Review | Laugh til your face hurts with ‘DEADSET’ at Fringe World Festival

DEADSET | De Parel Spiegeltent | til Feb 13 | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ 

Very, very funny. I highly recommend this show. It was obvious from the opening song She’s Got The Look, a stage of five women contorting their faces as oddly as they could possibly muster, that this group of women were not conformists. They don’t conform to what you may think a circus is, what skill means or how you may think women should behave. They don’t have to because this show is pure entertainment. By the end my face was hurting from laughter.

The humour had the feel of mucking around with your school mates or hanging out with your favourite funny cousins who just talk crap, but it’s funny crap. Was this show put together in a week as claimed by the host? I don’t know. It could have been but they’ve pulled it off.

They know their audience. The show is peppered with Australian pop culture references such as vegemite, milk crate seats, choccy milk and Shannon Noll. With varying levels of skill on display from classically trained to amateur circus to “I was bored during COVID” these entertainers have woven together a motley assortment of tricks, stunts and jokes. The show is full of small blunders that don’t seem to matter. You’ll want them to shrug it off and just keep going because they’re your school mates or your cousins and they’re incredibly entertaining.

A special shout out to whoever put together the bin chicken routine. I loved the entire bit from the initial low-key entrance to the high energy, crazy flying antics. I laughed so hard. There’s also a fair bit of unashamedly “women who love women” humour which I enjoyed.

The only negative of the night had nothing to do with the show itself but with the venue. From most seats, with a low stage it’s hard to view some parts of the show that were below knee level, and yes, they did go there, at times rolling around on the stage. I recommend going and getting yourself a ticket and getting a seat in the first or second row.

See DEADSET until Saturday 13th February. For tickets and more information, head to

Halimah Halse is currently freelance writer and marriage celebrant. She has been involved in the arts, politics and LGBTQI+ communities for many years.

Image: Mark Robsony

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