Review: Pleasure Seekers at HOME is a”fast paced and frantically funny show”

Pleasure Seekers has been charming audiences by turning everyday things into something off the wall and beautifully bonkers
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The last time that ‘brother and sister’ cabaret stars Bourgeois and Maurice (George Hayworth and Liv Morris)  appeared at HOME in their brilliant show Insane Animals, Covid was hovering and not long after we had to forget about sequins, glitter, gold and hedonism and replace it with Netflix, trackies, and sitting on the couch like The Royle Family.

 

This delightfully off the wall double act are back and they have emerged from lockdown with a plan to seek pleasure wherever they can. And when cynical thoughts enter their heads, they attempt to banish them. It reminds you of what we all do when January looms and we think we have to rewind, reset and become better people.

It is not long before this new found optimism starts to wane because Maurice misses her old self and she cannot commit to this “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” approach to life. Her inner cynic is itching for a Matt Hancock style comeback and it strives to get this upbeat approach to life – out of here.

Bourgeois tries too but he soon realises that he feels similar to his sassy sis. Soon the songs they sing feature the things we fans love and expect, like babies being evil wrong-doers who are taking over the world and replacing us all.

This wonderfully warped approach to life is bought to life in a discussion Bourgeois has with Maurice about a spoof future film project she is toying with; a Marvel-eque Gammons Assemble; a tale of white straight men moaning about their lack of privilege. None of this is hateful, it is playfully perceptive and explores where we are right now.

It is Liv Morris and George Hayworth’s ability to turn the things we see everyday into something off the wall and beautifully bonkers that really endears you. One song about ordering shit off Amazon late at night and getting a hit off the experience really hits home with the audience. It explores the way you skip to the delivery person, as if you are a VIP to the moment when you open the parcel and think WTF have I ordered that for?

Cinemas have become rammed with films featuring a multiverse or metaverse so this is also game for this devilishly funny pair. Everything you see here is relatable.

Liv Morris looms in the background as Maurice but in reality this character secretly enjoys the limelight, reminiscent of Siobhan Fahey flailing around and stealing the thunder from Marcella Detroit in Shakespears Sister.

George Hayworth is the alien lovechild of Jake Shears and Cabaret’s Emcee and his overdone pronunciations never fail to amuse. Jude Christian directs this show with a beady eye on pace and there is not a dull moment, as a result.

Julian Smith’s fabulous costumes give off the effect of peeling an onion, only to find it dressed as a glitterball underneath. And Will Tuckett’s choreography works really well with the personas of this not so gruesome twosome, who have a clear CBA attitude when it comes to doing too much, in terms of exercise.

Emma Bailey’s set design becomes suitably adorned with crap that the two don’t want or need and resembles many front rooms on Boxing Day.

This is a fast paced and frantically funny show and it proves that Bourgeois and Maurice are a sequin encrusted jewel in HOME’s crown. It’s as camp as Christmas with Liza Minnelli but offers you a great alternative to sweet saccharine filled shows which we see so much of at this time of year.

After Saturday’s show the duo reported on Twitter  that Borgeois was violently assaulted in his hotel when they both got back.

This is proof if ever we needed it that whilst we run to a show like this to laugh and escape, that sadly homophobia still exists, as do hate crimes. The incident has been reported to the police and we hope that this talented duo are both okay and we wish them well and long for their next visit to Manchester.

Pleasure Seekers has now completed its short run at HOME as part of their Christmas season.

But there is still much to enjoy for film and theatre lovers, including MatildaIt’s a Wonderful LifeMuppets Christmas Carol and There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom & Other Stories.

For further details please click here.

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