Jim Higo and Miki Higgins present their double act poetry, comedy and sketch show which is intended to be ‘a satirical look at culture and the arts’.
The duo are visibly tense on stage and seem to be just as depressed delivering their bile-filled material as we are listening to it.
If satire is indiscriminately insulting any famous comedian, performer or artist they can think of then Higo and Higgins have hit the nail on the end. But highlighting the vices of individuals or institutions is only part A. The second, crucial, element is that it should be done by exposing the chosen subject to ridicule.
Sadly Higo and Higgins spit vitriolic hatred for ‘the arts’ without an ounce of wit. On their publicity material they proudly proclaim, ‘we’re not bitter or jealous’ – but they certainly come across as both. In part I think this is deliberate: there are elements that suggest what they’re going for is satire towards themselves as much as anybody else in ‘the arts’. For example Higo constantly interrupts his own diatribes with a very flat refrain of, ‘When will I, will I be famous?’ Sadly they have no chemistry as a double act, no witty punchlines, no wordplay and no amusing anecdotes.
I’m not convinced that even Higo and Higgins know what they are trying to do in this confused and dull show. It’s also clear that they’re under-rehearsed (continually speaking over each other), lack confidence (stumbling words) and alienate their entire audience within about two minutes by showing no warmth and whole heap of hatred. The longer the diatribe continues, the less funny it is. Student actors, community theatre groups, spoken word poets and contemporary artists all come into the line of fire; even the humble reviewer is not safe. The duo are visibly tense on stage and seem to be just as depressed delivering their bile-filled material as we are listening to it.