Review: Sugarcoated Sisters: Bittersweet

TikTok stars take on misogyny armed with excellent comedic timing and original songs

cabaret review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Sugarcoated Sisters
Photo by Steve Ullathorne
Published 05 Aug 2022

Musical comedy involving more than one person requires a very specific type of camaraderie and balance to stop it from entering that potential territory of cringe. Though being real-life siblings certainly helps, the Sugarcoated Sisters eliminate this possibility through their very natural and self-assured partnership, which combines idiosyncratic melodrama with straight-faced, sardonic jokes about ridiculous men.

Bittersweet is the story of the sisters’ return to their hometown and their various unlucky exploits in the world of dating. They introduce themselves appropriately with a jingle summarising their main qualities (“We’re sick bitches, we’re the Sugarcoated Sisters, I’ve got bipolar and I’ve got diabetes”), which leads to songs about red flags in ex-boyfriends, toxic masculinity and a demented version of Happy Birthday.

Through their male alter-egos, the Bitter Brothers, they ridicule the laddish banter that results in men determining women can’t be funny, getting the audience involved in their over-the-top, brazen parody of men that like to take down women. Their comedic timing is excellent but beyond that, Bittersweet is a showcase of true musicianship, from Chloe’s effortless plucked guitar accompaniments to Tabby’s dynamic scat singing and fluid double bass lines.

They may be known for their content on TikTok but the Sugarcoated Sisters deserve a live audience and prove that their musical comedy works way beyond the confines of the internet. Who’d have thought that an audience sing-a-long involving the words poo and floppy dick could be so effective.