a very silly show.

A fun and energetic hour of classic circus with a hint of a contemporary edge

The Revel Pucks provide a fun and energetic hour of classic circus with a hint of a contemporary edge. Highlights include Annie Bachman bringing a hint of classic flying trapeze on the cloud swing, a fun ensemble tumbling routine with a swinging chainsaw, and a beautiful straps routine from Imani Vital. Fiona Thornhill’s cyr wheel act is solid and draws applause and gasps but it’s preceded by a skit where the wheel has supposedly gone missing and not much happens until it’s resolved without any punchline when the wheel is simply rolled onto the stage. A hand to hand acrobatics routine is perfectly serviceable but it’s essentially a huge man lifting a tiny woman which is a bit of a played-out cliché from which most contemporary circus has been trying to avoid. Unfortunately, one of the opening gags is a male-presenting cast member in a dress. It gets the requisite laugh, but it feels cheap. I would hope that we’re past “bloke in a dress” being a punchline in itself and when the performer then spends the rest of the show in clearly male-coded clothing, I’m left to wonder what was the point? We get a similar moment later in the show when Luke Hallgarten draws a laugh from the audience by stripping off their outfit to reveal a sparkly leotard before performing an admittedly fantastic juggling routine.

The star of this circus is Arielle Lauzon’s often put upon clown. Lauzon is the hardest-working person in the show as they work the audience with playful charm, run around cleaning up after the rest of the cast, and literally flip around the stage in a very cute battle with a cuddly lion. The interactions with the lion seem to be the main thrust of the show’s theme and every time Lauzon is on stage is a highlight.

The Revel Puck Circus: The Wing Scuffle Spectacular is a long enough title, and in an opening voiceover duologue, we’re told that there’s another subtitle: Lionheart. The intention being that this show is all about facing your fears. It’s a lovely concept for a circus show aimed at children but, apart from a couple of routines which attempt to show the performers struggling with fear of what they're about to do and the ongoing battle between Lauzon’s clown and the toy lion, the theme is generally ignored by most of the acts. The show as a whole feels disjointed and more like a series of vignettes rather than an integrated performance. The set-up and striking for each routine is often clumsy and drawn out with little to engage the easily distracted children in the audience. With some tighter direction or a little work from a dramaturg, this could be an incredible show with a real message about facing your fears, no matter how small. I’ll be watching this young company with interest and genuinely expect great things.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Frodo Allan

PBH's Free Fringe @ Liquid Room Annexe/Warehouse

Magical AF!

★★★★
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows

Sophie's Surprise 29th

★★★★★
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows

The Revel Puck Circus: The Wing Scuffle Spectacular

★★★
Assembly George Square Gardens

Ben Hart: Jadoo

★★★★
Assembly Roxy

N.Ormes

★★★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Matilda Jr the Musical

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Balancing atop a giant wheel, courageously diving from 15ft in the air, and somersaulting out of the path of a swinging chainsaw, join The Revel Puck Circus for their exhilarating Edinburgh Fringe debut this August. Bringing a heartfelt, hilarious and dangerous edge, the brightest young talent of the East London circus scene showcase incredible acrobatics, ridiculous physical comedy and the dizzying heights of the UK’s only teeterboard trio. Jam-packed with riotous and mind-blowing moments, this alternative homegrown circus company are a must-see for thrill-seekers young and old.

Most Popular See More

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £39.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £46.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets