by Joanna Orland
What I love most about this show is how it exudes sarcasm to the point of making a sociopolitical statement. Middle of the Road sees two of the UK’s top cabaret acts – Bourgeois & Maurice and David Hoyle – combine forces in an examination of what it is to be ‘normal’. Through Powerpoint presentations, a panel discussion, a keynote speech and covers of some of the most mundane pop music ever produced, the newly formed cabaret supergroup nonjudgmentally hold a mirror up to society in this exploration of normality.
After years of wasting their lives going against the norm on the performance art and cabaret scene, Bourgeois & Maurice and David Hoyle have resigned to leading a normal life. But the adjustment is not that easy. They must learn how to be normal, and firstly understand what it is to be normal. And so begins Middle of the Road.
In white turtlenecks and Mom jeans, the trio begin their examination of normal behaviours, normal thought processes, normal pop culture interests, through normal methods including corporate style presentations and a soundtrack of Mumford & Sons. And while the subject matter is normal and much of the content is bland, it is certainly presented in the least bland way possible, including through one of the best MOR pop song covers ever to be performed on stage.
Normal mainstream content aside, there are also original songs about the norm (Step to the Right) along with passionate monologues of what it is to be normal that make this show gripping, entertaining and sarcastically poignant material.
Our interview with Bourgeois & Maurice.