/ GOUD16

Tolu

Wide-eyed and tentative as they edge out onto the stage, the fresh-faced Casus Circus trio of Jesse Scott, Abbey Church and Lachie MacAulay suited their blue-shirt-and-backpack clad schoolkid characters to a tee.

After those first few moments though, it was difficult to discern whether the stilted uncertainty was more to do with characterisation, first-show nerves or a lack of direction — whatever it was, it left this family-friendly circus act feeling a little flat.

Undeniably talented and capable of pulling off some impressive stunts, the three performers nevertheless struggled to deliver on the sense of childish wonder and playfulness needed to hold this one together. The incongruous music and lighting connected up by some awkward transitions certainly didn't help.

Perhaps the most notable element of the show was Church quietly breaking a glass ceiling by staying firmly rooted to the floor — in the traditional circus world women often serve as scantily-clad missiles for strongmen to launch into the air, but the tables were turned here with Church doing most the heavy lifting as the boys strutted their stuff up above.

As happens with circus, there were a few stuff-ups, but where the best performers turn these moments into opportunities to further ratchet up the tension, here they were just rushed past. Report card: room for improvement, but real potential for it too.

★★

For show times and to book tickets, see the Fringe guide.