Melbourne Fringe 2013

Love in the Key of Britpop

1 Comment 04 October 2013

Engagingly poetic and enthusiastically told, Love in the Key of Britpop takes us into the world of a relationship forged in musical commonalities. Emily Andersen tells the story of a Brit boy and an Aussie girl, evolved from drunken stairwell escapades at a New Year’s Day disco into a repetitive, occasionally broke and progressively unhappy marriage.

The one-hour, one woman spoken-word performance is absolutely engrossing – you hang onto every one of Andersen’s brilliant Britpop references, each one serving a purpose and not ever excessive. It flowed like a masterful epic, interspersed with equal parts rhyme and wordplay, building you up for tense emotional ventures where verse and irony don’t belong – where there is only her Brit boy and his resentment of her beloved London.

While Love in the Key of Britpop had the potential to be more universal – to provide a commentary on getting married for a citizenship, entering a marriage so young and longing for a city that is not your native – it stayed within the confines of the Britpop husband and wife, who seemed more or less commonplace, save for slightly quirky music tastes and clichéd dark pasts that are touched upon briefly. I found myself yearning to know more about the Brit boy, wanting to fall in love with him like our protagonist had done so swiftly. We didn’t hear much about what could have led to their inevitable demise; instead, the audience is subjected to uncomfortable instances of Andersen awkwardly dancing to Britpop hits for reasons that I am still yet to find.

Despite bordering slightly on the shallow, I found myself absorbed by Love in the Key of Britpop, feeling the joy of a new relationship soaked in sun and drunken declarations of love, the devastation of that painful split and the enduring commitment to Britpop above all else. Andersen’s ability to weave beautiful and structured prose with Albarn, Cocker and Gallagher references is nothing short of brilliant; the building block of a bittersweet venture into what the audience reluctantly comes to terms with at the end of the show – the happiest years of our anglophile protagonist.

Check out the Melbourne Fringe Guide for details.

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This post was written by who has written 14 posts on Buzzcuts.

Alexandra Schnabel exclusively watches high-concept documentaries, arthouse films and Law and Order: SVU re-runs (Stabler era only). She reviews two of three here sometimes.

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