Review | Dawn Pascoe shows Flaws and All in her one-woman circus

Flaws and All | Black Flamingo | til Feb 25th | ★ ★ ★ ½ 

Usually I don’t know very much about a Fringe performance ahead of time but I had read some things about this performance and it seemed exciting. I found the title of the one-woman aerial circus performance interesting and wondered if the performance was going to be serious or humorous.

A very serious Dawn Pascoe totters onto the stage in her stilettos, balancing sponge cakes on top of a plastic diablo that she later spins using a piece of string. Her facial expressions guide the audience through various emotions as the fate of the balancing sponge cakes hangs in the balance.

The state of her tattered fluoro yellow tutu seems to indicate that we shouldn’t take her seriously but there is no dialogue that tells us her story and let us know whether to commiserate or laugh at her foibles. The one time she spoke about a tragic/funny date she had was almost jarring as it came out of nowhere.

Perth-based Pascoe is obviously a talented performer who has won awards for her show and she has founded the aerial dance company Natural Wings. In this show she combines her considerable dance and trapeze skills with complex physical comedy, but the whole set-up was so surreal that the audience didn’t know whether it should be laughing or crying.

It does not end well for the sponge cakes. As she makes a snow angle amongst the cake crumbs and empty beer bottles, with make-up smearing her face and drenched hair, she seemed to me like she’d just lost the plot. More dialogue would have given me greater empathy and some much-needed insight into her flaws as I really wanted to like this performance much more that I did.

Flaws and All runs until 24 February at The Black Flamingo tent in the Pleasure Garden. See for more information and to buy tickets or come down to the box office at the Pleasure Gardens and buy a discounted rush-tic.

Lezly Herbert

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