Sing For Your Life – Underbelly

SFYL_UNDERBELLY_LANDSCAPE_750_500_60_c1You’ve probably seen those anti-abortion campaigners that go around protesting outside abortion clinics holding placards with pictures of dead foetuses on them? Sing For Your Life takes this approach regarding animal welfare and has turned it in to a comedy show.

We’ve all seen a stuffed animal at one time or another. A moose head on the wall or a bird on a perch. But this doesn’t really make us squirm because it is a dead animal. Charlie Tuesday Gates production of Sing For Your Life is certainly the opposite. It is an in your face protest about animal cruelty told ironically through the use of dead taxidermy animals, as puppets. The disgusting looking dead animals turned my stomach, I mean you could see where they had been cut open and sewn back together (with no stuffing). I wanted to walk out but forced myself to hang around to find out what it was all about.

A busy woman accidentally throws her pet dog out of the window and he finds himself wandering around the streets. He gets taken in my a shady looking fox and badger who convince him to join their cabaret show they are putting on as that is the only way they think humans will believe there is more to them than just stupid animals. The majority of the show then becomes a cabaret performance. Chickens perform Britney Spears’s ‘I’m A Slave For You’ and Badger sings a version of ‘Bang Bang – My Baby Shot Me Down’. Squirrels take on the part of backing singers and give some lovely harmonies during ‘Mr Sandman’.

There is clearly an important message that is being brought to audiences with this show. I haven’t stopped talking about the concept since I saw it. It really does raise the question of how we treat animals and furthermore how we think nothing of eating them because we forget they were once real animals. Perhaps after seeing this show you will change your diet.

Sing For Your Life hasn’t got a great deal of story to it and the writing isn’t the best thing you will see at the fringe. However, it does raise some very interesting questions about the society we live in and animal cruelty. It’s worth a watch and if you find you can’t stomach it, that is probably a good point to  question why you have such a problem with it.

Reviewed by West End Wilma

Sing For Your Life is playing at the Underbelly until 30 August 2015. Click here for tickets