“Am I having a gay stroke?” asks Georgeois Bourgeois, one half of extravagant musical duo Bourgeois and Maurice during their gloriously glitzy, colourfully camp and sequin-laced new space opera Insane Animals, now showing at HOME. The line invites a burst of rapturous laughter from tonight’s crowd – but it’s just one of many. The rapid fire pace of whip smart quips and infectiously catchy songs fired off during the pair’s joyous new show – their biggest production to date – make it tricky for audiences to keep up. After selling out HOME’s cosy theatre 2 back in 2017 with their part-cabaret, part-catwalk show How To Save The World Without Really Trying, the duo return with more of the same, this time on an epic scale – filling out the theatre’s airy main performance space with an intergalactic odyssey that aims to serve as an all-singing, all-dancing cure for mankind.

Unfamiliar with Bourgeois and Maurice’s fashion-led brand of topical comedy? Imagine a spandex-clad Flight of the Conchords from space and you won’t be far off track. Having cut their teeth in London clubs and wowed audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe, Georgeois Bourgeois and Maurice Maurice have made Manchester their unofficial home-away-from home, with the city’s leading arts and culture venue supporting and developing their latest and most elaborate production. With a full live backing band at their disposal and enough gleefully scrappy production design to give handmade filmmaker Michel Gondry an art attack, Insane Animals transports viewers back to the beginning of time before whizzing them to an ironic future via a vibrant mix of punchy one-liners and grin-inducing ear-worm songs.

Perhaps more impressive still is the show’s genuine ability to surprise, with its convention flip- well, you won’t find us spoiling anything here. The best parts of Insane Animals are best enjoyed fresh – and with society and world issues remaining a little, shall we say, tense at the time of writing – a heady dose of humour and liberating musical joy feels like the perfect remedy amid today’s unpredictable current climate. That said, if you want to brighten up your week with a bit of Bourgeois and Maurice you’ll have to act fast; their larger-than-life new show disappears back into space on Saturday 14 March, at which point all we’ll all be forced to face up to reality once more. To be honest, we much preferred the gay stroke.

Fri 28 Feb - Sat 14 Mar, 7.30pm, HOME,
2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN
, From £15, 0161 200 1500
Simon Bland
Published on:
Wed 11 Mar 2020