Sometimes in life, we randomly stumble upon things that we can’t imagine what life was like before encounter said thing. We have people in our lives that have made such a difference that we don’t know how we cooed before you met, hobbies that have gotten you through some really tough times and now take over your life. It’s these random finds that make us think “where has this been all my life?” and that’s exactly how the new soundtrack to the Musical “Insane Animals” left me feeling. I am a fan of anything camp and energetic and this cast recording delivers this by the bucket full! My first thought after researching this show and given some of the new tracks a listen as it is an electric and futuristic camp show similar to the Rocky Horror Picture show (which is another one of my favourite films) with the narrator being very simple to Riff Raff and magenta from the cult classic film.
This show comes from the twisted mind of the unique pair “Bourgeois and Maurice” (who appear within the show itself) and directed by Phillip McMahon as two-time travelling aliens try to save the earth from extinction. The story begins in the modern day where the earth is facing a plethora of apocalyptic events and two over-the-top flamboyant and fabulous aliens come down to earth in an attempt to save the earth and in the process need to learn what makes humans. This album is based on the live production that was performed a few times before all theatre was closed, which is very clever in the way it has been developed. Bourgeois and Maurice are the two fabulous aliens who function as almost narrators of the show. Overall there only 8 performers in the cast but you would never realise due to how full and realised the show itself is. At first glance “Insane Animals” is a camp and chaotic show but the more you look so you can enjoy it for its entertainment but the more you look into it the more you realise that it is a deep and clever reflection on human nature.
The opening number “Brink of extinction” contains that excitement and tension that any number should posses. I can imagine the stage being covered in smoke and the performers rising through the floor which is a spectacle I would love to see. This song also contained a lot of comedy which was performed beautifully. There is a moment in the song where a text is revived and all the music stops to represent a great interruption but also there are constant 4th wall breaks where the actors say “we guarantee to save the world or your money back” or when to discussing a character not being on the cast list which was so clever and hilarious on equal measures. The song “Enkidu do do” takes you on a musical journey which so fun of energy which I can imagine was a joy to see live. Lockie Chapman has a voice that any base would be jealous of! His voice is incredible and really showcases this in his song and also during the problem of death. The number titled “civilised animals” contains a lot of strong language and sexual references. My favourite part during this song was where the music was paused as the narrator gave a warning that the musical contains “heterosexual relationships” which was hilarious.
The song “gay for you” is a parody of every coming out story from pretty much every musical ever. The constant repetition of “I’m gay for you, your gay for me, we are gay for each other” was so exaggerated that the humour shone through. I particularly enjoyed the turn-up of the “gay” where the utterances of “yas momma”, “house down boots” and general gay club classic motifs were also brilliantly clever. The whole show is very clever as it does build on historic events. The performance is heavily inspired by Gilgamesh (which is supposedly the first-ever story recorded) and discusses the difference in language interpretation. One of my favourite song on this entire album is “Welcome to today” which runs through all of human history. It discusses historic periods (French revolution to Aztecs etc) to political movements (feminisms and veganism for example) to a rundown of the different gods. The later delivered a hilarious joke about always using a capital H for Him (when talking about gods) but more importantly, we should always use a capital K for the Kardashians. This combination of clever comedy but intellectual influences is the type of message I enjoy.
I did not enjoy the two 43 seconds in this album as I don’t think they were added much to the listening experience. The song “I don’t want to get old” was out of this world! The rest of the songs in this playlist are so wonderfully camp and the song, performed by Lockie, contrasts that flawlessly. This was a very emotional song about the people encounter when they get eg walking with a stick and looking back on the golden age. This song was so powerful and had me in tears which I didn’t expect from such a flamboyant musical. If that was powerful enough, towards the end of the song the characters discuss not wanting to be forgotten and then one popped up with all these only counts if you get that far in life which broke me. I dare anyone to listen to this song without feeling moved by this emotional song! From the title, you would assume that the song “thank god” was a religious-based track but is important for the performers to discuss the backstage politics of theatre. It talks about how the performers are not able to afford mortgages, getting three-star reviews online and begging the audience to follow them on Instagram. This selfish and hilarious song/performance was amazing and hilarious to listen to.
Overall this was a super fun, campy and energetic number with one song being the complete opposite that worked perfectly in the structure of the show. I know that they were planning to tour this show (which was stopped due to the current global situation) but I want to know who I need to contact to pre-book my ticket as I imagine this is even more chaotic when performed live. I would relate this show 5 out of 5 stars abs would recommend it to anyone who loves the rocky horror picture show but wonders what it would be like reimagined in a futuristic, electric show! You can check out the cast album on all music streaming sites from March 1st!