The West

Masters of the pop mash-up
Masters of the pop mash-up

UK cabaret duo Frisky & Mannish have been reverse-engineering pop songs for comedic effect at Fringe World since the festival began, so when it came to planning the year ahead, a third trip to Perth was a must. "It was kind of a no-brainer," admits Laura Corcoran, who is Frisky to Matthew Floyd Jones' Mannish.

Corcoran says the prospect of another pint at Little Creatures or time on a Perth beach was a big drawcard but the memory of being part of the inaugural Fringe World left the fondest P-Town memories.

"We've now come to have people we consider real friends in Perth, and we love the city, so when we were putting together what we'd do this year we thought obviously we'd start in Perth. Obviously."

The pair have been superstars of the international fringe circuit for five years but Corcoran says new show Extra-Curricular Activities marks the "end of an era".

"All of our biggest, flashiest, stupidest pop silliness - it's what we love and it's what we are - but we can't keep doing it forever," she says.

"So this show is defining all the things we love about what it is we do, and all the things we love best, and all the things that our audiences have told us they love best, and putting it all together in one big, really silly show."

However, Corcoran is quick to add the show is more than just a greatest hits romp and contains plenty of new pop reconstructions.

"There were certain artists that we couldn't ignore, like Lana Del Rey, who could not go without comment, so we had to address that. It was a matter of urgency.

"We thought who had been her mentor; who has clearly been the biggest influence on her life, and as we looked at her we suddenly realised she was eerily like the lead singer of that 90s band, the Crash Test Dummies."

While such connections may seem tenuous on paper, anyone who has seen a Frisky & Mannish show will be familiar with that light bulb moment when everything falls into place.

If the current show marks the end of an era, the duo pointed to the future last year when they scripted a darker show for Edinburgh Fringe that examined the works of Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and other members of the infamous 27 Club (musos who died aged 27).

"It was exciting to feel like we could take it in any direction so that opened the door and maybe we'll do something with a bit more grit to it," Corcoran says.

The West Australian

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