Little Wimmin by Figs in Wigs - Thoughts on the Playtext (Salamander Street Publishing)
It’s kinda strange ‘reviewing’ a play text. In most cases you’d imagine that this would involve some sort of literary criticism, analysing the dialogue and the character development, maybe some smart words about the subtext. Not so much with Little Wimmin, for here Figs In Wigs (IRL best friends and madcap theatre makers) have created a truly captivating script to go along with the bonkers performance.
There’s no point me reviewing the show, Amy did that for us in 2019 and you can read it here, so instead I’ll just heap gushing praise onto the team that brought this to life on paper. You might imagine that it would be tough to create a play text for a show that hardly relies on its dialogue to stand out (except for some excellent puns, which are really, truly, so great), if you’ve seen the show you’ll know that the dances and images that stay with you are better seen than read but think again hypothetical person I just imagined imagining! The script is glorious, accompanied by little anecdotal footnotes to bring you up to speed on behind the scenes details like initial plans for the interval bar staff and revelations about attempted accents, this feels like a proper way to read a show that should be seen. Not only are the footnotes a delight, but so too are the swirls of text that signify dances or stage directions, truly bringing to life these moments of non-textual brilliance.
It’s also really funny. The show is, of course, funny in itself but the book goes along with it like a fine wine. Letting the reader in on in-jokes that you wouldn’t get just from the show, it’s like finishing your favourite film and finding out there’s a load of special features on the DVD that you are yet to enjoy (not that anyone owns DVDs anymore). I do truly hope that this is the future of performance publishing, it’s not just the words that were spoken on a particular day by particular people, but its own, standalone, work of art. Maybe I’m being over-zealous because it’s new, because I’ve not seen such glorious use of graphic design in a script before, because I’m excited for more makers to follow suit and create texts like this one. Whatever it is, you should definitely buy a copy, worst comes to the worst and you don’t enjoy it, at least it’ll look super cool and impressive in the background of your zoom calls.
Little Wimmin is available to pre-order here.