a three-ring circus

a three-ring circus

  (American & Australian)
a lot of noisy or confused activity It's a three-ring circus in that classroom - the kids can't possibly be learning anything.
See also: circus
References in periodicals archive ?
They have discovered through their market research that families felt like their lives were already a three-ring circus,'' she said.
One absurd scene followed another--the effect was like a ringleader trying to contain the chaos of a three-ring circus.
But it's presenting the show, being recorded in Culver City on June 3, she's most looking forward to: "The MTV Movie Awards is like a three-ring circus and I'm thrilled they asked me to be this year's ringmaster," she claims.
Five rings symbolize the Olympics, but hosting them has largely been a three-ring circus.
In this scaled-down production, bright ladders and streamers suggest a three-ring circus, and the players are in the audiences members' laps (literally, for one unlucky woman).
Acrobats, tightrope walkers, lions, horses, snakes, a ringmaster, the Moor, and, of course, the puppet clown, Petrouchka, fill the stage with the excitement and magic or a three-ring circus.