Distinction showcase: Yukon Ho! (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

Yukon Ho!

Dance theatre tale of life in a frozen outback proves hot property

As a young dancer, performing the can-can in bars and casinos was Jennifer Irons' 'ticket out' of the Yukon. Growing up in this remote part of northern Canada had been challenging to say the least, so when a dance career in the UK beckoned, off she went.

Years later, having carved out a life for herself in London, Irons now has enough distance to look back at the Yukon with fresh eyes. And she passes this love/hate relationship with her frosty homeland on to us.

Fascinating, laugh-out-loud funny and at times surprisingly tender, Yukon Ho! is part physical theatre, part stand-up comedy, part cabaret show. Currently just 30 minutes long, it cries out for extension, but even as it stands Irons does well to cram so much in. Tales of having poker chips thrown at her as payment for high-kicks, drinking cocktails containing a severed toe, and living in a land where it's either perennially dark or glaringly light just scratch the surface of Irons' experiences.

From the moment she arrives on stage, barely visible beneath the backpack and snow gear, you know you're in for an intriguing encounter. And, like Irons' can-can splits at the end, Yukon Ho! deserves to stretch out.

Part of the Distinction showcase at ZOO.


  • 4 stars

ZOO Venues ZOO Venues in conjunction with DanceXchange and Dance4 present a series of new choreographic works from emerging artists in the Midlands. Don’t miss the chance to see new voices in British dance. Full programme on ZOOfestival.co.uk.