Pop music is ridiculous. But that’s what makes it great. The feigned earnestness, the even-more-feigned humility, the big-screen video content designed to make you feel stuff. It’s all a shortcut direct into our hearts and we lap it up because it works and because it’s fun. Laura Daniel and Joseph Moore’s Two Hearts hilariously explores the modern condition via the medium of heavily-produced pop music. But that’s a really wanky way of saying ‘This is one of the best shows this reviewer has seen in over a decade of MICF shows.’
The songs all follow classic banger templates (as the marketing explains, ‘If you are old and/or British, ‘banger’ means ‘song’ now. Not ‘sausage’) – the party-starter, the life-affirming ‘you got this’ anthem, the touching ballad – but they’re all filtered through Daniel and Joseph’s worldview, which is… a little fucked up. A song telling girls they don’t need to wear makeup comes with one certain, very specific exception. And without giving it away, a salute to feminism hits a rough patch when we get to one particular example. A party song turns into a love letter to the late great Alan Rickman. And the show is tied together by the sexual tension (all on one side) arising from a romantic dalliance between the two leads on the night they met.
Daniel and Moore take turns playing the straight man/woman and the goofy one as the balance shifts throughout the show between Laura’s diva demands and Moore’s fixation on that one night, and the duo’s comedic interplay is beat-perfect. And Daniel is utterly fearless onstage, willing to do anything for a laugh, whether it’s physically uncomfortable for her or emotionally uncomfortable for an audience member. And Moore nails the ‘please tell me I’m cool’ urgency beneath the veneer of confidence we see in male pop performers. It all climaxes in a glittery, confetti send-off that left the audience dazed, a little breathless and, as this reviewer overheard from several groups on the way out, planning to see the show a second time to catch everything they missed amid the energy and production.
By Peter Hodgson