Michael Dalley's latest cabaret satire is nothing short of ridiculous. In possibly the most politically incorrect revue of 2012, Mademoiselle has a cast of two bickering manservants and one pianist (John Thorn) who is constantly referred to as 'penis' behind stifled giggles. Both Dalley and Paul McCarthy co-star as nasty manservants who are left alone for the evening, and warn: “you should all be getting nervous with two pricks like us in service”, which basically sets the tone for the rest of this revue.
The hour-long show is packed with musical comedy and interspersed with banter between Dalley and McCarthy. Starting off strong and full of gusto, both men do a remarkable job of being over the top without being overbearing. Mademoiselle explores the idea of 'being someone's bitch' and the resentment that inevitably arises.
Songs such as The Table Manners of the Petit Bourgeoisie and scarily familiar portrayal of The Passive Aggressive Filipino Amway Lady were highlights. With outrageous costumes and props like pink trash cans, it's no surprise that the manservants are at their prime in their most flamboyant moments. Then came Drop Your Jaw and Brett the Nasty Queen From Menswear, the beginning of a lull that arose about two-thirds of the way through. Here, it becomes apparent that the show is lacking in narrative structure, before coming to a seemingly abrupt ending.
Essentially, Mademoiselle thrives in its mocking on everything from debutant balls, table manners to what they find when rummaging through other people's rubbish. These manservants are uneducated, but their snooty, superior demeanour rings true. Despite the lack of momentum in the latter half, it presents a witty, gusty performance that guarantees laughs, provided you're ok with having them at others' expense.
Mademoiselle is currently showing at fortyfivedownstairs until Sunday August 19. For further information or to make bookings, visit fortyfivedownstairs.com