Angela Wand: Wounded Animals


Gilded Balloon:

3rd till 29th Aug (not 10th, 17th, 24th)



Angela Wand is a Californian Latino clown who met her also-Clown husband and moved to his homeland of Sweden struggling to fit her American gregariousness into a more reserved Swedish environment.  Perhaps it’s these struggles that have lead her to creating a show that revolves around many of the things she thinks she is bad at.  The publicity makes a point of Wand’s clown background, but this performance is certainly a very different repositioning of what a clown is.


It’s also a very brave show.  Wand somehow manages to change the mood of the small audience in split-second shifts in tone that feel psychotic at times.  At one point she is crudely describing an imaginary staircase that opens up like Tina Turner’s legs, later she is disarmingly asking an audience member not to rape his female companion.  The anger about date-rape is literally felt in the air with Wand’s uncomfortable, yet powerful, whip display immediately after.   Wand creates this angry intensity with audience members she previously had waving hands in the air to a ghetto booty call chant.


These switches between the serious, the slapstick and the sensual are also present between her description of her “big gay opening” – presumably purposefully offensive in the way that straight people unknowingly make homophobic remarks, contrasted later in the show with her increasingly graphic description of kissing other women.  More shocking is the confession and following enactment describing a period when (briefly) she used to be racist.  Some of these stories are quite engaging, some less so in this hit and miss… variety show.


My experience of the show was slightly marred by one audience member who was being so disruptive I eventually had to ask her to leave.  This show really demands full attention and it was far more rewarding once this had been rectified.  Wand may find it difficult to find an appreciative audience given the fun and campy publicity promoting her show, and the dark jumble of vignettes actually presented.

David McNeil