‘Death Threats And Other Forms of Flattery’, by the Wau Wau Sisters

Spiegeltent, George Square Gardens, Edinburgh Fringe Festival; 7th August 2014

*Originally written for This Is Cabaret

With all the Country-love going round since Dolly Parton’s appearance at Glastonbury earlier this year, Southern glamour-pusses The Wau Wau Sisters go down a treat in this Edinburgh Fringe Spiegeltent.  Tragically for them (but luckily for us) they don’t always get such a warm welcome, and their latest show Death Threats And Other Forms of Flattery, is based on their real experiences of a crazed would-be killer at Brisbane Festival.

The pair are American-cute and girly, but leave a great slimy trail of filth behind them in their hilarious confrontations with religion, nutters and swathes of sex and nudity.  Adrienne Truscott is the very picture of a soccer-mom liberated from her responsibilities, and Tanya Gagne the Catholic school-girl gone bad, with her slightly manic laugh and flirty ways.

They burst from the stage in a raid of glittering flesh and, through a series of historical reanactments and frisky security measures, let us join them on the ride of potential death.  Because it wasn’t just their lives in danger; oh, no, the audience were gonna get it too.  It was going to be a ‘bloodbath’, according to the threatening letter that launched the proceedings.  But the show must go on, right y’all?

Telling the story through music, acrobatic acts, and a ‘never-the-same-show-twice’ lip-synch, the pair involve us at every step of the way, and no body part is sacred.  In fact nothing is sacred.  Especially not the Christianity that nominally inspired their fanatic stalker.  The show is fun, and warm-hearted, and loving.  Time and again they turn the traditional strip-tease upside-down (I would say ‘subvert’, but that sounds too dangerous), adding items of clothing to themselves, each other, and getting us in on the action too.

I’ve never before seen a full frontal acrobalance routine, or a human guitarist’s stool.  Or, for that matter, unsuspecting audience members performing acro up on stage in a choreography they never saw coming.  The brilliant punk finale from Gagne and Truscott on the duo trapeze, hung in the centre of the aisle between our cabaret tables and rows of seating is pacy and racy, and in-your-face defiant.  But all with a wink and a smile.

Thoroughly entertaining, cleverly crafted, and filled with pride, Death Threats and Other Forms Of Flattery is a show of strength in so many ways.   Please no-one shoot them, I’m looking forward to their next show too much.


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