Kim Kardashian’s love life has been set to music by classical composer Mozart to create a satirical musical called The Marriage of Kim K – and its coming to to the sixth Greater Manchester Fringe in July.
In 2011, Kim Kardashian televised her fairytale wedding to NBA basketball star Kris Humphries. 72 days later she filed for divorce. In this brisk, clever and ambitious take on Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, this spectacular Kardashian failure is just one of three iconic marriages to comically disintegrate on stage.
The plot centres on Stephen and Amelia, a real-life couple arguing about what to watch: The Marriage of Figaro, or Keeping Up with the Kardashians? Hi-jinks ensue, with three squabbling couples, three styles of music, and the biggest problem of them all: how to love in a world of bitter contrasts?
And what do Mozart and Kim Kardashian have in common anyway? A surprising amount, actually. The music re-arranges Mozart’s original score while sticking closely to its structure. Each world has a distinct sound: clear and catchy for Stephen and Amelia, slick and electronic for the Kardashians, and grandly traditional for Figaro. All three combine in a show-stopping final number, which sees the three worlds meeting, and then lovingly tearing each other apart. Bending between electronic, pop and classical music, The Marriage of Kim K has the biggest crossover appeal of any musical in recent memory.
Leoe & Hyde are a northern musical-duo who live and work together in central Manchester, writing musicals for the twenty-first century. Inspired by Kim Kardashian, they share the process of creating a musical and putting it on at the fringe in a series called Keeping Up With Leoe & Hyde.
The Marriage of Kim K is accompanied by the live band Echo Chamber, a genre-bending string quartet who recently launched at the Manchester International Festival’s FIMH with a programme approapriately mixing classical with Kanye (Kim’s husband), and have just finished a sell-out solo tour.
The Marriage of Kim will be performed by Leoe & Hyde on 3-4, 10-11, 15-17 July, at 53two in Manchester.
Boris The Musical at Z-arts (27-29 July) features the satirical story of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and songs like I’m talking about Brexit, Posh Lads and BeLeave! But it’s not the only comedy about the EU referendum, Ballot Box (7 and 8 July, King’s Arms) also looks at love and the divisions it caused.
Live music comes from French Boutik, who will be traveling from Paris to join Speed of Sound and The Kite Collectors in a live music extravaganza on Saturday 15 July at The Ruby Lounge in Manchester.
The words and music of Leonard Cohen will be celebrated by The E.P.I. on Saturday 29 July at the King’s Arms in Salford.
Annette Gregory celebrates Ella Fitzgerald with a concert on 8 July at Z-Arts in Manchester, and there is the big brass sound from The Radio Kings on 18 July, also at the King’s Arms.
American band Stones ‘n’ Roses are risking everything by mashing up Manchester’s iconic band Stone Roses, with Guns ‘n’ Roses and the Rolling Stones! They make their European debut on Saturday 15 July at the King’s Arms in Salford.
An even more eclectic choice would be The Door of My Heart from the Mary Magdaleine School of Wisdom on Sunday 23 July at 53two, featuring a wide range of musical styles including Irish, kirtan (ancient chants) and Sufi singers (originally from Pakistan and India).
Drama premieres include Thorn (24 and 25 July, King’s Arms), written by Rochdale-born Tim Keogh, following the story of Steven Patrick in 1970s Manchester as he wrestles with the problems of his own sexuality, supported by his love of David Bowie and glam rock.
This year there are two site-specific dramas. Wood at the Alan Turning memorial in Sackville Gardens (4-17 July) is a semi-immersive outdoor performance of queer theatre about sex, friendship and camping. The Suitcase, The Beggar and The Wind (7-8 July) takes place in Stockport Train Station with all proceeds go directly to RETHINK, tackling the issues of mental illness.
Bleach (12-15 July) explores the life of rent boy Tyler Everett. He knows how to take it like a man; he’s made a career out of it. But on a regular night turning tricks, things start to spiral out of control and he’ll be left questioning whether living in London is really worth the price of rent. Bleach is a darkly humorous, soul-jolting new one man show about sex, violence and city living.
Never Mind the Buzzcocks star Phill Jupitus stages TWO shows – as Porky the Poet in Survivalve (13 July, King’s Arms) and in Achtung! Acting! (14 July, King’s Arms), bringing back the stage legend Vernon Herschel Harley and German WW2 U-boat ace Korvettenkäpitan Kurt Schiffer for an hour of improvised comedy.
Talk Radio presenters Iain Lee and Katherine Boyle invite you to participate in The Rabbit Hole (29 July, King’s Arms), a prerecorded phone in podcast taped in front of a live studio audience. Nothing is planned and anything can happen.
In Anglichanka (2 July), Abi Roberts talks about being the first UK comedian to perform in Russia – in Russian! Abi was a finalist in the London Comedy Store’s Costa Light Comedy Competition in 2012 and won the Audience Award at the 2012 Harrogate Theatre’s Comedian of the Year.
Tickets for the Greater Manchester Fringe 1-31 July 2017 are on sale now via greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk