Michael Workman – Mercy: Fringe Review

michael-workman-mercy_26319Piece of Work

4/5

Less a comedy show and more an inventive piece of storytelling, Michael Workman presents an immersive tale of love and freedom of speech.

Set in 1960s Cuba, Augustus is exiled by Fidel Castro for voicing controversial opinions in an obscure newspaper. Leaving a wife and newborn daughter, he is sent out to sea in a boat called Mercy and left to face the dangers of the ocean alone. What follows is a poetic story about introspection, determination and holding on to principles.

Rather tentatively labelled a comedy show, this is not a performance that should be watched by someone in search of quick gags and easy laughs. Rather, it is a poignant and thought provoking exploration of the imagination, presented in a similar vein to Daniel Kitson.

Incorporating beautifully played keyboards with projections of hand drawn illustrations on a homemade 60s style TV, the audience quickly become immersed in the magical story that features talking sharks, a star-creating sage and an angel named Keith. Delivered by a highly expressive Workman, it is not a performance of many laughs but more a heartwarming fable that will leave you deeply touched.

Though not for everyone, it is well worth taking a look at if you are in search of something different as you will undoubtedly find yourself at the mercy of Workman’s storytelling ability.

Taken from Broadway Baby, published Aug 2012.

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