Frisky & Mannish's PopLab (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Frisky & Mannish's PopLab

Seasoned cabaret duo apply the scientific method to the top of the pops

This is Frisky and Mannish's tenth Fringe anniversary, and it shows. From their perfect synchronicity during an improvised jazz rendition of 'Never Gonna Give You Up', to the slick production of their 'experiments', Frisky & Mannish are clearly pop professionals at the top of their game. Setting out to eradicate 'tropical house disease' from the genre (Ed Sheeran is patient zero, naturally), they whisk the audience through a dizzying mash-up of songs past and present, demonstrating a truly encyclopaedic knowledge of pop music and its potential. A Fleetwood Mac and 'The Lonely Goatherd' mash-up? Sure, why not!

Because most importantly, they make it all sound so good. Laura Corcoran's vocal prowess is thrilling, transitioning from a bluegrass drawl to scat with ease. Matthew Jones' comedic timing also remains pitch-perfect, spinning new meaning onto old favourites with a mere tug of the mouth or a dropped whisper. As they tinker with pop music's very DNA, some of their findings are genuinely inspiring, paying homage to the greats but also clearly unafraid to have a bit of irreverent fun. Given their track record, the Pop PhD has never been bestowed upon two more deserving acolytes.

Assembly George Square Gardens, until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), £14–£16 (£13–£15).

Frisky & Mannish: PopLab

  • 4 stars

The duo return with their brand of musical infotainment.