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

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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)

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