Neal Portenza. Neal Portenza. Neal Portenza. Neal Portenza. Neal Portenza. Neal Portenza. Neal Portenza. Tracey. 3*** - One4Review
one4review | On 18, Aug 2016
This show isn’t about anything. It is random, surreal, absurd nonsense. I thought it was hilarious, and the rest of the mid-week audience eventually got there too.
There’s lots of audience interaction in this show – not just dragging people on stage, but other, inventive ways to get the audience involved. The ballooins help keep track of where you are in the show, and provide a handy guide to how well it’s going.
Mr Portenza didn’t hide his craving for the audience to like him and for them to be enjoying the show. Such desperation should have alienated the audience, but it worked weirdly well to bring people in, break down the audience-performer barrier and build rapport. It also provided some excellent callback material, and kept you guessing about whether Mr Portenza really thought the show was going awry, or if it was supposed to be like that. Eventually, it didn’t matter because there were more interesting things going on, like pottery, chocolate sauce, chickens, and the intervention of the venue itself.
Despite the apparent performer’s anxiety and desire to be liked, Mr Portenza knows exactly what’s going on in this show, and executes it beautifully.
Proper good fun and well worth seeing.
Underbelly Med Quad, 20:15
Reviewed by Laura