What people have been sayin'...
The Skinny FOUR STARS
A high energy hour of improvisation and sketches from a pair fizzing with chemistry
If e-numbers were people, they’d be Roísín and Chiara. It’s no wonder then that they need to pump the audience with sweeties on entry so everyone is on their hyperactive wavelength. Through nonsensical chatterings, mad characters and a selection of incredible props, the pair transform this dimly lit Boteco into universes of fun.
Sketch highlights include a forbidden inter-species relationship, and someone not quite yet prepared to fall headlong into The Matrix – although the duo are at their hilarious best when being themselves. The two evidently know each other inside and out so have an incredible ability to bounce right off each other and the enthusiastic audience. The now-tired false start trope, present in several shows this year, is also given a new lease of life with a surreal twist involving scat-singing, mushrooms and Maleficent helmets. There’s also some intense but harmless audience interaction; whether you’re being flecked with marshmallow or mounted by Róisín in a Havisham-esque get-up. It’s all very charming and has an essence of innocence about it; never quite reaching the same level of sexual aggression as other fab sketch duo peers.
Back to Back is a whirlwind of ‘whaaaat?’. Mostly surreal, at times alarming, but always brilliant.
The List FOUR STARS
A mad, mad world made crazier by mushrooms and madcap moments
The term 'classic Fringe' could have been invented for the work of Róisín O'Mahony and Chiara Goldsmith. All seriousness must be left outside the room as this pair go through a series of sketches and audience interactions that forego any meaning and offer nothing more or less than a momentary flash of nonsense in all our terribly sensible lives.
With Junior Senior bouncing over the sound system, the pair gleefully chuck mushrooms and marshmallows about the place and plant plastic sunglasses on some lucky folks' heads. The delirium rarely lets up over the course of 50 minutes as Róisín & Chiara throw all cautions to every wind and come up with the daft goods. So, we meet a green-eyed wolf who bemoans the death of dial-up internet, touchy-feely Glasto-goers, and there are enjoyable nods to both The Matrix's red pill and the Police's red light, care of 'Roxanne' (or is it Róisín?).
You might not learn too much about the pair here, though they insist that they have switched national stereotypes with Irish Catholic Róisín being the passionate one, while Italian Chiara is severely repressed. A mad show full of crazy things, with bemused laughter acting as the perfect soundtrack.
Chortle FOUR STARS
There are a lot of double acts on the Fringe, and while they all have their quirks and variations, they often seem to be cut from the same cloth. Not so Roisin and Chiara who bring a unique brand of bonkers energy to their surreal show.
Sure, there are undertones of the usual influences: Vic and Bob when they stupidly repeat ‘I’ve had it up to here with you’ at each other, The Boosh now and again, and all those acts that psychologically molest their audience by getting in their face (or laps) when they dive into the crowd. But they are very much their own women.
They take their cues from music as much as comedy, from the jazz-scored scat comedy at the start, to high-energy dancing, to occasionally speaking in song lyrics, to a rendition of The Police’s Roxanne. No wonder there’s a weird flight of fantasy that has them going to an underground club with Avril Lavigne at Glastonbury.
Róisín O’Mahony (Irish, no surprise given that name) and Chiara Goldsmith (Italian) are dynamic performers, forceful in imposing their personalities on to the audience, but never over-aggressively. Even if both can be almost psychotically intense when playing up the flirty vamp side of their characters, it soon passes.
They clearly have a strong bond between them. One skit explicitly likens their working relationship to a sexless marriage, but there’s a lot of chemistry, and every scene seems to have been built from their goading each other into what madness they can tap into next, ramping up the odds.
They imagine an alternate way the ‘blue pill’ conversation that sets The Matrix plot into motion might go; there’s a strange relationship between woman and beast (one of several scenes involving animal-head masks) that’s treated as the mundane basis for a mini kitchen-sink drama; or they’ll just gross out by ramming too many marshmallows into their mouth. Sometimes the insanity escalates quickly, sometimes it just simmers.
There are more gear changes than a motocross rally, as they flip between styles and tones, a constantly-changing flurry of invention that makes them impossible to nail down, while still remaining essentially ‘them’. For whatever they are doing, it’s apparent that this pair have got the mischief in them.
As the audience enters they are greeted by the hosts and offered sweeties. Roisin O’Mahony and Chiara Goldsmith then perform a show which I can only describe as crazy, silly and ridiculously funny. The bribery is unnecessary, because this is an awesome show.
There is an underlying intelligence to the sketch show, which added to the enjoyment. What I did miss were many of the musical call and response shout-outs from modern mainstream culture, but then I’m a grumpy old curmudgeon, and everyone else enjoyed them (knowing something about Bo Selecta would have been handy). They did do a version of Roxanne, and I know that one.
Roisin acted slightly more crazy than Chiara (a fine line) and wore some cool masks in a couple of sketches. They did interact with a couple of audience members as part of their act, so be careful where you sit. There is a bit of swearing, but nothing too extreme and it should be fine for teenagers and older. It can get a bit wild, but if you’re up for an inspired hour of silly sketches from a pair of energetic and frantic comedians, while witnessing some really gross marshmallow eating, then add this to your list.
Note: It’s free but this is filling up fast, so pre-book to ensure a seat.
The Sunday Times FOUR STARS
"Double act Roisin and Chiara mix a bubbling, slightly twisted blend of the Mighty Boosh, House of Pain and James Joyce - call it stream-of-consciousness messy art-house disco hip- hop comedy. Its not live at the Apollo material but they're beautifully silly ****"
Three Weeks Edinburgh FIVE STARS
Probably the only act that’ll hand feed their audience mints at this year’s Fringe, ‘Wild at Heart’ is wacky and eccentric in the best way possible. Róisín O’Mahony and Chiara Goldsmith are devastatingly funny as they perform a host of weird and wonderful sketches. At times sensual, at times spiritual, at times baffling, they have a staggering ability to come out with hilariously unpredictable scenes that leave the audience thinking: how the hell did they get there? They ingeniously warp everyday scenarios, like a husband returning home or a doctor/patient meeting, turning them into something you’d never have dreamed of. To cap it all off, their improvisation is phenomenal. *****
Girls Just Wanna Have Funny
“Don’t put me in a box” Róisín O’Mahony roared, looking me directly in the eyes, before wedging a cardboard amazon parcel onto her head and careening around the stage with her comedy partner Chiara Goldsmith.
I’m not about to try. The duo behind Wild at Heart presented a surreal sketch show without seams; flawlessly observed accents and mannerisms created a kaleidoscope of character that was both true to life and completely otherworldly.
In a similar style one of the pair’s major influences, Smack The Pony, a typical sketch recreates character types through speech patterns and facial expressions and then adds a rogue element.
One skit had them in white blonde wigs channelling a certain feminine conversational essence: “Oh my god, she is my beeeest frand.” “Hands down, she is literally the nicest person I have ever met.” The nothingness of this subset of waffle was then lampooned with absurdist statements “No, but she literally has a carrot for a head.”
Just as important as this show’s content is its vibe. In the opening, this duo strutted from the wings of the cellar bar dressed completely in white, confidently feeding dolly mix to the audience in their all-white retro garb.
Their confidence is evidently based on some serious training; aside from their sheer physical presence, both women have knock-out singing voices, which were casually displayed in a couple of sketches.
It’s worth mentioning that audience interaction is central to this show, and if this makes you uncomfortable you should avoid an aisle seat.
At one point, Chiara was overcome by a raw spirituality, and she was drawn towards “a masculine energy” at the back of the room. The beer-swilling guys at the back were dubbed “the knights of the round table” and she personally swilled their beer *.
This is wacky character comedy for a modern age, brought to you by two phenomenally talented writer/performers. If you’ve got the heart, you’re in for a wild ride.
*She later made an aside promising to replace it!
Funny women were out in force on Saturday at Monkey Business, North London’s best comedy club run by Martin Besserman,. He kicked off with relative newcomers Roisin and Chiara, a surreal sketch act who have been described as “The Mighty Boosh on acid.” They began by reading out crap reviews posted for the Holiday Inn’s accommodation upstairs: a canny demonstration of their ability to turn the mundane into the sublimely ridiculous. They segued into an increasingly maniacal dialogue between stereotypical girly types and performed their final skit while shovelling marshmallows in their mouths. It was a trip but less like acid and more like hash cake with your mates. Can’t wait to see how their Edinburgh Fringe show will develop.
The Bedford Clanger
Last Friday night, walking into the Quarry’s cosy studio theatre, the disco lights were flashing in the darkened room and retro 60’s music played in the background. The Wild At Heart duo, Chiara with her fabulously frizzy, wild brown hair in contrast to Roisin’s sleeker, straight blonde ponytail do welcomed the crowd; their heads and bodies bouncing along like the bobble-heads you’d find on a car dashboard.
Buzzing with energy and dressed alike, in luminous white from head to toe, fringed tops, cut off culottes (how on trend!), and comfy flats. The springy comediennes handed out mints and chalky sugar cigarettes to the unsuspecting crowd. Then whoosh, the whirlwind began, the dizzying double act regularly burst into rap, soulful singing, hilarious chit-chat’s whilst scoffing mouthful’s of marshmallows, and cruised through the crowd to find the best gibberish talker, a guy who it amusingly turns out to be called Steve.
The IRL BFF’s practiced an extreme version of friendship leaning; 29 year-old Chiara transformed into a whiny child, who furiously chugged away on a milk bottle, curls up and get’s breast fed by 27 year-old Roisin. Other moments saw the crowd, especially a few men in the room get a little uncomfortable. In one skit, a highly emotional Roisin steps out from the curtain, dressed as a bride to be, in a lacy veil, flowers in hand. She spots her prey and slowly steps to the back of the room, where she instantly falls in love, as she edges closer, he get’s ready to pucker up, but Chiara comes to the rescue, and breaks the spell. Hurrah!
Roisin’s innocent, sweet yet surreal characters often surprise as she peers off into the distance as an Irish mystic, in contrast to Chiara’s quirky crowd curve-balls and outlandish movements… Chiara pounced over the first row towards me, I was the chosen one, I sat both panicked and a little excited. I was the chosen one! I joined ducked inside flowing, roomy poncho, and slowly emerged through the vagina like hole, to be birthed into a Queen.
Fizzing with energy, the fun and feisty comediennes’ set is a kick-ass collage of manic, moving and mystical moments, neatly tied together by Roisin and Chiara’s knack at vibing off of each-other’s energy. As the end nears, you don’t want it to stop, you want to your heart to beat a little faster, for a little longer, so you too can be Wild At Heart.
Funny Women - 2016 Ones to Watch
This year I have been witness to (and involved in) some bizarre levels of audience interaction at the hand of some bizarre but brilliant sketch groups, they are certainly ones to watch: Roisin and Chiara are a pair of improvising geniuses, described by Broadway Baby as “The Mighty Boosh on acid.” At their Edinburgh show they received the audience by offering them all a single crisp, birthed an audience member through a sheet and sang a hymn to Nick Grimshaw. They are incredibly skilled performers and so in sync with each other you wouldn’t know that the majority of their show was improvised.
Broadway Baby FIVE STARS
Wild at Heart is unapologetically weird. As you enter the small theatre at the Thistle King James Hotel, the two young female performers, Róisín and Chiara, hand you a single crisp. The insanity just ramps up from there, as they launch into an unpredictable and energetic series of sketches, songs and impersonations, that feels like The Mighty Boosh on acid.
If you like a bit of absurdism, or just want to try something new, this show is unmissable.
Their routine is as funny as it is bizarre. Whether singing a hymn to Nick Grimshaw, pretending to be breastfeeding babies or giving sage advice as celtic mystics, Róisín and Chiara are consistently hilarious. They move with such rampant pace from one segment to another that the audience cannot help but get caught up in the proceedings: even if you’re not a fan of absurdist comedy, you'll find it hard not to enjoy their infectious energy.
The performance is also exceptionally slick, with few pauses or stumbles in the intense 40 minutes of the show. This is particularly impressive as much of the performance seems improvised – it has to be, given how much they play off the audience. But throughout all of the improvisation, the performers are perfectly in sync with each other and the audience, making the whole thing impressively smooth.
Their interaction with the audience is particularly excellent, as Róisín and Chiara playfully mess around with various audience members, staying just on the right side of the fun/awkward boundary. Their soft, ethereal voices lull you into a sense of security, even when they’re sitting on your lap, making songs out of your names or giving you funky sunglasses.
Wild at Heart may not be for everyone. It is a very strange show, and may be just too much for some people. However, if you like a bit of absurdism, or just want to try something new, this show is unmissable.
Fringe Review - Highly Recommended Show
Charismatic, madcap, often hilarious, deliciously uncomfortable, this is a very impressive show...Wild at Heart is, indeed, wild, but it is also full of heart.
Róisín and Chiara are bonkers. Wonderfully bonkers.
Upon entering the theatre at the Museum of a comedy you could be forgiven in believing that you’d entered a 90s club, with spirited muzak and girls dressed in white sweat pants, fringed crop tops and plastic rimmed sunglasses Salsaing to the rhythm, they shoved mint imperials into the mouths of strangers or offered them candy cigarettes which they then attempted to light. Bizarre.
The show carried on in much the same vein. With a voice like caramel, Róisín creates a spiritual atmosphere, letting the audience know that there’s something, a feeling in the room. Then a prayer to Nick Grimshaw before bursting into 90s rap which segments each skit.
Those new to Róisín and Chiara’a japes may not appreciate their absurdist style with a lack of punchlines and an abundance of slapstick and physical comedy. This audience certainly took a bit of time to warm up, but once they did this pair were in their element.
Birthing an audience member through a sheet, healing the highly embarrassed and “unfairly victimised” through the laying of hands and messily masticating marshmallows are all joys to drink in through your eyes, which makes this pair of imbeciles one of Funny Women’s ones to watch!
Mouth London FIVE STARS
Roisin O’Mahony and Chiara Goldsmith's natural playfulness, spontaneity and infectious sense of fun will carry them across London
The Upcoming FOUR STARS
Goldsmith and O’Mahony will have you in stitches, and their resemblance to the genuine articles is uncanny.
Performance Reviewed FIVE STARS
Goldsmith and O’Mahony work in perfect harmony as a pair.