David Cunningham review of #losmicrófonos

Manchester Theatre Awards (Independent informed reviews by the region’s most experienced critics)

Jorge Dutor and Guillem Mont de Palol
Flare 15 Festival
The Royal Exchange, Manchester
14 July 2015 to 15 July 2015
Flare 15 is a festival that is new to Manchester comprising a week of performances from emerging international artists. Advance publicity uses descriptions such as ‘radical’ and ‘cutting edge’ which is a bit worrying as the 2015 Manchester International Festival has, at times, crossed the line into pretension. Thankfully #losmicrófonos is both blindingly obvious and gloriously silly.

Jorge Dutor and Guillem Mont de Palol are Spanish performers but their language is irrelevant as they communicate using only the titles and lyrics of popular songs. This sounds like the sort of thing where the joke will rapidly wear thin yet Dutor and Mont de Palol achieve surprisingly variety.

The show has the feel of a selection of sketches held together by a sense of innocent fun. The duo behaves like children- testing out words without being entirely sure of their meaning.

The style of the show becomes clear only gradually. A performer sings the theme from the film ’Titanic ’with full OTT emotional gestures and it slowly dawns that instead of singing the lyrics he is repeating, with tortured enunciation, the name of the singer, Cleine Dion.

Much of the humour comes from the old favourite of confused pronunciation. A lengthy discussion takes place on the correct way to say’ Purple Rain’ (‘Par-pool rain’). Not all of the humour is innocent; the mimed actions that accompany Kylie Minogue’s name make the speaker’s intentions clear even if his articulation is not.

The humour is not restricted to verbal. Dutor and Mont de Palol gaze wonderingly upwards before speaking the name that makes clear why they are so entranced. The echoing sound of fans screaming the name of their idol is marvelously recreated.

If one is looking for a theme to the performance it might be that language differences need not become barriers but #losmicrófonos is simply a wonderfully refreshing show that raises high hopes for the remainder of the Flare 15 Festival.

Reviewer: David Cunningham

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