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Peter Michael Marino – Show Up.

 

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

The first and most important thing to say about Show Up, Peter Michael Marino’s  latest one-man show, is that it is not written by nor is it about Peter Michael Marino. This show, as made clear on the flyer, is about the ‘shite life’ of the audience. This is a show that is completely new and fresh every day, written off the back of suggestions from the audience. Because of this, the show is brand new every day.

 

It would take a brave performer indeed to improvise an entire hour every day on their own. It would take an incredibly funny and intelligent performer to be able to do this. Luckily, Peter Michael Marino is a performer of great intelligence, wit and enough energy to light up the entirety of The Counting House (I think. I’m not an electrician but that seems about right).

 

The first half of the show is that set up for the improvisation. Peter has eight post-it notes with categories written on them such as ‘Family’, ‘Addiction’ and ‘Childhood’. He takes suggestions from the audience based on these categories, segueing into his own tales then back to the people in the room. This helps draw the crowd in on an immediately personal level.  All of these suggestions build towards the second-half, which is a traditional ‘one-man show’, which perfectly parodies the melo-drama of the form. The inclusive feel in the room is extended when he choose audience members to direct the play and the sound-scaping.

 

Peter is a deeply engaging performer who always leaves the crowd with a message. This will be the same message I will leave you with here. Just Show Up. You will never see this show again, and you don’t want to miss out!

 

Peter Michael Marino – Show Up.

Part of The Free Festival.

The Counting House.

1530.

Until 27th August.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Steve Whiteley – Wisebowm: The Struggle is Real

 

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Wisebowm is an urban poet whose struggle is real – the struggle with being the country’s leading urban poet. The struggle with working the nine to five. The struggle with trying to impress the right woman and please his friends and family. This is a musical about struggle.

 

Steve Whiteley has created a deeply likeable character in Wisebowm, a crackling parody of the faux ‘urban kid rap poet’, with pretensions of being ‘gangsta’ yet actually being achingly middle-class. Steve has perfectly identified the attitude and intricacies of these characters and presented them in a fresh way, via an engaging premise. I have seen many parodies of this type of character before, but have never seen it so well done.

 

The premise is a musical based around Wisebowm’s last year, and the struggles he has faced. Steve Whiteley uses the poems and music weaved together exceptionally within the narrative, and his performance absolutely fills the room. There is no ignoring Wisebowm when he is in full flow. The production of the music is also stand-out – the music and SFX all timed to comedic perfection.

 

I never like to make comparisons of one thing to another in these reviews but the narrative of The Struggle is Real, the music and poetry put me in mind of The Streets’ A Grand Don’t Come For Free (a personal note to Mr. Whiteley – I really apologise if this is off the mark of your intentions for the show. That really is one of my favourite albums and you have done a stellar job of parodying it!) Go and see Wisebowm while he is still tearing up the Edinburgh streets with his rhymes. You’ll be his next biggest fan!

Steve Whiteley – Wisebowm: The Struggle is Real

Part of the PBH Free Fringe.

Opium.

1345.

Until 26th.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Matt Price – Poltroon

Rating – ☆☆☆☆☆

‘Try reviewing this one’ Matt said at one point incredulously, so, we did.

Superb. Just superb. Excellent observational humor, Matt Price works the room expertly and is a marvelous story teller who is exceptionally easy to listen to.
There are some fantastically shocking punchlines which mix seamlessly  with the elements of brash honesty he brings to the performance.

The show was wonderfully intelligent, edgy in parts and extremely well crafted and his powers of recall followed the contours of the show very well indeed.

The banter with audience members is pinpoint and spot on, a rare talent one doesn’t see that often anymore. With such a feeling of warmth and positive atmosphere in the room, this for us was one of, if not the best show of the fringe.
Matt Price is here to remind all of us what good, beautifully crafted comedy is all about.
Seek him out, go watch him work.

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Peter Brush – Dreams with Advert Breaks: A Review

Bunbury Magazine Rating – ★★★★

Peter Brush is not your ordinary comedian and his show, Dreams with Advert Breaks, is not your typical comedy show.

Peter’s show is all about dreams – more specifically, his dreams, and whether, looking back, he is getting his dreams and his memories confused with one another. With this premise, he sets off on an hour of playing around with some delightfully silly ideas, well-crafted and well-landed jokes that take in everything from being in the womb to playing rock-paper-sciccors.

He uses the room to his advantage too, making the very best use out of the intimate nature of the space to engage with the audience on a more personal level. He was once described in another review as not looking ‘like he’s meant to be on the stage’, something which, again he uses to his advantage. (By the way, we disagree with this!)

Peter’s is a well-rehearsed performance. What we particularly admired was the ending of the show, which brought back all those flights of fancy he takes the audience on and ties everything together. This is a deeply imaginative show about how we should embrace our imaginative side and is very funny indeed.

Dreams with Advert Breaks was on in The Banshee Labyrinth at 1310 as part of the PBH Free Fringe.

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation – A Review

Bunbury Magazine Review – ★★★★★

The show we saw of Crime Scene Improvisation was a one-off, in more than one sense of the word. This intelligent group of actors work an entire murder mystery solely based on suggestions from the audience, meaning each performance is unique, never to be seen again.

Each and every person involved demonstrated a phenomenal skill in building an increasingly bizarre and hilarious story, filled with wonderfully 3-dimensional characters.

Our was the story of a young, world-leading shrew tamer who was force-fed a Lego statue of a shrew. Yes, we told you it was bizarre. The detective superbly lead the audience through the narrative as each of the characters interacted, unraveling revelations that eventually built to revealing the culprit.

This troupe of performers cannot be praised highly enough for their quick-thinking, interaction, both with each other and the audience and we cannot more strongly recommend seeing them if they should be in a town near you. It is of utter testament to them that the demand to see the show was so high that people were being asked to come back the next day.

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation was on in Cabaret Voltaire at 1515 as part of The Free Festival.

Joz Norris – Hello, Goodbye: A Review

Bunbury Magazine Rating – ★★★★★

From the very start – not just the start of the set but from walking in to the room – it is clear that this will be a show of comedy with a difference.

Hello, Goodbye is a tale of love and death that takes in everything from Beatrix Potter to Van Morrison with a surreal look at what motivates us moving forward in life.

Joz is a very confident and charming performer. His work with the audience – involving them with the show and drawing them in to his wonderfully imaginative world – is first class. He makes brilliant use of props and music to craft his story and plays around with different forms of comedy to create a layered and unexpected narrative.

It was wonderful to see his subversion of these comedic forms – his subversion of character and improv comedy were very well thought out.

His dedication to the craft is admirable and he really does have a massive future ahead of him.

Hello, Goodbye was on at The Hive at 1840 as part of the Heroes model.

Dave Chawner – Circumcision: A Review

Bunbury Magazine Rating – ★★★★★

Bunbury Fringe Award – The From The Hood Award

Straight from the top of the show, it is clear that Dave Chawner is a confident performer who brings a great deal of cheek and charm to the stage.

This cheek and charm are deployed to fantastic effect whilst dealing with some very sensitive issues – this show is the story of Dave’s circumcision at the start of this year. As the story unfolds, the audience are taken on a journey through mental health issues and eating disorders, all of which are dealt with with the utmost respect and sensitivity. It is clear that Dave knows how to put an audience at ease with excellent delivery.

He even talks about sex in a way that had us in stitches but without being overtly graphic – for the most part – which is a very difficult skill to master.

The entire show had a great rhythm and flow, moving through the narrative with a natural pace that allowed the story to build momentum. There was a very clear message to take from the show, an uplifting message which we will not spoil here but we left knowing we had seen something brilliant from one of the loveliest people we met in Edinburgh.

Circumcision was on at Cabaret Voltaire.

Christopher Writes: #NaPoWriMo Day 5 – Local Wildlife

Welcome to #NaPoWriMo Day 5. I didn’t take the prompt from http://www.napowrimo.net today because rehashing other poems doesn’t really interest me. Instead, I took the prompt we gave out in the last meeting of Just Write.  We have started a big local writing initiative with the aim of creating a section in the magazine dedicated to writing from the north west. If you are a local writer, please do get in touch and send us your stuff to submissions@bunburymagazine.com

The prompt was local wildlife.

Local Wildlife

Tonight we take you to

a very specific part of

the north-western region of

the jungle.

 

The ecosystem here bustles,

a menagerie in the truest

sense of the word.

In a clearing,

the peacock parades,

flashing its colours

and trinkets to the females

in the vicinity.

One female approaches, curious,

but the male’s mating call

has her quickly turning away.

The peacock starts to become desperate,

now openly and aggressively approaching

the females.

He must pair tonight or he risks

becoming outcast from his muster.

All the females have left him behind.

His braying attitude fades

and he returns to his nest,

self-esteem in tatters.

 

At the watering hole,

the bison are all jostling for position,

barging each other out of the way.

It is paramount out here

for each of them to have their fill,

usually more than they require.

They do not know when they will

next have the chance to

take on water and so greed

takes over.

A younger, weaker member of the herd

tries to muscle through

but it is quickly ejected.

It is only when the elders of the herd

have finished that he may drink.

He must learn patience.

 

On its podium,

we see the bird of paradise.

She has spent the day grooming before

this nocturnal display of resplendent colour,

flashes of brilliant orange and blue.

The rest of the jungle see

that she is majestic in her beauty.

 

A lengthy display has taken its toll

and grace deserts her.

She stumbles down from her perch,

vomits heavy black

down her plumage

and loudly

her call echoes around the jungle

for a fag.

Each member of this delicate ecosystem

has their part to play in what is one

of the greatest dramas on Earth.

Christopher Writes: #NaPoWriMo Day Two – A Family Portrait

Day two of NaPoWriMo. The prompt is A Family Portrait and comes from http://www.napowrimo.net/

Here is a poem.

A Family Portrait

A picture of us all

captures four generations

of smiles.

Four generations of worry

and stresses all forgotten

for one moment.

One moment where we come

together to celebrate

the matriarch that has

brought us all together

for birthday festivities.

She sits dead centre,

hands resting on her lap,

a score of great-grandchildren

at her feet,

grand-children on the edge

of the stage,

the backdrop for

this vignette.

The children,

now grandparents themselves,

are given the deference

of more comfortable chairs.

 

There is chaos in the moments leading up to this;

mini-arguments as to whom

is sitting where and next to whom.

A glass of Coca-Cola is put

on the stage and immediately spilled

down one of the youngest’s back.

They get wedged in between

two chairs near the edge to hide

the rapidly-onsetting stain.

 

All of this melts away

as soon as the photographer

gives his cue.

 

The first time I saw that picture

properly framed,

it sat between a half-eaten punnet

of grapes and a luke-warm

jug of water.

The matriarch,

the conductor of our harmonious moment,

smiled at the treasure and closed her eyes.