A musical, or maybe an opera, about Kim Kardashian with excerpts from The Marriage of Figaro. This topic is never going to be middle of the road. As an attempt at fusing electronic synth, Einaudi-styled expansive melancholy and Mozart, The Marriage of Kim K is a grating clash of styles.

The whirlwind of a story actually has very little of substance in its narrative. On one side of the stage, Kim Kardashian (Yasemin Gulumser) and new husband Kris Humphries (James Edge) bicker and pose. Kim takes photos of herself pouting and Kris mimes shagging his new wife while grabbing his crotch and bouncing his ball (basketball that is). In the middle, married couple Amelia (Amelia Gabriel) and Stephen (Stephen Hyde) argue about what to watch on TV – Kim on one channel and The Marriage of Figaro on the other. It seems as though Amelia and Stephen have drifted apart, but none of this is obvious in the libretto, which is overall poorly conceived and lazily thrown together.

The vapid plot becomes even more convoluted (and yet still completely beige) when the other side of the stage is occupied by The Count (Nathan Bellis) and The Countess (Emily Burnett), two squabbling characters from Mozart’s great work itself. These two at least can sing – while at the beginning of their operatic journeys, Burnett’s soprano and Bellis’ baritone show promise in their craft. More than can be said for the remaining singers, who are mainly out of tune and uncomfortable with their harmonic lines.

Musically The Marriage of Kim K is equally confused, the only safe parts being those that Mozart wrote himself. A fusion of modern with a classical opera buffa style ultimately fails because it lacks in direction or purpose. To make matters worse, Kris often breaks out into rap – another genre to throw into the mix and muddy the opaque waters further.

Technical difficulties aside (a given for a show in previews as it works out the kinks in a new space), The Marriage of Kim K has nothing of substance to say. The plot is non-existent, except in that it throws together three angry couples in situations beyond their control. The parallels between classic, modern celebrity and today’s typical relationship are clear, but apart from that, the show has no further value.

 

★☆☆☆☆

The Marriage of Kim K plays C Venues, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 until  28 August 2017. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.