FRINGE REVIEW – Frisky & Mannish: Pop Centre Plus

*****

They’re back and they’re here to make us work.

After taking us through school and college, Frisky & Mannish return to the Fringe for a third time with Pop Centre Plus. Here, the conceit is to help us all find gainful employment in the world of pop: something they achieve via their signature mix of musical parody and flamboyant cabaret comedy.

To begin with, the audience is sorted into categories, based on our (limited) abilities. Those with ‘cool hair’ are the Razorlights; people who exhibit better dancing skills than singing abilities are obviously Britneys; whilst the style over substance brigade are unceremoniously lumped together as the Biebers.

Once this task is done, Frisky & Mannish proceed to delight and entertain with their self-knowing and clever act, which shows an encyclopedic understanding and love of the genre they make fun of. We are treated to the likes of the eleven stages of Madonna’s career in one song, in a hilarious number which also demonstrates something it’s easy to forget: this pair are accomplished musicians in their own right – able to switch genres and vocal styles as quickly as Lady Gaga changes her look.

Playing to a packed crowd in the Udderbelly, Frisky & Mannish are in their element. Frisky delights in her stern persona, chiding audience members for shouting out and bringing things briskly back to the business in hand. Mannish is allowed more free reign this year, stepping out from behind the keyboard and demonstrating some impressive dance moves in the process.

This – like pop itself – is confectionery, not designed to have any deep message or make a huge lasting impression. Instead, Pop Centre Plus provides an hour of top-quality disposable entertainment, by a pair of performers who have audiences queuing round the block for an appointment at the Pop Centre.

Frisky & Mannish: Pop Centre Plus runs from 7-28 Aug (not Mondays) at Udderbelly’s Pasture at 21:30. More information here.

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