The Marriage of Kim K

Sugary pop meets classical opera in Leoe and Hyde’s The Marriage of Kim K. Fortunately, the merging of two such contrasting genres feels less like a collision and more like an unconventional blend. This remarkable musical brings a couple’s argument to life by presenting it as a war between their television preferences. Amelia, played by Amelia Gabriel, is a lawyer who loves to unwind from her work-related stress with Keeping Up With The Kardashians, whereas Stephen, played by Stephen Hyde, is a composer who seeks inspiration from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. The result is three fraying relationships on stage: Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, the Count and Countess of Almaviva and, eventually, Amelia and Stephen. With so many conflicts of love all at once, is there hope for any of the couples?

The originality bursting from this fresh young talent is really exciting and marks Leoe and Hyde as a musical duo to watch out for.

Stephen Hyde’s musical score is seriously impressive. Strings and operatic riffs melt seamlessly into the pop melodies, yet they remain recognisable to those who know their classical music. These songs are not just catchy, but clever too. The story and lyrics from Leo Mercer provide most of the show’s humour, particularly when laced with witty satire on celebrity culture. However, much of this is sadly lost due to unbalanced mic levels. The bass line of the music is often booming over the actors’ voices and some performers’ microphones are turned up louder than others. This mostly becomes a problem for the opera singers when their tunes match up exactly with those of Stephen and Amelia. Here, it becomes impossible to hear the classical music and the effect seems somewhat messy.

All six performers are outstanding. Yasemin Mireille enthrals with a spot-on persona of Kim K, accurately mimicking the signature nasal voice of the Kardashian clan. James Edge as the egotistical Kris is certainly the most comical figure of the show. His boyish behaviour is appalling yet hilarious; it is certainly easy to understand why his marriage to Kim only lasted 72 days. Both opera singers, Emily Burnett and Nathan Bellis, are exceptional in their abilities and they provide a perfect classical contrast to the 21st century action. Based on their own real-life relationship, Amelia and Stephen recreate themselves to portray an onstage couple that the audience are absolutely rooting for.

The Marriage of Kim K is certainly like nothing else you will find at the Fringe. The originality bursting from this fresh young talent is really exciting and marks Leoe and Hyde as a musical duo to watch out for. Unlike Kim and Kris, the musical genres mixed here somehow produce a match made in heaven. 

Reviews by Carla van der Sluijs

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Performances

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The Blurb

What do Mozart and Kim Kardashian have in common? Kim’s marriage to NBA star Kris Humphries began with a televised fairytale wedding. It ended 72 days later with a mysterious divorce. This epic failure of love is one of three marriages at the heart of this hilarious and vaultingly ambitious rewrite of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. Three squabbling couples. Three styles of music. One big problem: how to love in a world of differences? Bitingly satirical romp through Mozart's masterpiece. A reminder of the power of love in a divided era. A musical without boundaries.

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