This was my first review of the 2011 Fringe, and while the show wasn’t awful, it differed from how it was advertised. I’ve since heard a full album of Emily Davis and she’s definitely an artist to watch.
The show is advertised as a musical journey into an alternate universe where television never existed. This is a clever concept worth exploring, but it’s not what this show is about. Rather, CreativiT.V serves as a showreel for the two performers (Mikki Ross and Emily Davis), allowing them to display their various talents. This is fine, although those who come to the show expecting witty analysis of how television has affected our lives may leave disappointed.
The first half of CreativiT.V features a dozen-or-so television themes and jingles performed in different styles. The mixing of these songs with small dance pieces, original tunes and a woman on stilts singing the Noel’s Caravans jingle means that the show never achieves cohesion, with this last part stretching out the show and resulting in the damned song kicking around your head for days.
Halfway through the show the thin canvas of television is completely scrapped to allow Mikki and Emily to perform self-penned songs. These were enjoyable, but accentuated a problem I’d been having with CreativiT.V since it began. This was that there was no connection between the two performers – each of them performed on their own while the other waited their turn, and their musical styles head off in different directions. Unfortunately the difference between the performers meant there was no sense of flow, with the mood created by one artist broken by the other.
Of the two I would have to say I preferred Emily’s ukulele folk mixed with the hint of a rock chick seeking to break out. I could close my eyes and imagine Emily melting hearts in a tiny pub somewhere with her ukulele in tow, and her song about Funniest Home Videos was the only moment of the show that truly critiqued our fascination with television. Mikki’s dark, soul-bearing ballads were well-executed, but sought to display his vocal range at every opportunity. While this was first played for laughs, it soon became less clear whether this was a parody of over-the-top performances or not.
Strangely, CreativiT.V can best be equated with that veteran of television – the variety show. While this may not have been the best display of their talents, the performers are destined for greater things. Keep an eye out for the names of Mikki Ross and Emily Davis, and hopefully they’ll come back to the 2012 Fringe with shows more suited to their strengths.