Writer: Peter Michael Marino
Director: John Clancy
Reviewer: John Roberts
We now live in an age where gossip and insider stories adorn the front pages of our newspapers; magazines have been created to feed our constant hunger for the latest celebrity story. Theatre has usually remained a closed shop, while people may talk about things behind closed doors they very rarely make it into the public domain so Peter Michael Marino’s personal account of the trails and tribulations of his west end flop Desperately Seeking the Exit makes for an interesting and very enjoyable hour.
Following a drug fuelled conversation with a friend, Actor/Director/Writer and self confessed Anglophile Marino decided to write a jukebox musical based on the film Desperately Seeking Susan using the back catalogue of 1970’s pop punk artist Deborah Harry aka Blondie. The critics hated the production so much that the company were given their two weeks notice of closure immediately after opening night.
Marino fills the production with names and brutally honest anecdotes for here is a writer who doesn’t care who knows his side of the story and while his openness and brash commitment may be the productions biggest strength it is also its Achilles heel, for we are left wanting more detail, more depth and more names. The hour goes by quickly, the writing filled to the brim with jokes that both the UK and American audiences would relate too, while obviously the show having very little budget one would have perhaps liked to have seen video clips of the production, photographs of the show to get just a little more perspective overall.
Marino is instantly likeable and the production has legs to go far, but at the moment it isn’t quite hitting the centre spot as often or as successfully as the production team may think it is.