Bourgeois & Maurice, Soho Theatre

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by guest critic Maeve Campbell

Landing onstage in glitzy hazmat suits, Soho Theatre veterans Gourgeois Bourgeois (George Heyworth) and Maurice Maurice (Liv Morris) struggle to start their set. Thank goodness that global warming is just a myth and skins are shed to reveal ridiculous nude allusion onesies. This opening visual gag is a good sign of things to come as Bourgeois and Maurice, reflecting on their impressive ten-year enterprise, are a hoot from start to finish in this seventy-five- minute show.

This weird brother/sister/lover partnership relies on a tangible chemistry between performers. The pair are flawlessly create a sense of intimacy with an audience too, and they are a joy to be in the presence of. Bourgeois is sparky, sparkly and just a little bit bitchy, but it is Maurice’s droll blankness that gets the most laughs. Together though, they are magic.

Behind the charming quirkiness there is biting political satire. In the vein of a greatest-hits show, not all tunes are entirely topical. They are however all so good that it doesn’t matter. Nothing is off limits – we are serenaded with songs purporting the sexiness of austerity, the banking crisis, ADHD medication and chemsex parties. Europe is the show’s dominant theme and the bitter, rousing alternative national anthem ‘British Values’ is a hit.

The pair are lyrically so sharp, and the songs peppered with ingeniously silly rhymes: ‘I
shoulda turned to Buddha’, ‘BBC’ with ‘Operation Yewtree’ and ‘deforestation’ with ‘masturbation’ are just a few highlights. The show also promises special guests, and Ginger Jones’ Disney-inspired take on spinsterhood and flat-pack furniture is a real treat.

Bourgeois and Maurice joke about the alt-left, but perhaps there is a case to made for them as ambassadors for a new cause, which us mere ‘human-sexuals’ would gladly follow. Their tongue-in-cheek stylings are presented with a refreshing lack of cynicism or embarrassment that has clearly garnered them a loyal fan base over the years. The final number, ‘Knickers in a Twist’, typifies their raucous, silly approach to an uncertain and sometimes frightening contemporary political climate. Here’s hoping their next ten years together are as brilliant.

Bourgeois & Maurice runs through 26 August.

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