Little Wimmin, Bristol Old Vic

FIGS in Wigs, the quintet of women who describe themselves as “dancing beings”, end their spring tour of Little Wimmin at Bristol.

There are a few constants about the company – Alice Roots, Sarah Moore, Suzanna Hurst, Rachel Gammon and Rachel Porter. They dress identically, they wear wigs, they don’t take themselves (or much else) seriously. Their iconoclastic approach is weirdly hypnotic and   often very funny. And, as in all experimental projects, sections sometimes fall flat.

The packed audience at Bristol Old Vic on the opening night was mainly delighted by the spectacle, as the five performers deconstructed Louisa May Alcott’s classic story of perfect family life in America, with all its hopeful sentimentality. There are moments of high drama, glimpses of horror, hysterically funny scenes, electro-pop, live film making, repetitive dance, science, flashbacks, repeated scenes … you name it.

It sends up all reverence for the classics, all preconceptions of time, space and love, and, in the highlight moment of the show, the secret of France’s own Little Sparrow is unveiled.

Figs in Wigs are literally uncategorisable. They teeter on the brinks of cabaret, circus, dance, burlesque, comedy, theatre, cinema and cookery shows. It’s often very, very funny, often puzzling, always full of inspired pzazz. You’ll love it or hate it.  But it’s totally worth a try.


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