‘We, Object.’ It can be said in many different ways, implying many different meanings. Yet the five women who make up Figs in Wigs are clear about one thing: this is a show about objects that we and they have taken for granted, but not about small things. That said, almost each of them at some point in the next hour is accused by the others of letting the side down by suddenly bringing some kind of ‘wee object’ onto the stage. No one’s perfect, it would seem, and standards can too easily slip if you’re not constantly paying attention.
Figs in Wigs appear to specialise in a particularly measured (the unkind might say slow and laboured) form of wordplay and visual punning; a projected slide show, for example, proves to be a series of images of playground slides from around the world–which are just about visible on the performance space’s unfortunately black-draped backdrop. Nor are they afraid to highlight how some terms for bovines and canines have been appropriated as derogatory, misogynistic terms against women. But just when you think things might be getting a bit more serious, it’s time for some rather rigid, group dancing. Possibly but not always with fart cushions.
The show is also, in a clearly ironic way, intended to be a strip tease of sorts; when they first appear, they're dressed in baggy white 'forensics', distinguished only by each having a different large letter on their back; for much of the show their positions mean they spell one word and then another at the close. At various stages they strip off another layer, before putting back their front bumbags from which many an object is drawn.
To be honest, there’s a certain surprise that this kind of thing is even mildly amusing. But to the performers' credit, what they do is almost unimaginable except on a stage, in Edinburgh during August. Like the Frida Kahlo eyebrows painted on each performer’s face, it's at the very least distinctive.