Brian Ferguson’s Festival Diary: When it comes to sequin-clad power pop, count me in

Members of the Fringe Wives Club Tessa Waters, Rowena Hutson and Victoria Falconer
Members of the Fringe Wives Club Tessa Waters, Rowena Hutson and Victoria Falconer
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My first Wild Card Wednesday certainly lived up to its name, with what must be one of the most hilarious and uplifting responses to the #MeToo movement.

I’m probably not the target demographic for a “sequin-clad, champagne-fuelled, cosmic feminist extravaganza,” but I’m a sucker for power pop and disco so it didn’t take long for the Fringe Wives Club to win me and the rest of their full house at Assembly Roxy over with their dazzling dance moves and wickedly original songs inspired by empowerment, sexism, homophobia, sex education and domestic violence.

Their show was initially brainstormed over “a late brunch in Edinburgh” by Tessa Waters, Rowena Hutson and Victoria Falconer. As Waters explains, the original premise was fairly simple: “Could we make people laugh their tits off while also teaching them a thing or two and empowering them to change the system?”

Like many other performers, Waters and Falconer are appearing elsewhere on the Fringe, in back-to-back shows at one of the festival’s most intriguing new venues. I’m sticking my neck out here by speculating that the Spiegelyurt is probably the only cabaret venue in the Fringe made out of an ash tree from the Borders.

Bob Slayer’s latest innovation is playing host to all manner of intriguing shows, including Wigwam Wonder Jam – billed as a “marshmallow melt of mirth, music and mayhem” – and Joz Norris Has No Show This Year, but Mr Fruit Salad Does.

But for a real off-the-wall experience this month it may be hard to beat Lucy Hopkins’ show Secrt Circl at midnight inside the Spiegelyurt. Her “late-night interactive ceremony of love” is perhaps more suited to Glastonbury than its home beside the Potterrow underpass. But if you’ve ever wondered what 90 minutes in the company of a priestess and shapeshifter involves, and are not in a particular hurry to get home, then her “ritualistic mess-about” may be the antidote to the boorishness of the nearby late-night bars.

Further reports of the influence of Elvis Presley on the Fringe have emerged from the unlikely environs of Leith Dockers Club.

His 1950s heyday provides the soundtrack at one of the few venues in the area competing for audiences with the Edinburgh International Festival’s new behemoth at Leith Theatre.

The celebrated social club, which was visited by none other than Sting a few months ago, is making its Fringe debut playing host to Dancing With Mrs Murphy, a play set at the height of the 1956 Suez Crisis about an unmarried mother who fled Ireland for Britain.