Crazy Coqs, London – until 4 July 2015
The cabaret duo Kit and McConnel have only been performing together for 3 years, so this show’s title The Game Is Old dues not suggest themselves. Instead it refers perhaps to their satirical act that contains classic melodies given a modern twist, as they cover contemporary issues with razor-sharp wit. Nominated for the 2015 London Cabaret Award, Kit Hesketh-Harvey and James McConnel make a welcome return to The Crazy Coqs.
From the outset, the sight of the debonair McConnel on piano and the exuberant presence of vocalist Kit commands our attention. A wave of nostalgia for a bygone era in their first number quickly makes way for the crowd pleasing Nandos (parodying Abba’s Fernando) containing some sharp and incredibly funny observations. There Are No Plumbers Left in Poland is satire at its best, as is the very true to the mark Pilates.
Between songs the dry humour of McConnel is evident in his stories, with his virtuosic piano skills proving incredible during the Liszt improvisation game.
A cleverly constructed original playlist is never an easy task, but the beautiful and finely observed second act songs such as All The Things We Never Said and Afghanistan offer a wonderful contrast to the mostly comic elements of the evening’s programme.
Kit and McConnel are seasoned performers who combine their obvious great talent of music and comedy with charismatic and endearing personae. There is room for them to explore their set’s tender moments further, similarly we could hear more of McConnel’s humorous stories with input from Kit. But this show has the power to make an audience laugh from the beginning of a song right to its end and remains a privilege to watch.
In residence until 4th JulyGuest reviewer: Francesca Mepham