May 9, 2019 Theatre
Two Hearts may have matured (they wear hats now)- but their comedy show is still an energy-packed hour of silly fun.
I have strong memories of the first time I saw a Two Hearts show. It was during their first Comedy Festival show two years ago, involving my girlfriend being handed a glass of fake champagne to share with Laura Daniel, and me getting a PG lap dance.
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The past two years of Two Hearts have been over-the-top, arena-style pop shows, packed with gags, complete with professional lighting and a crew of backup dancers. This year, however, Daniel and her comedy partner Joseph Moore tell us they’ve grown up (“We’ve matured. We wear hats now”) and proceed to walk the audience through their new show, which is based on the New Zealand winery tours frequented by the likes of Dave Dobbyn, the Finn brothers and the Runga sisters. There are plenty of jokes about their newfound audience of baby-boomers, and a couple of silly wine-based gags, and then they finally crack into some songs.
Two Hearts is by far at its best during these songs. Joseph and Daniel’s unique skill as comedians is to take a really specific thought, for example, the way that we all forget to bring our reusable bags to the supermarket, and blow it up into a genuine pop banger, complete with props, a multimedia show, and choreography. The songs are packed to the gills with wordplay, pop culture references, and the occasional biting political critique, so it pays to listen closely to the lyrics.
But even if you’re not listening too hard to the words, you still get a brilliant show. Daniel, who is currently on Dancing With The Stars (as she’ll remind you a couple of times over the course of the show), is a triple-threat performer with proper vocal chops and the kind of stage presence that many “real” pop stars would kill for. Moore is maybe less eye-catching as a performer, but he holds the show together extremely well and I nearly lost my mind during his Dave Dobbyn cover, which is delivered as a nasty rap song. The guy has bars. He’s also the mind behind the music, which is brilliantly constructed and shows a tight grasp on the formalities of popular music, without which I think the whole show would fall apart. Musical comedy can’t be funny if the music isn’t also good, and the music in Two Hearts is very good.
The show can drag a little in between songs, however, and I found myself wishing at times that someone would hit play on the next one. That feeling might have just been down to a smaller crowd, though, as I’ve seen Two Hearts perform to sell out crowds and the control they can get over the few hundred people that fit into Q’s Loft is remarkable. Daniel and Moore kept their energy at 11 through the show, even though the energy in the room didn’t always match.
They’re brilliant minds and performers, and their material shows comedy can push boundaries into areas which could be uncomfortable without punching down or being offensive (except towards Harvey Weinstein and baby boomers, who can probably take it at this point). It’s an absolute joy of a show and an excellent way to finish a night, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.
Two Hearts are playing at Q Theatre’s Loft until May 11.