Edinburgh Fringe 2018
Mary Higgins and Ell Potter return with an update to their previous show, Hotter, where they have gone out and about finding out what makes a vast array of people from 11 to 97, hot. There are flashes of genius in lypsynching, monologue, dance, how to orgasm off a tiny cliff and what the entire process taught you before we dance. We all dance.
Be prepared to dance. This is what the joy of theatre is all about – taking the embarrassing, taking a risk and just pushing for it. There is little doubt that both Mary and Ell have enjoyed the way in which their research and exploration has led to marvellous material that may be hung up on what a 97 year old said about sex and bodies and history but is actually about celebrating the human condition. It is about how two people found each other, got close, redefined their relationship and blew away societal norms to be still onstage comfortable in their skins and dancing with them on display.
I loved this and though I did not get up to dance, my feet tapped and I felt part of it – and I am a 53 year old straight man!
The way in which they present their work has theatre at its heart and they have a connection with each other that makes in particular, the lip synch work, which is hard to watch without doing yourself a mischief. There are the dance sections which are sheer joy and out there is a boundary where they might have put their toes up against before they kicked it into touch. It is all there and boundaryless – orgasm, masturbation and voiceovers. Real people’s voice and thoughts strung together in a tightly structured anarchy that allows insight to dribble out from each section. It positively throbs from the stage as we get wave upon wave of revelation that take us from the seat to the higher positioning of the stage.
The best piece and the most creative for me was when they used voice over to tell us about dance. We heard people describe a celebration and they mimicked it onstage. They then went off and returned with a familiar sound track and had put the work of their interviewees together in a celebratory end dance leading to getting the rest of us – into it!
By the end of it all the audience are onstage and the feeling of euphoria that these two have in their performance is a massive onstage orgasm of creativity. There may be few trained in the Fox Trot, more likely to do the Funky Chicken, but few hiding their lights under a bushel – what a delightful sight – as the boundaries are long forgotten.
What could possibly happen next after (Even) Hotter? Hotter Still? Whatever it may be you get the feeling that female comedy duos just got pushed to one side to make room for what might just be the best female comedy duo to hit the stage since a certain Ms French and Ms Saunders.