L1. Gregg’s. TJ Hughes. The Cavern. Sausage rolls. Binbags. Welcome to the world of Caz and Britney, your heroines and guides to Liverpool in new show Scottie Road: the Musical.
Keddy Sutton and Gillian Hardie are the pair behind scally double act Caz and Britney. After bringing the comic characters to life about 18 months ago at a cabaret fundraiser, the girls have performed everywhere from on stage at Liverpool Pride, to comedy nights, to senior citizens in residential homes.
And they have developed their act into a full-length show that will be staged as a work in progress at the end of this month as part of Homotopia. Scottie Road: The Musical (tagline: ‘from Primark to prison’) parodies well-known show tunes to tell the story of Scouse birds Caz and Brit.
Gill and Keddy met when they were cast in the revival of Willy Russell’s Stags and Hens at the Royal Court in 2008. They both also appeared in Slappers and Slapheads there the same year. It was during rehearsals they started messing about with song lyrics just for fun.
Keddy said: “We thought ‘what would be the antithesis of Chicago’? And we decided it would be Scottie Road, and just started improvising. It all kicked off from there. We both love musical theatre and the outlandishness of it, and wanted to do a homage to musicals with a Scouse twist.”
Some time later, as the pair drowned their sorrows on Manchester’s Canal Street after a failed audition (“to play a ghost in Yvette Fielding’s Most Haunted, “ Gill laughs. “It was just crawling about and being a ghost — and we didn’t get it.”), they began to toy again with the Chicago song All That Jazz.
It became My Mate Caz, which tells the tale of how the characters end up in a fight in Primark after a bit of wine. The Kick Off Tango, a take on Chicago’s Cellblock Tango, reels off the list of Liverpool landmarks used in the introduction to this piece, in place of the ‘Cicero/Lipschitz’ motif of the original (see the video below). These are the two songs the pair have been performing for a while; everything else in the show will be new.
As Caz and Britney were fleshed out, Gill and Keddy performed wherever and whenever they were approached. Most recently, they won at category at the Vogue Ball for their pyjama corsets. And sometimes even they don’t know what it is that works about the act.
“It’s a bit of everything, a show, a cabaret act, two mates having a laugh,” says Keddy. “We know these characters inside out, and they give us freedom to say anything and get away with murder.”
The full length show, which has sold out for its two performances at the Unity at the end of this month, was made possible by arts festival Homotopia, who approached and asked them if they would be interested in developing a piece with funding from its Queercore initiative. And anything could happen — the show will leave plenty of room for improvisation around a selection of musical numbers.
Scotty Road the Musical is just one of a number of projects the two actresses are involved in. Crosby-based Gill teaches at Elliot Clarke School of Dance and Drama and has recently set up her own theatre company, Kidakidder, with plans to stage a production of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World in 2013.
Keddy, from Wirral but now based in Macclesfield, is a member of Chester-based all-female choir Handbag of Harmonies, as well as iimprovised comedy group Impropriety, and will be starring in the Christmas show Mam I’m ‘Ere! at the Dome. She most recently toured with Spike Theatre’s The Games.
For now, Caz and Britney are entertaining their creators just as much as their very varied audiences, and it is great to see performers enjoying their work so much.
“If we weren’t from Liverpool I suppose what we’re doing would be offensive,” Gill ponders. “It’s just ridiculous, what we’re doing. RIDICULOUS. But I love it. If nothing else, it’s been an absolute hoot.”