Edinburgh Fringe 2016
Flossy and Boo are a charismatic and completely charming duo whose Curiosity Cabaret mesmerises and delights in equal measure. These circus-escapees are equipped with ukuleles and a magic hat with which the audience are invited to steer the show, and they juggle tongue-in-cheek songs with audience participation and awkward phonecalls. It’s a beautiful mix of curious things, with you as the audience at the heart of this heartfelt show.
This is indeed a curious cabaret…what songs! What hair! What an out of season reindeer! Flossy and Boo (known in other lives as Anja Conti and Laura Jeffs) are playful, distinctive characters. Flossy runs the show, mothering Boo while preening her glorious pink locks for the boys (and amusingly shifting them out of the way when they interfere with her ukulele playing). In contrast, Boo’s well-meaning enthusiasm is infectious (and her freckles adorable). Both irresistibly likable, they complement each other perfectly.
This is a show packed with new material that hits the spot. Their songs span a variety of topics from contemporary politics to Flossy’s ex-boyfriends. The duo are an engaging mix of cheeky and sensitive towards the audience, variously putting us in awkward situations but then apologising when, for example, they feel the show’s pace has dropped. These are performers who know their stuff and who work to get it right. The moment when they asked a member of the audience to call someone on their own phone as part of the show had me squirming in my chair: not so much because of the outcome (which was sweet and funny) but because when I read the conversation-dictating cue-cards, I couldn’t believe this lovely pair had almost teased me into putting up my hand and make the biggest social faux pas of my life to date.
I admit I was skeptical of the aforementioned magic hat. Audience members are asked to select items from the hat and their choices make up the structure of the show…I didn’t buy it. Of course headstrong Flossy and bumbling Boo would do whatever they pleased, regardless of the item chosen. However when the character of Gillian appeared onstage for the third time almost in a row (I don’t know what they were worried about, I loved her), I shelved my skepticism and bought into the magic. I’m pleased I did, because magic, innocence and a little dash of daring are the ingredients which make Flossy and Boo’s Curious Cabaret a totally unique and entirely endearing night out.