Desperately Seeking the Exit

Peter Michael Marino

Laughing Horse at Edinburgh City Football Club

From 02 August 2012 to 26 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

American actor / scriptwriter Peter Michael Marino had greatness thrust upon him then withdrawn almost as quickly. Making the most of a disaster, he has turned the experience into an hour-long monologue that mines the borders between theatre and stand-up comedy.

It works because he has an open, winning personality and fine, self-deprecating sense of humour.

The story began when this small scale Off-Off Broadway playwright dreamt up the idea of a jukebox musical combining Blondie’s music with the storyline of popular flic Desperately Seeking Susan.

The team of PMM, Blondie, Madonna and MGM seemed too good to be true. However, they came together and despite the lack of British input to the project’s genesis it was decided to open the show in London, which appealed to an arch anglophile.

The ship began to spring leaks when first its Broadway director disappeared and then a putative star.

In London, a distinguished, young director and creative team seemed well-placed to produce a hit but artistic differences soon emerged and a mega-flop ensued, leaving its creator deeply depressed until a Japanese incarnation proved an unexpected hit.

This show, as well as being highly entertaining, will also act as a salutary lesson to anyone looking to the stage for fame, fortune and happiness. Whether your ambitions stretch to Edinburgh or the West End, be careful what you wish for. It might come true and lead to a year on heavy medication.

This show is fun and it’s free too.