The Wau Wau Sisters’ Death Threats (and Other Forms of Flattery!)
The controversial cabaret act move in a new direction at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
When the Wau Waus presented The Last Supper, they took on American prudery, religious self-righteousness and New Age optimism for a sharp and witty satire on the apocalypse. Death Threats... is more of an addendum to that show, breaking apart its routines and reflecting on the aftermath: they did indeed receive death threats.
Following the true story of their tour to Australia, and the subsequent security measures they needed, Death Threats sees the sisters ponder reactions to their mix of showgirl fun and acrobatic brilliance. Their routine, Sister Christian, is given footnotes and only in the finale, a joyous burst of punk aerial action, do they revive the playful energy of their earlier show.
Nevertheless, Death Threats is fascinating. The Wau Waus are entering new territory and while this show lacks the glamour and originality of The Last Supper, it has a reflective and frequently hilarious new direction. It marks the Waus Waus coming to terms with their new popularity, sometimes falling back on past glories but also deconstructing their own routines. It might appeal more to their existing fans than to new audiences, but it continues their campaign to refresh cabaret. By starting naked, they strip burlesque of the tease, and render their bodies as props rather than objects for lecherous pleasure. Even taking a step down in ferocity, these sisters are still moving towards new territory.
Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 17 Aug, 9.30pm, £13–£14 (£12–£13).