Coming Out of My Cage (And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine)
If you’ve ever thought to yourself that writing a show based on a hit single was impossible, think again, because that is exactly what Tim Chapman and Hannah Follows, of theatre company Shepard Tone, have done. A clip of a man in an Irish bar putting on the Killers’s Mr Brightside for his departed friend went viral, and that is where the creativity began.
The show is a mix of karaoke, audience participation and Killers fun facts. Concealed in a cage – a nod to the title – Tim asks, “Who hasn’t heard Mr Brightside?” No arms are raised; after all, isn’t a mutual and exuberant love for the track the reason why we are all passionately gathered here today?
It was 2001, “the year of the iPod, double denim, and Shrek,” when Brandon Flowers, lead singer and musician of the Las Vegas indie rock band, wrote the pop anthem of the decade, from debut album Hot Fuss. And what a fuss it was, the single remaining in the UK charts for 16 years.
Hilarious renditions of the song follow, the team changing every word to suit the music video. Countless memes can be found online, including one featuring Flowers emerging from American actor Nicholas Cage. Tonight’s comedy duo claim to have watched every cover of Mr Brightside; when one of the channels they follow stops uploading videos, the pair decide to investigate. (Research reveals that the videos were created by Follows and Chapman purely as the basis of the show.)
Laughter ensues as the double act makes its way to Brampton, searching for a female karaoke singer and visiting British towns on the way. Audience interaction is introduced when they ask to point to someone we know, don’t know and would like to know, an entry point for a potential date for some. Sectioned into chapters with titles taken from the lyrics, the show sees the track adapted into different and highly entertaining forms, proving its incredible versatility.
Keeping things perpetually light and full of laughter, Chapman and Follows have a great rapport, and certainly know how to keep their crowd entertained, dancing away with the audience, while Mr Brightside plays as the timeless and euphoric classic it is.
Photo: Alex Brenner
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