I’ll admit, when I was approached to review a show that combines Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage to Basketball player Kris Humphries, with Mozart’s famous The Marriage Of Figaro, I was perplexed, yet found it a rather enjoyable and interesting evening.
Set inside the living room of young millennial couple Stephen and Amelia, an argument is brewing over what they will watch on the television that evening. Amelia is a hot-shot lawyer who just wants to relax and watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians, whereas her boyfriend Stephen who is an aspiring musician wants to watch Mozart. Alongside this ongoing argument, we are introduced to Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Kris on stage right, and Count Almaviva and his wife on stage left.
Writers of the production Stephen Hyde and Leo Mercer have created a genius dialogue between the two couples, and that is reflected in the witty and innovative score. Their ability to merge the genres is excellent, and I particularly enjoyed the conflict between Count Almaviva and his wife.
Nathan Bellis is fantastic as Count Almaviva, as he gets drunker and drunker throughout the story his musical numbers become even more comedic. Similarly, Emily Burnett as his Countess has exceptional reactions, making their scenes together a real delight. However, it’s their stellar vocals that really shine in this production, and this operatic style is sensational in contrast to the electronic sounds of contemporary couple Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.
Running in parallel, Yasemine Mireille as Kim and James Edge as Kris bring a lot of humour to the piece as they gradually become fed up with each other. You can almost hear Kim roll her eyes numerous times as Kris’ lack of intelligence and obsession with sex is emphasised upon through his musical numbers. They are funny but soon become tiresome, and I found the portrayal of Kris a little too exaggerated and rather too crude.
Stephen and Amelia’s arguments have engaging moments, but as a couple I didn’t find them completely convincing (which is a surprise as they are actually a couple off-stage). There is a lot of repetition and back and forth, I feel their arguments needs developing and tightening. However, I found the ending very satisfying and as the television characters interacted together whilst piling on the sofa to watch Stephen and Amelia resolve their differences.
Don’t get me wrong, the ideas are strong and the music is brilliant, but the piece itself needs developing in order to really portray the message it is trying to project. Mixing pop-culture with traditional forms of theatre is excellent and we need more of it, but these two elements feel too far away from each other in the production and they need to blend together more to make a flowing piece of theatre.
The Marriage of Kim K impresses with its well-composed score and beautiful live music, it just lacks a cohesive storyline, although there are glimpses of superb dialogue.
The Marriage of Kim K is currently on tour before heading to the Edinburgh Fringe, details can be found here