The Hungry Bitches’ performance of their musical Facehunters last night demonstrated their unmistakeable enthusiasm and passion for musical theatre, and exhibited an admirable level of commitment and hard-work from all involved. The singing and dancing were both executed with a commendable degree of talent, professionalism and creativity, although the performance was greatly let down by technical difficulties resulting in low microphone volumes.
Facehunters poses itself as a knowing satire of the modern East London hipster scene, an ironic send-up of everything ‘edgy’ and ‘alternative’, humorously poking fun at a collection of seemingly vacuous and pretentious twenty-somethings. They spend their days and drug-fuelled nights partying, writing blogs, having photographer friends, and generally being ‘young, beautiful and hip’. Inspired by Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, the plot focuses on a love triangle between three young women.
However, it seemed difficult to gage whether the performance was ultimately celebrating or mocking hipster culture – their parodies often felt a little unconvincing and self-conscious. Building an emotional connection to many of the characters was often challenging, as more stimulating character development was needed to sustain interest, and the plot sadly lacked engaging progression, despite picking up in the second half.
Technical hindrances unfortunately made it difficult to discern a large amount of the dialogue and lyrics of big chorus numbers; as such, much of the early plot was lost on the audience, and it was only in the second half that the storyline and character development began to take shape.
Despite such observations, the singing and dancing were first-class, the acting impassioned and heartfelt, and the dedication of those involved palpable. The inclusion of a live band brought an exciting new dimension to the performance, and overall Facehunters demonstrated daring, creativity, and promising originality.
words: Frances Black
photo: Serena Gill