Reviewer: Simon Topping
Sophie and Megan, two seventeen year students with a mutual love of 1980s pop icon Debbie Gibson, share their love of the history of horror with us in a slide presentation they have lovingly researched and written together.
Declaring themselves as best friend in song: “Just two girls in a shopping mall, with a mutual love of Tumblr”, as the presentation goes on we realise not all is well in their world together. Megan has been currying favour with the cool girl in college (they have even bought matching necklaces). This leaves Sophie feeling isolated and alone, just like Stephen King’s Carrie, right before she goes crazy and kills everyone. Should the audience be frightened?
Cinebra is a cleverly written and magically performed piece. You don’t need to like the horror genre to bask in its glory. Sophie is a fabulously heightened comedy character, like a 21st Century teenage Dame Hilda Bracket and Megan is played in an exquisitely nuanced way as to believe you are actually watching a seventeen-year-old girl on stage. It is female impersonation at its very best and a great visual spectacle of a show.
Not just the performances but the songs are top notch too, reminiscent of the Flight of the Conchords in places. The audience are asked to sing-along in the Friday the Thirteenth song which has the superbly silly line, “If I’m not mistaken, is that Kevin Bacon?” All the songs are well crafted, with beautifully harmonised voices.
So dedicated are both performers to their characters that they have created a whole universe for them on the internet. The performers, Alexander Joseph and Ro Robertson keep a low profile behind their characters. It is a shame because they are stars in the making.
Runs 11, 12, 16, 18 May 2017 at The Rialto
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