Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kit and the Widow - Edinburgh Academy, 23 August 2007

I think they said this was their 25th consecutive year at the Fringe. Anyway, Kit and the Widow are regulars: trhis is the third time I've seen them on the Fringe. Once was very early in their career; the next saw them doing a marvellous version of Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals (which sadly has never made it to record). Tonight was the third (though there was also their role as 50% of the Tomfoolery Tom Lehrer revue revival, not at the Fringe).

K&TW are the closest thing we have nowadays to Flanders & Swann. I'm not saying their material is up to the standard of the very best of F&S, but their best can compare with good F&S, and their batting average is probably about the same. Tonight we had songs that were all new to me at least. "Alex Salmond's Ragtime Band" was the opener, discussing the composition of the new Scottish government. A wicked version of the Peter Sellars/Sophia Loren classic "Goodness Gracious Me" imagined a conversation between a traffic warden and an Islamic doctor of undetermined nationality: when you remember the refrain of the original the joke should become obvious. (And they had a lot of fun comparing the political incorrectness of their parody and of the original...) A rendition of Tom Lehrer's "The Elements" provided the excuse for some 'upstaging and bickering' humour. Songs about gipsy romance (illustrated by the far-from-romantic real-life gipsy lifestyle), the difficulty of finding a plumber in Poland: I'm in danger of making them sound like a musical Bernard Manning, but they really are not. Kit Hesteth-Harvey did a wonderful (non-humorous) song about fathers and daughters which would probably have got me to buy their new CD had it been on it. A good deal of byplay about being American = Merkin = pubic wig = bush preceded a song about gun control and the lack thereof (entitled IIRC "Let's Go Out and Kill Some Children") . By way of an homage to Flanders & Swann they did a song about Benjamin Britten, just as full of in-jokes and just as nudge-nudge as the F&S original.

Seriously: very funny, and well worth watching out for if they come to where you are.


At 26 August, 2007 19:03, Anonymous Eddi the Seahorse said...

A few years ago the BBC Proms featured a selection of songs from The Mikado, including "As Some Day It May Happen" I believe that KHH was responsible for the following topical verse for the Little List carried round by The Lord High Executioner:

"The children who can't speak without a Walkman on their head,
But can e-mail, text and download without getting out of bed..."

BTW, I recently met up with a long-lost cousin who once worked as nanny to KHH's offspring!


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