Peter Michael Marino: Show Up (3 stars)

Peter Michael Marino: Show Up

Loveable solo improv that's cut with sadness

Peter Michael Marino's Show Up is a dizzying and intimate hour of improvisation and audience participation that touches on heavy subjects like social anxiety, personal journeys and failure. The premise of the show is based on a belief that if you show up you've already won, making the set feel somewhat like a therapy session.

Before the improv begins, Marino shares warm anecdotes from his life, like the time he wrote the flop Blondie musical (bizarrely based on a Madonna film), the depression and anxiety that followed this failure, and the stand-up show that spawned from his break-down. It's then over to the audience to share their life stories by reacting to cues such as work, family and addiction. Once the answers come through, Marino uses the prompts to create a brand new life story, with a little help from his crowd as stage managers.

This jovial improv is spirited and natural, but there are moments when the jokes about mental illness become extremely sombre (like when Marino lists names of entertainers who have suffered). Overall though it's a fun hour, with each audience in the run getting a completely different experience.

Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, until 26 Aug (not 15, 22) 4.45pm, donations.

Show Up

  • 3 stars

Peter Michael Marino / Free Festival / Civil Disobedience Productions Pete (Desperately Seeking the Exit, Late with Lance!) uses his decades of solo performance expertise to turn the often vilified clichés of the genre on their clichéd heads. Using an arsenal of Post-it Notes, Pete transforms real life audience…

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