REVIEW; WAGGO, dir. by Elizabeth Manwaring and Hugo Aguirre, theSpace @ Venue 45, Edinburgh Fringe

WAGGO, at its crux, is a show about cheese. A meta theatrical social commentary on coming-of-age dramas, the show manages to wrangle both pure entertainment and a sardonic deconstruction of teen dramas into its forty five minute run time.

 

A pregnant bleep-test athlete, a cat-loving pensioner who's swapped into her nieces body, a geeky sidelined hat fanatic, a slutty white-girl prom queen and an artistic ball of gothic teen angst who is secretly the Loch Ness monster collide to form the Brunch Bunch. The story of WAGGO revolves around a group of teenagers in Saturday detention at High School High (sound familiar?) but it is the approach and theatricalisation of this narrative, rather than the story itself, that brings this show to life. Full of ad-libs and cultural references, the cast recreate teen-movie stereotypes with a tongue-in-cheek commitment that leaves the audience in fits of laughter. Performances are brilliantly funny, and the precision of comic timing, as well as the cast's easy  to improv around demonstrates an incredible mastery of the material.

 

The script is snappy and pacey, inundated with lightning wit and cultural call-backs. For a piece devised by a cast and crew of seven, with no original script and 3 months of creative exploration, WAGGO is streamlined and detailed, managing to be bother crazy and messy whilst polished and slick.

 

Set is basic, just a few chairs and a meta theatrical prop box, with all atmosphere and flashback scenes constructed purely through technical cues and the creativity of the cast.

 

A true ensemble comedy, WAGGO demonstrates creative flair at its best. Take your mother, your niece, your best friend or a work acquaintance, and I guarantee they will enjoy it. In a world that often feels like it's    tearing itself apart, WAGGO brings an escape into nostalgia and goofball comedy that reminds us all of our time as teenage dirtbags and encourages us to take ourselves just that little bit less seriously.

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