Meatball Séance @ PBH, Barbados

Meatball Séance is a fun concept for a show, but the content is ultimately dissatisfying

Review by Thomas Hamill | 23 Aug 2019
  • Meatball Séance @ PBH, Barbados

Guess what? John Michael has a new boyfriend! He’s very excited about introducing them to his mother but there’s one problem – she’s dead. That’s okay because along with the audience’s help, and by cooking his mum’s famous meatball recipe, he can perform a seance and hopefully bring her back. Sound a bit bizarre? Well, it is a bit. 

Michael has the energy of a psychopathic pentecostal preacher, his facial expression in constant transition between overzealous excitement and terrifying sobriety. This one-man interactive comedy, operated by Michael wearing only boxers and an apron throughout, makes great use of the comic’s high energy as the audience get quickly dragged into his chaotic scenes. He does well to encourage the audience throughout and makes the interaction a comfortable and enjoyable experience. However, it does feel at times that the interaction lacks spontaneity or tension as Michael spells out what each participant should do. Without it though, Meatball Séance would simply be wall-to-wall hefty monologuing.. 

There’s definitely a very sincere purpose behind the story of the play and Michael’s anecdotes about his mother show significant tenderness, but the character that he’s taken on for the piece does not allow these genuine emotions to fester, stomping it out with conflicting outbursts. There’s a disappointing lack of resolve and conclusion to the hour too. 

Meatball Séance is a fun concept for a show, but ultimately the content is dissatisfying.

Meatball SéancePBH's Free Fringe @ Barbados (Room 3), until 24 Aug, 7pm, Free/PWYW