“..a show packed with wit..”
Kit Hesketh-Harvey and James McConnel are old friends and worked together in the 1980’s on Vivien Ellis Award winning musical ‘Orlando’. Not long after, the pair were invited to study Musical Theatre with Stephen Sondheim at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. James also wrote for Kit and the Widow and tells me he “..always had an eye on the Widow’s job..”. Well, now he’s got it. After 30 years, Kit and the Widow (Richard Sisson) have gone their separate ways and this show was initially put together for the Edinburgh Festival.
Kit and McConnel opened their piece ‘In Cabaret’ at The Crazy Coqs last night and it was, needless to say, very different fare from the usual Crazy Coqs show, with their up-to-the-minute wry sideways look at current political and social morès.
It is similar in format to Kit and the Widow with a collection of amusing lyrics written and for the most part delivered by Hesketh-Harvey set to a musically interesting variety of tunes, and inevitably, some work better than others. There was a swipe at Jimmy Saville, a very funny dig at Nandos and a song theorising on all the scissors etc confiscated at airports.
There was one serious note with a touching song about an acquaintance known to Kit who was blown up in Afghanistan questioning “…how does this end?”
Of course, the mood was never going to be allowed to stay sad, and hilarity was soon restored with a wonderful musical improvisation on an audience member’s name by James, and in a show packed with wit, other standout numbers were a biting satire on Nick Clegg and the LibDems, a song on the ‘wrong Milliband’ set to a soft swing and a great Noel Coward-esque cha-cha called ‘Get A Room’. I also loved the sing-along on Berlusconi .
This new partnership is already gelling well, and it will be interesting to see how the act develops over time. With James’s classical training and musicianship, I can see more jokes of a technical musical nature on the scene, which could indeed form a stamp unique to them.
This is a fun night and you should definitely go and see itrong>.