What happens when Bourgeois & Maurice, an alt-cabaret act that purports to dance like disequilibriated dromedaries, takes to the stage of one of the country's foremost dance venues? Matter, meet anti-matter.
Their latest show, Can't Dance, follows on from this summer's Shedding Skin at the Soho Theatre. We were glad to see that the more refined surroundings haven't blunted the material or the antics. They've kept the best songs from the last show in the poignant paean to prozac-like Ritalin and I Will Out-Outfit You, the winning song at this year's Alternative Eurovision and both are still annoyingly catchy. Accompanied by a dance described as "an erotic ballet inspired by the Inland Revenue," a new number about taxes echoes Julian Clary's famous five-finger salute to then-Chancellor Norman Lamont, this time aimed at George Osborne.
Both performers look fantastic throughout in both senses of the word. Words can't do justice to the costumes, designed by Julian J Smith. Maurice Maurice is destined to be labelled "that bee-hived brunette beauty behind the piano" while her brother, Georgeois Bourgeois, is the livewire frontman with his lyrical flights of fancy and fanciful costumes; the first looks like he has been tarred and sequinned and is followed by three more including a multi-coloured feather poncho and a funky twist on the standard Father Christmas outfit; we don't think you'll find a camper Santa this side of the North Pole. Costume changes are covered by short video clips showing Bourgeois & Maurice taking dance advice from the likes of ballet dancers, breakdancers, legendary avant-gardist David Hoyle and finally Sergei Diaghilev in cartoon form.
This is another blistering good show which builds on their previous work to take Bourgeois & Maurice to new heights. We were glad to see Maurice Maurice take a larger slice of the limelight this time round and can't wait to see what 2011 brings from these two.
The show continues at the Lilian Bayliss Studio until 23 December. Tickets are £15 and are available with more information from the Sadler's Wells box office or online. An age of 16+ is advised.
See below for some idea of what to expect:
We spoke to Bourgeois & Maurice in 2008 when they were performing at the Royal Academy. This is what they said.
We liked their Shedding Skin show, we really did.
There is a Sergei Diaghilev exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum until January 9.