Holland St Productions are certainly no strangers to Fringe. The multiple award winning team behind Fringe favourites Dr Felicity Rickshaw’s Celebrity Sex Party, Point & Shoot, Falling to the Top, have again brought us a unique, bizarre and hilarious cabaret – What Doesn’t Kill You [blah blah] Stronger.
Billed as ‘a love letter to misfortune, and a tribute to those unlucky (or lucky?) souls who managed to escape’ this 50 minute show features local performers Erin Hutchinson and Tyler Jacob Jones sing, act and dance their way through unbelievable stories of survival. Brilliantly accompanied by Joshua Haines on piano, the three expertly deliver this exciting and energetic original score by composer Robert Woods.
This is one hell of a riotous romp – and they do it so, so well. A few opening night nerves aside this ridiculously talented duo, deliver a high impact performance seemingly without stopping for breath. They are both magnetising and work exceptionally well together. A collaboration that hits all the right notes.
The triumph of this show is the cleverness of the words and music and their seemingly effortless fusion. Alive with numerous styles, from Caribbean to the Deep South, it’s a musical Contiki tour, and it all just works. The songs are fast and intricate so sound quality is particularly vital. Unfortunately I did find the balance problematic opening night. The piano masked the vocal on occasion, missing some of these well-crafted words.
The stories are wide-ranging and the creative team have steered well away from the more well-known tales of survival focusing on the more obscure: A river guide getting swallowed by a hippopotamus…and surviving; a British stewardess surviving not one, not two, but three shipwrecks, including the Titanic; an Alabama housewife getting hit by a meteorite, and living to tell the tale! Add into the mix a hilarious ‘first date, fear of flushing’ moment, and you are guaranteed an evening of laugh out loud moments. The ‘Survival Snapchats’ are inspired!
This truly is wickedly funny, consummate cabaret by a team that obviously love what they do. They are a team unafraid to play and take risks – which makes it all the more an energising and exciting experience.
What Doesn’t Kill You [blah blah] Stronger is playing Downstairs at the Maj until Saturday 17 February @ 730pm.