Darts Wives explores world of women behind the sporting men
Sharp humour beyond the oche at 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2013.
Even to the uninitiated, there’s something inherently compelling about the spectacle of watching live darts. It feels particularly British, from the sight of portly guys with gelled hair and ill-fitting sportswear roaring themselves on like Usain Bolt when arrow sweetly hits bed, to their invariably bronzed and dolled-up partners sitting in pride of place looking like they could challenge us all to a scrap. It’s into the world of these ‘DWAGs’ that comedian / actor sisters Lauretta and Sharon Gavin have stepped with their new Fringe show.
Darts Wives is a sitcom-style four-hander, with the Gavins playing sisters Lorraine and Faye, Philippa Sarll as Trina (wife of Dutchman Vinnie the Viper), and Tonya French as novice DWAG Angel, the second wife of Tel ‘The Bullet’ Murphy, who she stalked for years with love raps in the style of Dizzee Rascal. ‘Darts is an amazingly passionate world,’ says Lauretta. ‘What’s interesting is that unlike WAGs, DWAGs are instrumental in their husbands’ sporting journeys: they’re managers, PAs, drivers, lovers and beer monitors all rolled into one. The comedy lies in the battle of their egos.’
With acting credits including Skins, Shaun of the Dead and Green Wing plus four Fringe shows as Gavin & Gavin behind them, the duo is stepping into new territory with Darts Wives. Their research took them a year, including hanging out at matches and meeting famous players and their wives, and the process of improvising the characters lasted another few months.
‘Our biggest test was when we invited some famous players to come and see it,’ says Lauretta. ‘Thank God we got it right and they weren’t offended. In fact, they said they couldn’t believe the insight we had into their world.’
Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, 3–26 Aug (not 7, 12), 4.50pm, £10–£11. Previews 31 Jul−2 Aug, £6.