Bourgeois & Maurice: Pleasure Seekers – Soho Theatre, London
Director: Jude Christian
Cult cabaret, Bourgeois & Maurice, back at the Soho Theater with a hilarious new show, Pleasure lovers. No Thinking is their first rule. It is a show dedicated to hedonism: we are told not to seek depth. The huge llama piñata on stage, for example, doesn’t make sense.
But Bourgeois & Maurice are in a reflective mood. They decide that their previous work was too negative. But Maurice (Liv Morris) with his trademark hive, is going through something of an existential crisis. She no longer finds pleasure in playing and retires behind the keyboard. Much of the show is about Bourgeois (George Heyworth) leading him to have fun. Although he considers himself a piano-based social activist, he is determined to make the fun happen. He tries motivational sayings: “You’re not buried alive”, he insists, “you’re planted!”. It takes her into a fabulous song about her relationship with veganism. He decided to take a break: ‘I’ve been swallowing the same old eggplant for two longs’, concluding ‘I NEED MEAT!’.
Another of the show’s consistently fantastic songs is about her relationship with Amazon: Buying Shit on Amazon. It rings the doorbell. Boxes in familiar packaging are introduced. But it goes even further surreal. A stack of smaller boxes becomes a robot-shaped lover that he dances with. There are more, many more, of these delicious things throughout the show. Maurice is brought back to life with some of the awesome dance routines they are famous for.
There’s a particularly funny section when they decide it’s the interval (where there actually isn’t). They supposedly step out of character, tell us to do whatever we want (“Check your phones!”) and walk around chatting. They crave a cup of tea, so Bourgeois rolls around in a tea cart and they make each other tea while reflecting on life. Revived, they wander to ever stranger shores, at one time sitting beneath twinkling stars in the metaverse. They’re not entirely sure the Metaverse is, but they realize they have a second chance at life and think about what they might choose. There’s a hilarious way to play air-guitar. They quickly come to the disturbing realization that it is more fun to be selfish than to do good.
It’s a hilarious, witty and heartwarming show.
Until April 30, 2022