Fun and Filth Cabaret, Edinburgh 2011 (night 4)
Tonight’s show is kicked off by bad girls miming badly. Miming aside, they’re actually a tight dancing troupe. Just thought I’d make that point. This evening our dancers are dressed like schoolgirl sluts. I feel sure this in good taste, just as I feel sure that the ‘Scott and Grimmy Double Act’ will have come to its senses and stopped camping it up. I’m proved completely wrong as our
hopeless hapless pair of presenters take the stage wearing skirts kilts.
This is the last night, and there’s a bit of an ‘end of term’ feel to the show.
Our first act is The Midnight Beast, a threesome of boy rappers who believe (to quote their own rap lyrics) ‘She must be a lesbian’ if ‘she‘ (whoever she is) doesn’t come across and give them loads of sex. Fuck me, I hope this is ironic, but – and I really don’t want to say this – it does not feel ironic at all, just insulting. TMB continue with the ‘She must be a lesbian’ ad nauseam refrain like some kind of pseudo-religious mantra. These three lads must all have been dissed by some discerning females who obviously haven’t been slow to use the phrase ‘You’ve got no chance, tosser, now fuck off’. The highlight (if I can use that word slightly out of context for a moment) of their rap is the rhyme of ‘lesbian’ with ‘thespian’. Yep, that’s the cerebral level of these intellectual pygmies.
Not exactly an auspicious start to the Cabaret, let’s hope the second course is an improvement. And it is! Yay!
Piff The Magic Dragon (and his little dragon dog!) mope their way on to the stage exuding an air of mildly amused faux disappointment. Piff is a comedy magician who does magic stuff. And comedy, obv. After a few propped-up hits, Piff drags a reluctant-looking Megan out of the audience. He proceeds to cause Megan mild embarrassment and entertains us. Megan might not have completely enjoyed the moment, but it made fairly good television.
Next out is Mr Shlomo Mouthtronica who looks like a professional IT nerd. But he’s not. Mr Shlomo is a beat-boxer which means he makes noises with his mouth that sounds like someone has miked a drugged-up Tim Westwood session. But bizarrely, it doesn’t end there.
James Morrison – yes, that one – joins Mr Shlomo on the stage and, to the tune of his hit, James sings headlines from trashy supermarket magazines whilst Mr Shlomo makes percussive sounds with his mouth. ‘I found a willy in a bag of sweets. I got married in KFC. There’s a poltergeist in my pants’, and many, many more. Here’s a thing; James Morrison really can play that guitar. No, I mean really play it. It’s a bit of a unique double-act, but it is surprisingly good entertainment.
Seann Walsh comes out and tells a string of jokes about what it’s like to be a smoker in a smoking-is-banned-because-it’s-going-to-kill-you kind of world. This puddle of unfunniness aside, Seann quickly hit his stride with more widely-shared situations in the fast-food area of life. And anyway, why don’t fridges have windows? (because glass isn’t a good insulator, Ed)
Grimmy comes out and tells us that some people listening to Radio 1 are incontinent. Hmm…
The next bit is the Weird People From The Internet is Phil and Danisnotonfire. Got news for you guys. Neither of you are on fire. In either a physical or a comedic sense. Unfortunately Phil and Danisnotonfire are using internet off of 1996 because their TV picture is worse than shit which, as this is a visual feature, makes the whole thing a big bag of fail.
We get a visual/musical interlude next with the Ladyboys of Bangkok showing us they have greater depth than the Vegas Showgirl routine.
Sara Cox and ‘Comedy’ Dave are announced as the next act. A trainer-wearing nun and ‘8th pirate from the left’ from Pirates Of The Caribbean II run out on to the stage. They tell us their names are Sara Norfolk and Dave Good and together they’re known as Norfolk and Good. Geddit? No fucking good? One has to admire their honesty. For five minutes two Radio 1 presenters prove that sitting in front of a microphone is no substitute for a scripted, rehearsed show. They lead the audience in a kind of community dance-inspired nightmare-from-hell, performing dances from the 90s, 80s, 70s and 60s. It’s really not good. Norfolk and Good. In the real Cabaret world, this act would have been killed to death by hurled beer-bottles long before they had reached their second full minute.
Nick Helm comes out and shouts at everyone. After a while he sings a laughomatic comedy song and plays guitar a bit. He’s good. He’s probably really funny but the truth is my system is still recovering from Norfolk and Good, so poor old Nick not only has to follow the wrong act, he’s on a bit of a losing wicket.
Mat Ricardo does the ‘pulling the cloth from underneath the crockery trick’. Mat looks like a polytechnic lecturer right up until the point he sticks a knife through his arm. Mat needed to have double the time to get even more material in. Let’s kill Norfolk and Good and re-do the whole evening?
Angelos comes out and something happens. I go to the toilet. Sorry Angelos, tonight might have been the night you got it right and hit the funny streak. I doubt it, but it’s possible. But I wasn’t going to hang around to see if you’d turned the tide of rubbish.
So, this is it, the Cabaret ends here. And tonight’s scores on the doors are:
The Midnight Beast: 0/10
Piff The Magic Dragon: 7/10
Mr Shlomo: 6/10
James Morrison 7/10
Seann Walsh: 5/10
Phil and Danisnotonfire: 2/10
Ladyboys of Bangkok: 6/10
Norfolk and Good: 1/10
Nick Helm: 7/10