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15/01/2020 12:46:42  

Soho theatre, London
The charming musical misfits are funniest at their most absurd, serving up numbers that range from klezmer to folderol folk

Most of us watched the documentary Bros: After the Screaming Stops and laughed; Nicola and Rosie Dempsey (AKA Flo & Joan) saw in it only a warning of what’s in store for singing sibling duos. If their musical comedy career is doomed to expire in mutual acrimony – well, check out Flo & Joan’s Before the Screaming Starts while you can. It can’t quite match Matt Goss for comedy, but at least the laughs here are intentional – and the music’s just as good.

It is a step up from their earlier work, as signalled by a sly opening to the show that turns on the bombast. We’re Confident, they sing, and the feeling is justified. Most of the songs are packed with surprises and, pleasingly, the music performs as much of the comic work as the lyrics. They could get more out of their between-song banter, but it has an intriguing charm, pitched somewhere between affectless deadpan and awkward spontaneity.

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