theSpace @ Jury’s Inn (Venue 260), Edinburgh, Scotland

08/08/2016 - 13/08/2016

Edinburgh Fringe 2016

Production Details

Catherine Waller’s “body morphs almost supernaturally into distinct personalities… pathetic, disturbed and disturbingly relatable.” (certified reviewer, Hollywood Fringe Festival 2014).

theSpace @ Jury’s Inn (Venue 260)
Aug 8-13 2016
50 minutes
Suitability: 16+

Book here

Theatre , Physical , Clown ,

A twisted gem of a show

Review by Acushla-Tara Kupe 18th Aug 2016

The Creeps is a devised solo clown show created by Toi Whakaari graduate Catherine Waller. Originally created as Waller’s 20-minute solo piece in her third year (2010), it is now an hour-long show which she’s touring from the USA to Europe and back: Los Angeles, Edinburgh, London, Amsterdam then finally New York.

Music is playing as we arrive and we can see Waller sitting at the back of the auditorium, facing away from us. Once the doors close the music continues and after a while movement catches my eye. I turn to see Waller completely transformed, crawling her way up the aisle to the stage. Her physicality is incredible as she now resembles some kind of monster and for the first time ever in a theatre I start to feel really uneasy.

She holds eye contact with audience members and no one is looking away. I realise why once she meets my eye. It feels awful and awkward holding her gaze, a dark twisted seduction behind her eyes, but if I look away it feels like she would call me out on this. I feel threatened. 

This beast makes its way to the stage and starts speaking with us. We’ve met our host. Waller navigates this conversation with confidence and ease. She exudes a twisted energy I’ve never met in real life and is captivating to watch. We are given ground rules which set boundaries for both us as an audience and as people within this world.

Through the hour we meet a range of characters just as twisted and intimidating as the first and slowly we can piece together a story. Each is played with fantastic physical manipulation and vocal skill; Waller’s transformation from one to the next is completely committed. The further into the show we get the more uneasy I feel and this is clearly the intention.

It’s also interesting to see how the audience reacts differently to this intimidation. Some laugh when spoken to, others are very quiet. One man seems to have a deep connection with one of the characters as the topic of loss is broached. We see love and compassion in one of these characters for the first time: a great strategy and a well-executed moment. 

Every character speaks with the audience, with one scene an exception. At first we’re not too sure where we are but as we meet and converse with each character things start to unfold. They teach us about the world we are visiting with an off-hand comment here and a scripted line there. I love a show that makes me work but the deeper down the rabbit hole we get the more I think I don’t want to continue. Waller’s improvising skills are on point as she interacts with us and seamlessly drops in important information. We’re in the palm of her hand. 

The music by Joe Ceglio fits perfectly with the tone of the show and adds to the tense unfamiliar atmosphere. We are taken to different rooms within the world and each has its own unique feel. Each eerie but different. The level of music near the end starts to take away some of the tension gained but aside from this moment it works perfectly to create an uneasy feeling throughout. 

The Creeps is a twisted gem of a show. Waller is ugly, crude, overtly sexual, pitiful and absolutely phenomenal. Her physical, vocal and emotional performances are fantastic and as awful as I feel, I can’t look away.

Definitely one of the highlights of the Edinburgh Fringe thus far. If you get a chance to see it during the tour, go! You won’t ever forget it, trust me. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council