Badger & Kit Write the Best Love Song Ever
Review by Cicely Binford
Brother and sister duo Badger & Kit are cooking up some homespun musical magic with their new Fringe offering, Badger & Kit Write the Best Love Song Ever. Incorporating live music and live art with live theatre, Ann-Marie (Anny) and Michael Biagioni team with visual artist Matthew Hooper to create a unique theatrical experience that sees the siblings explore the highs and lows of love through attempting to write ‘the best love song ever.’
Though Anny and Michael have been collaborating musically for a while (probably all their lives), this is the first time they’ve made a theatre piece with themselves at the center. We’ve often seen Anny onstage with Michael off to the side or in a dark corner accompanying with a collection of musical apparatus, but this is the first time we’ve seen Michael take center stage along with his sister. Together they let the audience in on the dynamics of their creative working relationship as well as their familial one.
They’re trying to write the ultimate love song ahead of an audition for what seems to be a talent contest, a la Australia’s Got Talent, and it’s not going so well. They argue about what a love song should sound like, the feelings it should describe, who it should speak to. We discover that their perspective has been shaped by some rocky relationships, and they’re coming at the project from different angles. They bicker and argue as we would expect any siblings would, and it looks like their partnership might collapse.
Anny always makes an indelible impression when she hits the stage, forever a dynamic and fully committed performer, and though I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her sing before, I was struck again at what a marvelous vocalist she is. Michael‘s novice status as an actor is apparent, but he does hold his own next to Anny, and their close bond is undeniable. Matthew Hooper attempts to keep the peace when things get too heated, and the piece he’s creating behind them all the while is an evolving portrait of the creative pair.
The show is also an intimate, nostalgia-filled portrait of these two, though it may on occasion drift too far into their private sibling world, leaving us strangers somewhat behind. On the whole, they could do with a bit more development to help them focus and streamline the piece even further to make sure they are getting across exactly what it is they want to say. But one thing is clear, they’re absolutely bursting with talent, passion and creativity, and they don’t need to write the best love song ever to share with us just how strong their family ties are.
Badger & Kit Write the Best Love Song Ever runs until Feb 4 at the ‘Injector Room’ at the State Theatre Centre. For tickets and more information, visit the Fringe World website here.