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Banana is a wild ride from start to finish. Michael Galligan takes no time in introducing the audience to a very up close and personal performance. Stripping down, very much like a peeled banana, he imbodies the persona of various real bananas and tells factual tales amongst a burlesque performance that includes many props, outfits, and volunteers from the audience. His creative use of props, improv, accent work, and story telling in this outlandish performance shines through to the end. However, to any audience member who is not prepared for a very scantily clad banana in a thong being close to you and possibly asking for your assistance, I would recommend sitting a bit further back. Leaving the “splash zone” available to those more comfortable with the theme of the show. Including such things as banana, fake blood, and various other lubricants. Overall a very unique and well executed performance, Banana kept the audience guessing, and laughing, even when they might not have been mentally prepared to. Galligan’s repour and terms of consent with the volunteers was commendable, but going forward, a note of audience participation beforehand may lead to a more responsive and fun show for everyone.
submitted by: Lorenzo Dow Baker, PF23 Independent Review Team
Sunblock, safe words, plenty of skin… the a-peel of “Banana” (sorry, couldn’t resist!) lies partly in its riotous, risqué requests for audience participation and unabashed visual spectacle, and partly in Michael Galligan’s unexpected vulnerability. His funny-as-hell burlesque mixes with banana history, a surprisingly sincere deconstruction, and the unanticipated pathos of fruit existentialism. I never would have thought the common thread linking “Banana” to its bill-mate, “The Boring Boring Company,” would be cocaine — but that’s PortFringe synchronicity for you! Half the fun of “Banana” is in its surprises, so I’m not going to say more. I loved it. Go see it.
submitted by: Amanda Painter, PF23 Independent Review Team