An Interview With
Georgia Deguara of YUCK Circus
Winners of the 2019 Martin Sims Award for show: YUCK Circus
How long have you been an artist? Can you tell us a bit about your practice?
Growing up in the isolated coastal town of Broome, there wasn’t much to do apart from join the local circus! I began training at Theatre Kimberley’s Sandfly Circus at the age of 11, and haven’t stopped since. I graduated in 2018 with my Bachelor from the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne, and am now the Director of YUCK Circus, my debut big-girl company! I’ve had a decade of imagining, creating, and performing in the arts industry- and with so much more to come!
can you tell us a bit about YUCK?
YUCK is story of mateship, empowerment, and a bloody good time. The show’s content is a commentary for the masses; our mission is to speak freely and comedically about social topics to open a gateway to the human experience. We’re talking gender, addressing toxic masculinity, trying our worst pick-up lines, and celebrating our Australian pride. As an all-female cast, with an all-female brain-trust, were providing a humour that you wouldn’t expect. Couple that with some high standard circus feats- we’re ready to make a social change.
how important is it for your work to be seen on a world stage? What have you learnt about presenting work outside of WA?
Our debut show is making some frothy waves in our industry, described as ‘what contemporary circus should be.’ We knew coming into FRINGE WORLD that we had some good content; what we didn’t expect is for show to take off with the velocity it did! We’ve been offered a solid chunk of a UK Tour, and are setting our sights on Sydney and Melbourne Fringe. From recently touring Adelaide Fringe we’re stoked to learn that the honesty of our work carries across boarders and shores. It’s a dream of ours to tour our art globally; to share our unique Australian story to the world’s audience. It’s just as important to us to spread YUCK’s message to those in our nation- we’re taking what we’ve got and running with it, thrilling audiences and sinking a few red cans on the way.
Has there been a particular show that has moved or inspired you?
As a director and a circus community member, I’m more inspired by leading ladies in our field. A legion of amazing, comedic, strong women have paved the way of our industry long before YUCK time, and still this content has incredible affluence on commercial stages. I’d like to link my success and career to what I consider Circus Mummas; the nurturing figurehead that often is in the role of community circus founder, prominent trainer, or guiding friend for upcoming artists.
CAN yOU TELL US ABOUT A TIME WHERE YOU HAD AN AMAZING SHOW/ENCOUNTER WITH AN AUDIENCE MEMBER?
I’m wildly overwhelmed with this question- I can’t begin to articulate the countless amazing show’s we’ve had, or the monstrous positive response from our audience. If I had to pick a favourite child;
A Tuesday Night FRINGEWORLD performance where the standing ovation was so enormous that it blocked out all the lights on stage, and us girls stood there being clapped at in the dark
An amazing write-up from Liz Newell announcing that; ‘This damn show made me laugh so hard my face hurt and made me feel like I could fight a bear (and possibly win)’
Do you have a favourite line/part in the show you can share with us?
One of my favourite things about my show is that I genuinely laugh every single night at something that happens onstage. When the jokes keep getting you 20 shows in, or when something improvised and ridiculous comes out nowhere; pure joy. A choice part for me is the absolute tension between Ella and the Audience before she rings her small wooden musical frog. No one knows what is about to come out of her mouth, honestly it’s even a surprise for me sometimes
Aside from FRINGE WORLD, which has been the best Festival you have presented at?
The West Australian Circus Festival is a birthing place for a chunk of my cast. We were fortunate enough to have our world debut there on the site at Karridale in early January. To premier with a crowd full of love and support was a dream come true. Without the support and love from Fatso, Louise, and the returning International and Australian trainers, the West Australian Circus Scene would be looking a bit dismal!
What are you working on now?
We’re setting our sights on our Northern Hemisphere debut! We’ve got a stack of exciting gigs lined up; and massive ones thanks to premiering at FRINGE WORLD. By our first week of shows in the Pleasure Garden’s Big Top, we were contacted by Underbelly to do a month with them at Edinburgh Fringe. We also get to chuck a one-off night at their Southbank venue for Underbelly Festival. Big times ahead for us YUCK girls!
What does it mean for you to be making work in WA?
Broome is the birth place of my artistic career and being SO far from almost everything is what I believe creates unique work. Broome has an absolutely ridiculous amount of Circus Performers who travel the globe starring in world-renowned companies. How did that happen?! To come from a tiny place in an often-overlooked WA is a treasure. It’s the pride you feel in your heart to represent your family, friends, and town. I had the honour of developing my work in Fremantle and Margaret River. Before premiering a few of my cast had never set foot on WA soil- they’re now convinced to move here (I think mostly for the beaches!)
What’s your favourite thing about FRINGE WORLD?
Is it bad to say the Budgie Smuggler? FRINGE WORLD offers a safe-haven for artists across all-genres to catch up post-show for a quick dance and a Dark and Stormy (or 6). This informal setting for performers to meet and yarn I believe was the most successful networking format for me as an emerging artist. Not only could you chuck the splits on the d-floor, but you can link in with international artists and producers and find out they’re not as scary as you once thought!
If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
Tricky. Do you go for a practical animal or your favourite?
Favourite: Ground Pangolin- as they’re so cute
Practical: Arctic Tern- as they chase Summer, travelling the world for their entire life.
Image: YUCK Circus by Hayley Cooper