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Interview: Bourgeois & Maurice have that 'feel good' triple threat!

"We'd like to become what is known in show biz terms as a Triple Threat. That means we can sing, we can act, and we can dance!" In our highly candid interview with George Heyworth (Georgeois Bourgeois) and Liv Morris (Maurice Maurice) we learn if working with renowned choreographers the Ballet Boys and b-boy dancer Lil' Tim was a tragic compromise for the creation of 'Can't Dance'. We also learn more of the their story - from the days before Bourgeois & Maurice. From a life of Hampstead photocopiers, ADHD and Jack the Ripper to going 'rock' in 2011! They talk Style, 'feel good finales' and answer that pressing question - who's the best pop bitch on show?!

'Balls to the Nutcracker!' Said the Sugar Plum Fairy, hitting the streets and looking for a decent show to go, go, go... Yup, boys and girls, dance is in trouble. The darlings at the forefront of London's creme de la creme avant garde cabaret scene (what a yummy mouth full) are here to subvert, unsettle and charm. Keep dancing!

Their Lilian Baylis (Sadler's Wells) debut, 'Can't Dance' runs from 7-23 December 2010. Produced by Tim Whitehead (Tiger Lillies, Justin Bond, Jonny Woo and Meow Meow). Click here for a special Run-Riot offer for reduced tickets to see the Preview Show.

RR: In 2007 the curtains were pulled back to reveal the world of Bourgeois & Maurice to an unsuspecting London cabaret scene. Within 24hrs of your first stage show the then Time Out Alternative Nightlife Editor Simone Baird interviewed you, followed by an invite to perform at east London's cabaret mecca Bistrotheque. You've done the festivals - Edinburgh, Glastonbury, Lovebox, Electric Picnic, and Latitude. You've played at the West Ends Soho Theatre, won awards, and become part of the established hybrid cross-over of the art and performance scene. What could you have possibly been doing before these giddy nights as Bourgeois & Maurice? Were you at art school?
Liv:
Sadly, neither of us went to art school. Much worse, I actually studied drama at university, and even went as far as to do an MA in theatre. I'm sorry. After that I was randomly working in the finance department of an English Language school in Hampstead. That's what a Drama degree gets you. One day the photocopier broke, again, which was my responsibility and I knew a change was needed. I emailed George in the midst of a psychotic meltdown asking him to save me from this hell. B&M were born.
George: Nope, no art school for me either. So we really didn't have a leg to stand on when we wrote 'Don't Go To Art School'. I also did a theatre degree, and my summer job was working at Madame Tussaud's, playing an assortment of freaks in the Chamber of Horrors. I played Jack the Ripper a lot, and made a woman actually - properly - piss herself with fear. I've never been able to repeat that success with Bourgeois & Maurice, but I'm trying. When I graduated I ended up working for a magazine publisher and truly hated it. My friend was running a cabaret night at Madame JoJo's so in a moment of desperation I phoned him and asked if I could have a slot, with absolutely no idea what I'd do in it. Then miraculously Liv emailed me and said she would play piano and we could write some songs. So we did.

RR: We're listening to 'I'm Gonna Out Outfit You' on your website right now - can't deny it, love it! Vogue Italy said 'A/W collection has once again hit the spot' about your costume designer Julian J Smith who notably designs for Beth Ditto as well. This begs the question, who's 'The Best Pop Bitch on Show'? While you're at it - tell us about your style influences, darlings.
Maurice:
Grace Jones is obviously the grand high priestess of it all, and we are forever in her mighty shadow. Bishi always looks incredible too, but I wouldn't call her a "pop bitch", oh no, no. I'm also very much enjoying Ana Matronic's wardrobe of late. Style influences- I'm normally very monochromatic, but that's because we had a black & white TV. Bourgeois managed to get a colour box from freecycle a few months back and it's really changed my world. I'm having a Wizard of Oz moment.
Bourgeois: As I'm writing these answers my flatmate Mable is putting some of her shoe collection on eBay. She has over 100 pairs, so I think she might have to go into my style influences. Other people who have had a huge sartorial impact on me are Stevie Nicks, Wendy Richards and One Direction. I wouldn't look the way I do without them. The best pop bitch on show is probably Ann Widdecombe…well, actually, I'm not sure about the 'pop' bit.

RR: You're quick to claim you 'Can't Dance'. Too modest! It's in the eye of the beholder, darlings! Truth is, our culture radar tells us you're ACTUALLY a shining beacon for all aspiring avant-garde expressive dancing artists on todays contemporary stage. We heard on the grapevine that you've been working with the highly acclaimed choreographers Ballet Boyz and B-boy Lil' Tim, and even the film maker Jonny Reed. Let's face it, those veterans are comparatively old school against you - you're the masters of shaping the future movement of avant-garde body expressionism! Was the collaboration a little one-sided? Aren't you concerned about creative compromise? I mean, can they sing and dance?
Bourgeois:
Well, sure, we can throw some irregular shapes but those guys can actually move their feet in a controlled pattern to a specific rhythm. It's beyond my comprehension, and if the results of the last couple of weeks' rehearsals have been anything to go by, beyond my capabilities too. *Looks into the distance, teary eyed.*
Maurice: Oh, you are too kind. It's nice to be a beacon. They're very good warning systems, particularly when being invaded by an Armada from Spain. With this is mind we might move into security defence systems next. Everyone's in a state of fear and panic at present, which is super cool, so I reckon we could make a pretty penny. As for dance, we really have been trying but aside from natural skill we've realised that it takes perseverance, effort and dedication which is not really our thing. We're more into the fickle/ADHD side of life. Perhaps we should get more Ritalin in our diet.

RR: Is there any audience participation in 'Can't Dance'? Can you give us any clue about what to expect for the show's finale?
George & Liv:
We filmed the projections for the finale last week and - though I say it myself and I shouldn't - it looks pretty fucking cool. This show has been fun to put together because we've been able to write new songs but also re-visit some older ones from the previous shows, which have been reworked slightly. The major flaw in the B&M business plan is that songs can take ages to write but social observation often only applies to a very specific moment of time, so it's been interesting to look back at songs we wrote 3 years ago and work out which still hold true. I think the finale to this show is probably the most 'feel-good' (bleeeeurgh) we've ever had - well, it's Christmas after all.

RR: Can you give us the scoop for your plans for 2011? Can you see yourselves inviting your extended creative family on stage at some point for an avant-garde extravaganza with a singing and dancing troupe and live band?
George & Liv:
Well funny you should mention a live band because actually it's something we are hoping to do next year. B&M go rock! We're also planning to start work on a musical, which will be a very long time coming, and we might get bored half way through, so we'll see about that!

RR: As we enter the ghastly, overly commercial festive season, we have to ask, what would you like in your stockings on Christmas day? And what are your New Years Resolutions?
Bourgeois:
I never make news years resolutions. I find it hard to stick to decisions I made 5 minutes ago. In my stocking I would like Simon Cowell's corpse, and ten boxes of Curiously Cinnamon cereal. Please.
Maurice: Well I've always had coal in my stocking ever since a kid, and I see no reason to change now. So I'd like some coal. As for New Years resolutions, mine would be to meet less people. In general I find them all very tiresome.

For more Info, check these out:
Run Riot Special Offer for Preview Shows of 'Can't Dance'
Bourgeois & Maurice (official Site)
Bourgeois & Maurice at Lilian Baylis, Sadler's Wells (official page)
Bourgeois & Maurice (Youtube)
Bourgeois & Maurice (MySpace)
Bourgeois (Twitter)
Maurice (Twitter)
Tim Whitehead (Producer)
Julian J Smith (Costume Design)