The best way to describe Figs in Wigs’s work is a kind of avant-garde cabaret. Its new show flits from comedy to dance to music to circus in this variety performance about narcissism and social media. Through a combination of word play, puns and malapropisms, Figs in Wigs weaves shrewd observations with derailing humour to create the absurdity that is Show Off.
Aesthetically, it’s a cacophony of light, colour and sound, from lurid jumpsuits to the apocalyptic rave techno of the musical finale. But don’t let the frivolous exterior fool you, there is some substance to be found yet. Smartphones are the devices of the hour as Figs in Wigs spend the entirety of the opening dance routine with their eyes and thumbs glued to their iPhones. They devote an entire skit to ‘facies’ (the photographic self-portrait phenomenon known more commonly as the ‘selfie’). Ironically we are frequently reminded to tweet our facies to Figs in Wigs on Twitter – #figfacie, natch.
Speaking of facies, Show Off swerves from this critique of our increasing vanity towards the male dominated worlds of music and comedy. “Dicks, bitches, shit” (in that order) are apparently all that’s funny these days. This brand of ironic, deadpan, sarcastic humour works well for them – Figs in Wigs also occasionally pokes fun at its own critics, quoting directly from bad reviews and addressing them during the show (point taken!).
Juggling, hula-hooping and costume changes abound. That the tiny stage that is too small for their antics just adds another layer of amusement to the proceedings.
The humour is so dry that at times it’s a little inaccessible, and the one hour time span feels just too short to acquire the taste that feels needed to truly enjoy, and indeed understand, Figs in Wigs’s unique brand of comedy. Nevertheless Show Off remains funny, intelligent and wholly bizarre.
Show Off plays at Pleasance Courtyard until 25 August 2014 as part of the Edinburgh Fringe. For more information and tickets, visit the EdFringe website.