Frisky and Mannish's School of Pop, Underbelly, Edinburgh

Alice Jones
Wednesday 26 August 2009 00:00 BST

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Have you ever wondered what Chesney Hawkes mixed with Coldplay would sound like? Or who would win in a battle of the Kates (Nash and Bush)? Or how the Pussycat Dolls might have turned out if they'd met at the end of the pier rather than in the Viper Room?

All this and more can be discovered at Frisky and Mannish's School of Pop, the most purely entertaining hour to be spent at this year's Fringe.

The camp crash-course in pop semantics is led by two eccentric, and wildly talented, teachers: Frisky (Laura Corcoran), a dominatrix in a silver corset, mauve wig and orange PVC mortar board and Mannish (Matthew Jones), a fey figure with a streak of glitter across his eyes and a giant sparkly crucifix around his neck. Together they delve into the hidden meanings and humour of some well-loved tunes. In an hour where the hits – and gags – just keep coming, there's a spelling bee using anthems such as Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and Tammy Wynette's "Divorce", a lecture on the perils of song-writing while stoned and a compare-and-contrast exercise on Noël Coward and Lily Allen, all delivered with musical panache and spot-on timing.

In essence, it's a one-joke show, but when that joke is delivered so perfectly and in so many deliciously enjoyable pop permutations, who cares?

To 30 August (08445 458 252)

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