Frisky And Mannish: Extra Curricular Activities @ Assembly Hall
Since 2008, Frisky & Mannish have climbed the glitter trail to stadium pop via the Fringe - they have earned their stripes.This is their greatest hits package. They know the transformative power of a pop anthem and how you can project anything you wish onto it, for good pop is as malleable as Play-doh, and as smart as the invention. However, they also understand the vacuous, hyper-sexualised crap served up to kids in music videos, parodying Pussycat Dolls' Beep in the finest segment, wherein bump 'n' grind becomes Victorian vaudeville. Made In Chelsea also gets a well-aimed stiletto heel. True theatricality is where they excel, mimicry is their forte; both have fantastic voices, looks and charisma.
Laura Corcoran's Frisky is the ultimate diva: one part dominatrix to two-parts school marm; Matthew Floyd Jones' Mannish is more than her bouncing foil and their sardonic banter is slicker than ever. Kate Nash doing Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights is picked out from the back catalogue and remains as brilliant as when it first sashayed - however, being a retrospective means some material isn't as strong. We could have done without The Proclaimers tribute or Spice Girls dance routine, but the duo know how to work the crowd to near-hysteria.
The grime masterclass is also very funny - Mannish trying to pull urban shapes and Frisky's flustered ''oh gosh, Karen Carpenter doing grime?" betraying their nice middle-class backgrounds - two people knowing they will never really be cool, but being cooler for that very fact. The frenzied finale is a bunny boiler medley (more barbed early F&M stuff for the purists) and then there's an acknowlegement of show tunes and classical music's influence. Some Enchanted Evening and arias filtered through the rainbow prism of pop? Now that's what I call subversion.