What happens when Bourgeois and Maurice (George Heyworth and Liv Morris), the satirical alien overlords of cabaret basements, write a full-scale musical? It must have been tempting for the political parody-song magicians to take Home’s main-space commission and deliver a version of their winning formula. Fans of the glam-rock comedy duo would have happily coughed up for two hours of just them, some posher sequins and a keytar without feeling short-changed.
Instead, in Insane Animals they try to solve the problem of death, address the “human-sexual” condition and, most shockingly, write for other people.
Stomping around like school-play narrators from another planet, Bourgeois and Maurice shove us through an ancient Sumerian myth to the current impending apocalypse. The cast is committed and gives powerful voice to the silliest of songs, backed by a multi-talented band of actor-musicians that Bourgeois and Maurice staunchly refuse to introduce (the Forgettables). Michael Hankin’s tinfoil wrapped set and many metres of slash curtain mixes West End polish with seedy drag bar – like Bourgeois and Maurice themselves.
The end result sits between Soho’s answer to Jesus Christ Superstar and a panto directed by Ed Wood. The two know how to write a catchy tune with a sting in the tail. Gay for You has the makings of a joyous Pride anthem, while Thank God takes a pin to the inflated balloon of artistic pomposity.
Insane Animals is ambitious and stuffed with talent – even if the audience has come to see their favourite aliens on the keytar, taking the piss.