Saturday, January 28

The Failure Cabaret – Underbelly, Cowgate

Stephanie Dodd and Justin Badger’s ‘Failure Cabaret’ was a misguided attempt at comedy which indulged in the standard of American humour with a non-American audience. 

The pair discuss their life together from meeting in New York to accidentally moving to a middle-class white haven to somewhat turbulent and abusive fights they’ve been having (unclear whether this is said in jest or in sincerity).

The music was lively and well written. Their voices: very pleasant to listen to, making it certainly a feel-good show and very easily listening. However, this was subverted by the inelegant humor surrounding abusive within the relationship of the characters, ultimately put down to bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, ultimately leading to deep depressive episodes apropos of the woman. Said to be funny; I deem it not.

The similarity of each of the songs meant the show began to feel tedious, which admittedly was mitigated by the upbeat music. The impressive musical ability of the musicians and the feel -good effect of their music was, however, sullied by the unsophisticated humour which ran throughout the performance.

So, whilst I would not describe this as a musical comedy, it would certainly do as an upliftingly nihilistic representation of life as a performer.

Playing until 28th August,

Reviewer: Natalie Lewis

Reviewed: 18th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★