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Pleasure Seekers

by on 9 April 2022

Veni, Vidi, Vici

Bourgeois & Maurice: Pleasure Seekers

by Liv Morris and George Heyworth

Soho Theatre and Tim Whitehead, at the Soho Theatre, until 30th April

Review by Gill Martin

If you can raise a raucous laugh over impending nuclear war and the pandemic while simultaneously insulting your audience you are on a winner.

The cult cabaret self-styled super stars Bourgeois (George Heyworth) and Maurice (Liv Morris) are true champions.  In a sea of spangly sequins they launch Pleasure Seekers, putting the fun back into what we now realise is our fundamentally pointless existence.

Their subversive wit and hilarious musical sketches have been hibernating during lock down and now explode in the heart of Soho, at Soho Theatre, Dean Street.

In a brand new show they are on a mission to make life a party, or at least a legitimate works event.

This duo of modern music hall performers — all flamboyant Lycra, harlequin jackets, fluorescent make-up and shiny patent boots (Costume Designer Julian Smith has been working overtime) — set out the rules: No Thinking; No Songs: No Negativity.

They broke all three.   And had us hand clapping in the aisles inside the first five minutes of ninety minutes’ hilarity. 

The provocative pair, with Director Jude Christian, have wowed the Edinburgh Fringe, the world, Royal Opera House, the Southbank and Sadler’s Wells, with regular gigs at Soho Theatre

On a sell-out Friday we were, we were assured, a stylish audience with so many high cheekbones it reminded them of being in Paris — the Catacombs.   

Vegans were fair game for their savage wit.   Tofu and jackfruit were jacked as Bourgeois performed his sausage dance to the lyrics:  ‘I need meat.   I’m horny for meat.’

Next victim on their hate list was Amazon, that on-line delivery demon burying the planet in cardboard.  ‘I just buy shit on Amazon: Das Kapital for £1.86 … a Fitbit … printer ink with next day delivery.

‘Money doesn’t buy you happiness.  It just buys you loadsa stuff,’ warbled Bourgeois, so skinny he barely cast a shadow under strobe lights.

As for social media and the quest for constant validation … don’t even go there.  ‘Instagram.  Tik Tok.  Wordle.   We are in the Metaverse.   It’s something to do with Nick Clegg’.   Their mantra was ‘every silver lining has a cloud’ so we were urged to embrace negative thinking among the fluttering blow-up puppets of Pessimism, Cynicism and Nihilism.

What’s the point in democracy?   Wasps?  Pigeons?  Foie gras?  Geese?

Despite the best (or worst) efforts of Bourgois and the beehived beauty of Maurice they couldn’t take the joy out of their Seeking Pleasure.   They Came.   They Sought.   They Conquered.   And left us gagging for more of their special brand of seditious satire.

Gill Martin, April 2022

Photography by Peter Fingleton and Holly Revell

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