Earnest & Wilde: Let's Face the Music (and Franz)

Another triumphant show from Ciadhra McGuire and Erik Igelström or, as they’re better known on stage, Earnest and Wilde. A comical retelling of the life and death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, punctuated by jazz versions of pop songs and a few jibes between the pair over historical accuracy.

The song choices for the historical retelling were hilarious

For the full appreciation of this show, your musical taste would have come of age in the early noughties. For those with a more mature ear for music, it’s a pleasant, well-sung, well-performed show with an uncanny melody and a few recognisable lyrics that you can’t quite seem to place.

The song choices for the historical retelling were hilarious and somehow so accurate. Although 100 years separate the love letters of the Archduke and Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love, we get the sense that nothing has changed in affairs of the heart. A particular highlight for a former 'mosher' like myself was the vintage jazz cover of Linkin Park.

Hilarity aside, it must be noted that Ciadhra and Erik are exceptional performers. Ciadhra’s voice was not only reminiscent of an early 20th century jazz hall singer but her range meant that she could belt out the more powerful notes when she needed to. Erik is obviously an accomplished pianist and made it look effortless when multi-tasking with the storytelling. He’s not a bad rapper either.

As they retold the history of the assassination, from planning through to fruition, each person involved was given a place in the spotlight and had a carefully chosen pop song to illustrate their feelings about their participation, whether completely accurate or not. Without giving away too many spoilers, if you’re a fan of Shaggy, you won’t be disappointed with a particular song choice.

Laughing at two people who died in an almost-bungled terrorist attack which kicked off one of the most brutal wars of all time is slightly discomforting, but it’s no different to watching an episode of Blackadder. So, whether its pop music, historical satire or 1920’s cabaret that takes your interest, this show has it all, in perfect combination.

Reviews by Bethan Troakes

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival

BAIT with Live Score by Gwenno and Georgia Ellery

★★★★★
Komedia Theatre

The Maydays: Confessions!

★★★★
Sweet Werks 2, 15-17 Middle Street

Call of Cthulhu: A Cold Case

★★
The Old Market

SHIFT

★★★★
Brighton Spiegeltent

Railed

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

An irreverent musical retelling of the life and untimely demise of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. A peculiar, timeless duo invite you into their parlour to regale you with an eminently amusing evening of bombs, brotherhood and Beyoncé, punctuated by vintage jazz covers of contemporary popular music... and Rebecca Black. "Excellent entertainers" **** (Broadway Baby) "A rare find" **** (Advertiser) "Full of energy, colour and expression" (Stage Whispers) Best Cabaret Award (Adelaide Fringe) FringeReview Outstanding Theatre Award (Edinburgh Fringe)

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets