Coming Out Of My Cage
(And I've Been Doing Just Fine)

The Pleasance Theatre has a strong connection with the Edinburgh Fringe, and its website says it’s been at the heart of Fringe theatre and comedy since 1985. This makes it the perfect place to host this quirky and fun show, which squeezes every ounce out of the famous – no, infamous song ‘Mr Brightside’ by the Killers.

Tim and Hannah (Shepard Tone Theatre) start the show, literally coming out of a cage centre stage, and the from that moment we know we’re in for a fun evening. To say they have a love for the song would be a serious understatement. They are obsessed!

In the hour we are together, gathered around cabaret tables, we are really treated to a whole variety show containing facts (‘Mr Brightside’ hasn’t left the charts in over 20 years, and is played 99 times every minute!) singing (including a rewriting of the song taking a particular angle on the music video), video montages of a journey/quest, live instruments and an interpretive dance section where each movement reflects a line of the song. It has to be seen to be believed!

The focus of the show is the journey/quest that Tim and Hannah embark on to find a karaoke singer who sung ‘Mr Brightside’ every week for a number of months in the same pub, posted their performances on YouTube, and then stopped. This is where the obsession that the duo has with the song becomes even more apparent. The way they investigate and work out where this singer performs is nothing short of genius, funny, if not bordering on the psychotic! It’s a journey worthy of Monty Python’s quest for the Holy Grail!

The audience is invited to join in their obsession, participating in ways, equally touching (introducing ourselves to other audience members) and bizarre (throwing an apple at Tim at random points!). What makes this production unique in every sense is when we watch real video footage of a Wake in a pub in Ireland, paying tribute to a man who sang the song in question on numerous occasions. We are invited to share what song people would sing to remember and to write that song down. At the end of the performance they’ve taken all of our songs and made a unique playlist just for this audience.

At the end of the hour, I realise that I’ve laughed, I’ve been moved, I’ve met some new people in the audience, and I’ve been taken on a incredibly silly, fun, immersive journey. Also, I can’t get the song out of my head, so thanks for that! (You’re singing it now, aren’t you!)

To misquote another Monty Python moment, this is an hour of theatre that leaves you on the Mr Brightside of Life (sorry about that!)

This show was reviewed on the 15th May 2024 at The Pleasance Theatre, London where it runs until the 18th May 2024.  Tickets available here: Coming Out Of My Cage (And I've Been Doing Just Fine) | Pleasance Theatre Trust

Review written by Ian Worsfold


Photo credit: Alex Brenner

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