Banana

Banana is a wacky hour of outside-the-box clown comedy that makes you smile from ear to ear. Michael Galligan brings the banana to life with gusto and joy, inviting audiences to join him in shedding their tough exterior and letting out their inner playfulness. Galligan quite literally bears all, and it is a joy to watch him frolic on stage.

It is a joy to watch him frolic on stage

We are firstly introduced to Grand Michel, the original banana whom our grandparents enjoyed before the Cavendish arrived on the scene. Galligan takes this idea and turns it into some marvellous character comedy work. Grand Michel is a blasé Frenchman, an archetype in the comedy world; however, Galligan’s interpretation is far from the hackneyed trope. Grand Michel is sweet and unassuming, but his wonderful matter-of-fact demeanour makes the audience do whatever he wants. This rendition of the banana takes the audience by surprise and we are bashful and giggly in response, which is a hilarious concept in itself.

The Cavendish character resembles something closer to Galligan himself, which enables an even more ironically naturalistic approach. He plays with the character’s ennui, stuck in a man-sized box, and his alternative imitation of one-liner stand up comics (as the banana character) is inspired. His jokes are a far cry from the tiresome and childish banana puns that found new fame in the rise of the Despicable Me Minion franchise.

The one drawback of Banana lies in the risks associated with audience participation. This is not unique to Galligan’s show alone, nor do I intend to criticise the principle in its entirety. However, in a production that is so playful and tongue-in-cheek, in the likely scenario where an audience member doesn’t lean into the silliness, it can create a tense atmosphere that detracts from the performance. To improve his chances, Galligan might benefit from only including voluntary participation, which would hopefully remove the danger of a begrudged audience member from dampening his shine.

Galligan defies expectation in a big twist at the end of the show that takes a slightly darker turn. All the while, he impressively remains firm in the parody and clown genre, much to our delight. The spoiler remains under lock and key, but it is safe to say it is a brilliant choice.

Banana is a show for everyone who enjoys letting go and not taking themselves too seriously. For those who do, laughs will be a-plenty and Galligan is sure to charm and delight you.

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Reviews by Isabella Thompson

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Since you’re here…

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Mama Biashara
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Is he man? Or is he banana? In this solo clown show, Michael Galligan ('...of considerable wit and guile' – List) is stuck in a box with only one hour before he ripens. Banana employs stand-up, physical comedy, karaoke, magic and more to explore what it means to be the world's most popular fruit.

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