Kit and McConnel: Pheasant Laughter

| April 7, 2017

Kit and McConnel

Pheasant Laughter

The Pheasantry, London, UK, March 17, 2017

Reviewed by Thanasis Kalantzis for Cabaret Scenes

Kit & McConnel

Kit Hasketh-Havery and James McConnel make up one of the most successful and prolific cabaret double acts in London and the UK. Kit is the singer and McConnel the pianist (who contributed greatly to the chat and to some of the singing) and together they aptly make Kit and McConnel. Their monthly residency at The Pheasantry is always “sold out,” but you can catch them there on various dates through September and, in between, in many theaters and festivals up and down the country, including a yearly one at the famous Edinburgh Festival. You will be in for a treat, for they are the quintessential comedy cabaret duo. They will write comedy songs about basically anything, and will deliver them with perfect timing, really great singing and piano playing, and a helluva lot of thought.

Comedy songs about current affairs are not the easiest to write or perform. They require the sharpest sense of humor that is channeled through an acute sense of reality, of what’s going on “around,” and when they are presented as well as in this case, you know you are in the presence of highly intelligent people. And yet Kit and McConnel’s performance is far from pretentious, as sometimes could be the case in our good old UK. The two guys are keeping it down to earth and accessible for everyone. In that fashion, many of their songs are politically motivated, and the guys’ lyrics are not discreet, they go the extra step to explain. We heard hilarious songs about Trump and his build-a-Mexico-wall intention, Brexit, Putin (Former KGB Head, karate kid, and invader of Ukraine), and Jeremy Corbyn (the colorful leader of the British Labour Party). We also heard their opinion on Nicola Sturgeon (First Minister of Scotland), and they even dared to make a joke at “the Caliphate.” Those are all issues and public figures that, for many people, are on the wrong side of today’s politics, but still, the creative and witty lyrics and the artistic delivery make them easy to stomach even for the most fanatical supporters because they are undeniably real.

On the other side of the comedy spectrum, we heard a side-splitting song about Nando’s (a Portuguese grilled chicken chain) based on ABBA’s “Fernando,” one about how invasive and yet important mobile phones are in our everyday life, and another on how interesting the life of a hypochondriac is.  

Most people dread being in the line of fire of an improvisation session by an artist, but not in this instance. Kit chatted with the audience with ease and comfort, allowing them to be themselves and cherish their funny side, giving the rest of us some good lines to remember.

The show is a huge success, and the constant outburst of laughter is a testament to the meticulous attention the performers paid to entertaining us. You simply don’t want to miss these comic geniuses at the top of their game in this vibrant cabaret adventure. 

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, London, London Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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