Bourgeois & Maurice: Memento Mori

Attending a Bourgeois and Maurice cabaret show at the Speigeltent on a Bank Holiday Sunday night is the perfect way to ease into your night out, warming up your laughter muscles, in order to ward off an unseasonal winter chill.

A killer punchline which led on from the subject of fisting had the audience in fits of laughter.

The glitter-clad duo opened the show with a new song about ways to die, mortality being the one thing that unites the ‘humansexuals’ of this world. Listen out for a hilarious Amazon Prime reference.

Bourgeois and Maurice performed a number of songs from their 2017 album How to save the world without really trying, which were previously showcased in their 2018 show. Antibiotic Apocalypse is set to a toe-tapping disco backing track, seeing the pair throw some shapes on stage. Chemsex Party is performed to a slowed down beat, bringing a more reflective feel to this subversively decadent crowd pleaser, with laughs of recognition from audience members.

New material was much welcomed into the show. An extended discussion about ethical lifestyle choices and the relative merits of the good-bad binary led in to a killer punchline about testing make up on animals. The moral dilemma of queers attempting to ‘give up’ plastic sequins created much audience laughter. A new song about babies as ‘boob abusers’ makes comedic references to over population, veganism and immigrants from the womb. Maurice showcased a melancholic song about ageing and the acceptance of mortality, and despite being well-received by an attentive audience, she apologised for being ‘a Debbie downer’ and bringing down the energy in the room.

An overly-extended conversational introduction to an old song Dear Santa contained an entertaining reference to the Kinsey Scale for celebrities. Seeking meaning in life through vacuous fame, the duo attempted to locate themselves somewhere on the scale, which was headed up by Beyoncé. The song itself references 2016 as the year of death; our attention is drawn to all the celebrities who lost their lives during that period. This draws a response of empathic acknowledgement from the audience.

Their encore British Values (another 2017 song) was slowed down from its original form. Well-written lyrics brought the house down with laughter of recognition at the hypocrisy of the country’s idiosyncratic nature. During the introduction, a killer punchline which led on from the subject of fisting had the audience in fits of laughter.

Humanity’s desperate search for meaning is explored in the context of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) where being in the moment can be lost when we are glued to our devices. A great joke is made about the handing out of Polaroids of our genitals to strangers being the pastime of choice, prior to the launch of the iPhone in 2007.

Fans who attended the well-received 2018 show Style over Substance may be disappointed by the lengthy conversational pieces between songs, although Maurice’s extended socio-political and philosophical diatribe serves up a thought-provoking perspective on contentious social issues.

Momento Mori may not well-serve die-hard fans, hoping for an hour of new material. Nevertheless, audience members new to the veritable delights of Bourgeois and Maurice will enjoy this subversive commentary on contemporary society.

Reviews by Annabel Pribelszki

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The Blurb

"A philosophicLOL cabaret about the meaning of life" Following sell-out shows last year, award-winning musical satirists Bourgeois & Maurice are back with a brand new show 'Memento Mori' celebrating and skewering life's absurdities. "Witheringly sharp and pointedly British" **** (The Independent).

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