“My clit is the shape of a treble cleff… I AM musik,” Billie Trix – a fictitious rock star from the minds of the Pet Shop Boys and Jonathan Harvey in musical Closer To Heaven – shares her story of drugs and rock ‘n’ roll in Harvey’s hilarious script, which is chockfull of punch lines and laughs.
Musik, a zany spin-off dedicated to Trix alone, allows Frances Barber to grab the role of Billie with both hands. Barber commits to the role with vigour, strutting the stage with an assured confidence, delivering gag after gag in a droll German accent. You’ll find yourself laughing out loud as Trix shares her outrageous name-dropping tales; from inspiring Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell soup artwork, to Madonna’s signature eye patch – all while glugging Jack Daniels and snorting coke from a tambourine. Barber’s confidence and charisma simply oozes from the stage, and you just want to be her.
Billie’s witticisms are occasionally broken up with original songs by the Pet Shop Boys. The backing soundtrack and projections are all sufficiently naff. But while it’s all suitably tongue-in-cheek, it can teeter on the edge of cheese a bit too often. That said, Frances Barber’s amazing, gravelly vocals help carry the material throughout.
She tackles the whole piece with the confidence of an experienced performer and seems completely at ease with the material – not to mention, holding the audience’s attention single-handedly for the 60-minute running time.
Musik is a joyous, filthy one-woman cabaret with more punches than a boxing match.