53two (Deansgate Locks, Manchester); Tuesday 4th July 2017
For the benefit of those who are unfamiliar with the latest trends in popular youth culture, ‘Kim K’ refers to Kim Kardashian – a modern day American folk legend, a true icon of our times. Kim K is a hugely popular feminist trend-setter with millions of admirers all over the internet. It is a statistical fact that 99.373672% of young people in America follow her every move, so much so that foreign news channels like the BBC and Al Jazeera refer to her as a “community leader”.
The marriage being referred to in the title of the performance is Kim’s second, where she wed fellow celebrity Kris Humphries, but divorced him after only 72 days. She said that there were irreconcilable differences, but he said that she just married him as a publicity stunt to make money, but then she said that she did once love him but that she didn’t anymore, but he said that was bullshit because why else would anyone release a new perfume for their wedding and broadcast it all on TV if it wasn’t to just make money, but she said
“you knew when you agreed to marry me that this is what I do, it’s part of the struggle that made me who I am”,
but then he said
“that’s bollocks, why don’t you just admit that this is all about the fact that you’ve got an arse the size of a basketball court and you love showing it off”,
then she smashed her glass of Prosecco on the floor and said
“at least I make my money properly through actual talent and a battle against perceived adversity, at least I’m not some lanky twat who just bounces a ball around a gymnasium”,
but he said that he’d worked hard to get where he was and he wasn’t going to stand for this bullshit, but then she got really angry and said that he needed to get more in touch with his emotions and that he never, ever talked about feelings and stuff like that, at which point he told her to just piss off and leave him alone so he could watch EastEnders in peace but he wasn’t really taking any of it in because deep down he knew he struggled with emotions but he knew it was too late for him to admit it.
It was a tragic end to a loving marriage that had been so genuinely built on the solid foundations of mutual understanding and loving fulfilment. But, sadly, these things happen.
Thankfully Kim has moved on. At the time of writing she is married for a third time and is now blessed with children who are fondly named after a compass bearing and a 60’s crime-fighting TV character.
Six years on from the end of Kim’s tragically short-lived romance, Manchester-based Leoe & Hyde present their extravagant offering The Marriage of Kim K as part of Manchester’s 2017 Fringe Festival. The result is a surprisingly entertaining spectacle – one which seeks to raise awareness of all that Kim K went through, and how those issues can affect ordinary civilians as well.
The Marriage of Kim K is inspired by an opera written by Mozart two centuries ago called The Marriage of Figaro, and even though people should just give it a rest after all that time there are a whole bunch of anti-Kardashian extremist intellectuals who keep banging on about opera. So Leoe & Hyde have taken the Mozart original and merged it into the story of Kim K’s second wedding, the result is like some sort of sexually explicit operatic remix, it’s a little bit filthy, it seems to be a bit posh but then it also kind of hitches up its frilly skirt and twerks at you.
The performance is sung out loud in an operatic style, with huge enthusiasm and energy. The accompanying music is provided by a small orchestra of young people who look as if they might be true Kim K disciples. The musical performance is excellent and entertaining enough in its own right.
Though the plot roughly follows bits of The Marriage of Figaro, this is still a fresh, innovative and unique manifestation of opera, and thanks to the Kim K connection it may equally appeal to brainwashed young persons who are feeling unloved, as well as to stuffy old fogeys who like opera. Kim K and Mozart may be warring enemies on the cultural battlefied, but this cheeky little production from Leoe & Hyde unites them very effectively.