Gillian Hardie and Keddy Sutton are living proof of the versatility and sheer hilarity of female comedians. In Scottie Road the Musical, the Scouse duo play Hollister-wearing, be-curlered convicts Caz ’n’ Britney. The comedy they create is hard to define, sitting somewhere between the silliness of slapstick and the sharpness of stand-up. Either way, their humour comes in pairs, being derived more from their interaction than individual brilliance.
What carries this performance is its wholehearted unselfconsciousness.
Such interaction occurs as much with the audience as between the performers themselves. Hardie and Sutton address the audience as fellow inmates, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie rather than one of eagerness to please. Other than being hardened criminals, Caz ’n’ Britney aren’t meant to be threatening. In fact it’s the inclusiveness of their humour that is most winning, their cartoonish idiocy.
Scottie Road shamelessly rips off other prison dramas. It draws clear inspiration from such classics as Chicago, to recent favourite Orange Is the New Black. Many of the musical numbers around which the show is structured are West Endcovers, though they revise their lyrics so cleverly as to be truly original.
As the show’s title suggests, Hardie and Sutton draw much of their comic energy from the banality of the everyday. The crimes they boast of having committed include shoving a £1 ring up a girl’s nose in Primark, a felony which, on reflection, is pretty damn hazardous. In fact, imprisonment may be the most dramatic thing that happens to the pair.
What carries this performance is its wholehearted unselfconsciousness. Sutton and Hardie spend most of the show parading around in tank tops and pants, gradually pushing their physical comedy to the (quite literal) nether regions of the acceptable. Scottie Road is a beautiful mélange of the familiar and the exotic, the mundane and the risqué, one that could only be pulled off by loony toons such as these.