Frisky and Mannish

This article is from 2009.

Frisky and Mannish

Pop song parodies and mash-ups from anachronistic vocal duo

Popular music is a serious matter, with the risk of ridicule for those who don’t know the Sugababes from the Sugarcubes, and Flo Rida from Tinchy Stryder. Luckily, singing duo Felicity Fitz-Frisky (Laura Corcoran) and Hansel Amadeus Mannish (Matthew Jones) have made it their mission to educate the masses through the time-honoured teaching method of the parody song.

Corcoran reveals that these two classically trained, yet ignorant of modern culture, characters have ‘found something different in pop music that people have never found before … the true meanings behind pop songs.’

From the four founding fathers of pop to the correct answer to the equation Kate Bush + Kate Nash = ?, they uncover these hidden meanings, plundering material that schizophrenically jumps from music hall to girl band and rap to opera, often in the same number.

An appearance in the line-up for cabaret show The Devil May Drag You Under at the Brighton Festival Fringe in May led to filling a pull-out slot with School of Pop, with the show being nominated for Best Cabaret and Most Groundbreaking Act. Bringing it to Edinburgh for a hectic month of nightly shows and daily slots on cabaret bills, the pair will head off straight after their final show for a turn on the main stage at Manchester Pride on 31 August.

Jones suggests that pedagogical sobriety rather than showbiz excess will be the best way to survive it.

‘We’ve both done the Festival before in different guises and we’ve done it in that very student way of being 24-hours drunk and screaming in bars and clubs. It’s going to be more like we’re doing a run in a theatre for a month and being very clean living about it.’

Which is probably the most important lesson anyone can take away from the Fringe.

Underbelly, 08445 458 252, 8–30 Aug (not 18), 9pm, £6.50–£10.50 (£8–£9.50). Previews 6 & 7 Aug, £6.

Frisky and Mannish's School of Pop

  • 4 stars

Pop music is extremely dangerous. It lies. We are not fooled. It's time for re-education. 'White-hot ones to watch' (Time Out). 'Extraordinarily gifted, astonishing performers' ( 'A smidgin of fun' (Times).

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