John Hunter was an Eighteenth Century anatomist who boiled down human bodies to reveal their skeletons, stalked the famous Irish giant Charles Byrne then paid grave robbers to steal his body from his coffin so he could study it, and who tried to persuade Haydn to let him operate on his infamous nasal polyps. So, the perfect subject for an hour-long comic musical history lesson.
We Are Goose chose to illustrate Hunter’s life’s work through a selection of bizarre props (two audience members were inveigled to pelt each other with biscuits to re-enact the Bourbon war against Spain, in which Hunter was a field surgeon... I think) and tenuously-linked back catalogue songs including one in which singer Tim Kennington wonders what it would be like if he cloned, and subsequently embarked on a relationship with, himself.
They even threw in a song written for the show about a hypothetical (17)80’s detective duo, Cardamom and Pips (“one’s a detective, the other’s an ape”) which guitarist Rich Hughes, who plays the long-suffering serious musician to Tim’s simian insanity, interrupted when it transpired that Pips was an ape. There are definitely elements of Tenacious D’s odd-couple who are united by a musical vision, combined with the darker Boosh-esque universe which Tim Kennington clearly inhabits.
The animal allusion was relevant, though, as John Hunter kept a menagerie which must have been the envy of even the notoriously animal rights-unconcious Georgians, and which was brilliantly revealed through a rapid-fire musical number for which the chorus was “You say you’ve got pets, well woopdy-fucking-do”, followed by a list of Hunter’s exotic acquisitions, including a giraffe (known then as a camelopard) carcass which he sawed the legs off to fit in his hallway.
The shambolic charades kept the show bouncing along frenetically, with no small amount of staged banter between the duo, who obviously struggled to confine their imaginations to the restrictions of reality, despite the unbelievable antics of their subject. Whilst they made a joke out of their budget props, We Are Goose also made it clear that if given financial backing it would take a lot for their creativity to become the limiting factor in their bombast.
Posted: Wed 15 August 2012 Total Views: 382Views Today: 2