Show Up

Peter Michael Marino greets the audience as we arrive. He’s bouncing about with a nervous energy that he uses to work the crowd and ensure everyone is settled in before he begins his one man show. It’s a one man show with a difference though; Marino is going to tell the story of our lives, not his.

Marino has created a unique hour of entertainment

The first half of Show Up is part stand-up, part group therapy as Marino shares with us his theory that showing up is 80% of life. He tells us a bit about his past failures and the daily struggles of dealing with his social anxiety and fading memory. He’s a likeable fellow who clearly wants us to feel at ease and, when a (to be honest) very well framed joke on the subject of Alzheimer’s causes some slight offence from a trio of ladies in the audience, he is quick to apologise for their discomfort and assures them that, in the context of the rest of the show, they’ll understand the placing of the gag. It’s an awkward moment handled with grace and respect and, although the ladies remain unconvinced and eventually leave early, the rest of the audience obviously side with Marino and warm to him even further.

The second half sees Marino explain the concept of the show; we are to provide him with stories from our lives that he will use to craft a typical one-man show. With some assistance from an audience member to stage manage and another to handle the sound design, Marino launches into a hilarious improvised tale (based entirely on audience suggestions) that tells the story of one man’s struggle with violent, cheese-making parents, an obsession with cemeteries, a run for political office and a final, happy marriage to a lesbian ex-con. There’s even a couple of songs thrown in.

Marino has created a unique hour of entertainment buy taking the overplayed solo show format and fashioning an improvised comedy routine that works all the better for the audience’s connection to the source material.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

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 experiences into a comedic, vibrant, life story that's daring and different each time. You get to control the content, set and sound for this socially anxious show about you. And there’s a party! 'Hilarious' ***** (TheFrontRowCenter.com).

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