Review: Reverse Cowgirl

5 October 2018

★★★★

Reverse cowgirl is a favourite of many – it’s a quirky position, slightly weird but nonetheless fun, the pace is often fast and a bit frantic, and you don’t have to make eye contact with the other person.

These parallels between Bella Hull and Will Owen’s hour long character comedy anarchy fest are true, yet when I looked behind me, instead of a lip biting grimace I saw an audience that didn’t stop grinning, even though at times we didn’t know what we were grinning at.

The narrative of the show details the lives of the fictitious “Will and Bella”, a popstar duo who rose to fame on a reality tv show but are now washed up and are trying every conceivable avenue to claw their way back into the limelight. Though the show’s ten chapters, we see how they sing, dance and above all humiliate themselves to meet the condition Caroline Flack’s (yes, you read correctly, as in Caroline Flack off of “Love Island”) voicemail which stipulated that the pair had 24 hours to regain their “C List” celebrity status.

The plot was intrinsically silly but the ridiculous premise on which the show was built ultimately allow Hull and Owen to shine as a pair. Their chemistry is apparent, with scripted duologues appearing to the audience as more like seamless character ‘bits’ between good friends, which essentially they were.

Though they played a variety of characters (with my favourite being vapid hollywood agents who were more concerned with finding work for their animal clientele rather than their human ones), they thrive most when they are playing heightened versions of themselves. For example, an unsuspecting audience member was brought onto stage as a mourner to attend the funeral of a deleted instagram post. The absurdity of the situation mixed with Hull and Owen’s deadpan delivery resulted in what was my highlight of the evening.

Despite there being moments which were seemingly under rehearsed (though, granted, it was opening night, so perhaps they can be forgiven for that), what the show lacked in slickness was more than made up for with energy. Both Hull and Owen embraced the silliness of their creation with aplomb, and the few stolen moments of corpsing illustrated how they were having just as much fun as their audience was.

So, saddle up and canter down to Corpus for what is undisputedly a wild ride. Again, like the show’s name sake, though at times it proved bumpy, I guarantee you will be smiling when it’s finished.