On the face of it ‘Coming Out of My Cage (and I’ve been doing just fine)’ is a show about a song. ‘Mr Brightside’ for those of you who do not recognise the lyrics, and haven’t had the joy of belting them out at a karaoke night. Tim and Hannah are on a quest. They’ve watched every tribute, fan and karaoke video to ‘Mr Brightside’ that they’ve been able to find on the internet. This is a huge undertaking as this song hasn’t left the UK charts in 16 years. On this mammoth quest, they’ve unearthed a mystery. There is a woman in an unknown pub who would dress up to sing ‘Mr Brightside’, record her performance and post it. After doing this over 20 times, she just stops. Why? Will our intrepid duo be able to get to the bottom of this mystery? How far will they be willing to travel to find the truth? You have to watch the show to find out.
Using a mix of projected a/v content, MANY different instruments, recordings of interviews and anecdotes, Shepard Tone’s show is really how about connection, and the power of music to bring people together. In fact, it doesn’t just talk about people meeting and connecting over a song, it actively encourages it to happen. Our audience are invited to mingle and talk to each other. For those introverts out there feeling alarmed, don’t worry, if you don’t want to interact, there is no pressure to. Just the thought of enforced mingling makes me want to hide in a cupboard, and I was fine. However, there is such a contagious joyful energy to the show that I was dancing come the end. It would have been rude not to. Plus the bouncing about helps with the singing.
I’m really surprised by how much I enjoyed a show about a song. Their alternative ‘Mr Darkside’ should be an instant classic in its own right. It riffs on the original music video in a way that is genuinely hilarious. However it isn’t just a funny, novelty show, there are some really moving, poignant and so very human discoveries shared. While some may talk about music connecting people, this show focuses on one particular song to demonstrate just how true this can be.
‘Coming Out Of My Cage’ runs at Vault Festival until 16th February at 6pm, with an additional 3pm show on Saturday 15th.