Culture, Entertainment, Manchester, Review

Theatre Review: The Marriage of Kim K @ The Lowry

0 138

By Elena Richards Coldicutt

Photography: Mark Russell


If you get your kicks watching Keeping up with the Kardashians (seek help) or have ever wanted to go to the opera but fear you’ll nod off due to multilingual ineptitude, then this is one for you.

Award-winning and critically acclaimed leo&hyde’s ‘The Marriage of Kim K’ is a genre-defying, cultural concoction of opera, pop and rap. From the outset the performance was captivating. How could it be possible to intertwine Hollywood wish-wash with wonderous, white wig composition?

Amanda (Rebecca McAuley) and Mike (Jack Harauville) are a couple whose love blossoms over their passion for film and television, and they find themselves arguing… Over what to watch on television. The musical flicks between illuminated neon orange and purple life-size TV screens, satirical songs and technical issues.


Mike (Jack Harauville)

Often the lighting was out of sync with both the music and the acting. The illuminations when ‘flicking between TV channels’ made the production feel like a Gogglebox episode from 2011, in the middle of nowhere, with a picture delay. The play is essentially themed around Gogglebox, with a running commentary from the young couple throughout.

Amanda and Mike watch a dim-witted, muscular Kris Humphries’ (Ben Storey) 72 day marriage to an accurately portrayed Kim Kardashian (Megan Postle) unfold, and to Amanda’s frustration, an irksome Mike introduces her to the world of Count (John Ieuan Jones) and Countess Almaviva (Charlotte Trepess) from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. For the duration of Act 1, they switch channels between ballgowns and celebrity frowns until Mike surprises Amanda with a virtual reality 4K TV.

The performers seemed to compete to be heard over conflicting microphone levels, and in scenes where an accurately nasal Kim bursts in to rap, (which resembles beat-boxing rather than words) the bass of the music overpowered the vocals, creating what could only resemble a karaoke night at a bassline venue.

The operatic talents, however, are phenomenal. If there’s one thing that leo&hyde got right, it’s the hilarious and emotive harmonics performed by the Count and Countess, whose acting and vocal skills are a credit to the company and Mozart’s composition, however accurate the translation.


Mike and Amanda (Rebecca McAuley)

Leo & Hyde successfully and wittingly ‘translated’ The Marriage of Figaro into a modern English exchange, where the context mirrors that of the Kardashians – affairs, parties and cliché innuendo. By the end of Act 1, there had been many a humorous play on words, however, during some moments it feels as though the play should have fewer words from the main couple involved… But if cheesy romance is up your street, you’ll nonetheless indulge in the music and drama.

However, Act 2 brought a refreshing, and unexpected twist. The change in Caitlyn Mawhinney’s set design screamed like Kim’s Instagram for your attention, and it succeeded. The music was gripping, the breakup song is heartbreaking and the production finally allows the audience to invest in and attach themselves to the couple’s story.

There are some nods to The Marriage of Figaro – Kim’s phone pin is K492, the chronological number given to the composition by Mozart, and the dialogue is both amusing and intelligent, despite being a part of what might originally seem like a predictable, cringe-laden plot.

All in all, ‘The Marriage of Kim K’ features a brilliant concept, with catchy songs and well-timed jokes. It succeeds in telling its story and breaks boundaries with uncategorizable, original songs. Perhaps it just needs to be tidied up a bit, possibly like the office of the Kardashian’s divorce lawyer.

About the author / 

aAh!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Andy Burnham Grilled Over The Use of Stop and Search on BAME Communities in Manchester

    Manchester Metropolitan University hosted a discussion on ‘The Effects of Stop and Search’ by EQUAL, a criminal justice group supporting racial equality in the criminal justice system on 14th January. Joining the panel was Mayor Andy Burnham, who agreed that stop and search powers in Manchester are being used in a discriminatory manner. Andy Burnham…

  • Film Review: Little Women Is a Classic Tale for the Modern Age

    Greta Gerwig first marched onto the directing scene with her 2017 film Lady Bird, earning great success and critical acclaim for her depiction of the mother-daughter dynamic. Gerwig has now shifted her focus to the bond between sisters in her new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s literary classic, Little Women, following the lives of the…

  • Live At Leeds 2020: The Top 5 Acts In the Line-Up You Cannot Miss

    With January’s winter blues heavy upon us, it’s time to start looking ahead towards summer. Live At Leeds is coming back with a bang to Leeds city centre on the 2nd of May 2020, boasting headliners such as indie heavyweights DMA’s and alt-rock staples Pale Waves. And if that’s not enough to seal the deal,…

  • Preview: JOHN (TIMESTWO) @ The Deaf Institute

    Crystal-Palace duo JOHN (TIMESTWO) are set to headline The Deaf Institute in Manchester next Wednesday, bringing along the energy and vigour that they are known best for with their savage punk-influenced alt-rock style. JOHN comprises of drummer and vocalist John Newton and guitarist John Healey (hence the band name). However, even though it’s just the…