REVIEW – The Mercury Complex – Greater Manchester Fringe Festival (The King’s Arms)

Lindsay Bennett in The Mercury Complex
Lindsay Bennett in The Mercury Complex
Date: 20 july 2015
Upstaged Rating: 

When you were young and somebody asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, how did you answer? The Mercury Complex takes just that as a starting point – the basis of Lindsay Bennett’s one woman show is that when she was five years of age she was so amazed by Queen’s performance at Live Aid on her 21” Hitachi television, she declared ‘When I grow up, I want to be Freddie Mercury’.

The Mercury Complex follows Lindsay Bennett’s journey to emulate the Queen frontman – strapping her hair brush tightly to a lamp base and using a plastic tennis racket as a guitar, her performance is energetic, riveting and friendly. In the intimate space in studio 1 at The Kings Arms in Salford, the audience are encouraged to get involved from the start as Bennett locks eyes to interact jovially or passes the bottle of bourbon around the room for the audience to share. By the end of the 30 minute show we are all belting out the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody and it all feels quite cathartic and uplifting.

Following the death of Freddie Mercury, Bennett invests her interests in Kurt Kobain and Janis Joplin and we continue to follow and understand Bennett’s life through her musical heroes. Flanked by cardboard boxes, a brightly coloured keyboard and a plastic tea set – Bennett manages to perform 3 smooth costume changes in the half hour show, depicting different eras in her life.

Lindsay Bennett gives an energetic performance throughout this short but well executed show, demonstrating that she is a skilled physical performer and a sharp perceptive writer. The Mercury Complex is a positive and spirited show which manages to skip through life and death in such a charming way – it leaves you feeling as though you could sing your way through almost anything.

-Kristy Stott

 The Mercury Complex is on at The King’s Arms, Bloom Street, Salford on 21st July 2015.

Check out the full listings for Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, which runs until 31st July 2015 at 19 venues across Greater Manchester.