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Venue:The Counting House, 38 West Nicolson Street Edinburgh EH8 9DD
Phone: 0131 667 7533
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: The Lounge
AUG 2-14, 16-21, 23-26 at 12:00 (55 min)
Venue:The Free Sisters, 139 Cowgate Edinburgh EH1 1JS
Phone: 0131 622 6802
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: Maggie's Front Room
JUL 29-31, AUG 1 at 15:30 (60 min)
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American improvisor, storyteller and teacher Pete takes the real-life experiences, hopes and fears of kids in the audience (and their parents) and turns them into a totally interactive, one-man, comedic storytelling show - right on the spot. "Hilarious!" (Broadway Baby), "Brilliant laughs" (The Wee Review), "A true professional" (The Scotsman), "Hilarious" (Fringe Guru), "Incredibly funny" (Bunbury Magazine)

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News and Reviews for this Show

August 10, 2018  The Wee Review
Family-friendly improv show is high energy and hilarious.

The Counting House‘s lounge venue is packed with families and the atmosphere is busy with anticipation. Writer and performer Peter Michael Marino takes to the stage to introduce the main act – Sally the Silly Song Singer – and after a fanfare and eager search, we are left with a ‘Bad News’ letter from Sally, read aloud by a keen child. Of course, the adults know there is no Sally and never was, but the titular kids around us are already absorbed, wondering what on earth is going to happen now that the star has ditched us. For the remainder of our time together, Marino decides it’s up to him to entertain us. And entertain us he does.

After initial ‘nerves’, Marino builds up the courage to burst into song and give us a jaunty welcome and already children are bouncing in their chairs to the music, fixated as if they are watching their favourite TV character. There is physical comedy, too, as the actor twists around inside his t-shirt, desperate to have it the right way round before changing his mind and starting all over again. It’s daft and silly but the target audience lap it up, and this is a key strength of the show: Marino knows what kids find funny and what they need to be kept engaged. He goes on to use a simple cardboard box, inviting shout-outs for suggestions of what it could be used for. And here’s where the real core trick of the show comes into play – improvisation. Show Up, Kids is – as the title suggests – the child-friendly adaption of Marino’s establishes successful improv comedy Show Up, although really it’s its own unique show entirely.

The bulk of the performance from here on in is interactive, improvisational storytelling. Audience members are called on not only for suggestions – famous person, superpower, favourite animal – but to be part of the crew, as one mum operates the ipad music interludes and a giddy child becomes the stage manager with a box of fun props. The story today involves Bob the pizza-maker who gains super-strength and lives in the town of Wubba-Wubba. Marino knows how to keep the pace fast enough to hold the young audience’s attention while still squeezing in hilarious quips and scenarios, even throwing in a few jokes for the adults. His frenetic physical style is perfectly-suited to this demographic as he bounds around the room, throws props around and leaps onto table tops to keep everyone enthralled. It’s all rounded off with an endearing message about kindness and compassion at the end without overdoing it or veering into teacher-mode.

As the children applaud and the audience depart, the mood of excitement and frivolity is carried out with us. It must be an exhausting feat for Marino when we consider he is also performing the adult version of the show every afternoon as well. As part of the free Fringe, seeing a show of this calibre is an opportunity to show up for. Click Here

August 9, 2018 Lothians' Ken
A great show, with a mixture of songs, audience participation, crowd-sourced ideas and a quick, witty performance
Peter Michael Marino has returned to the Fringe with Show Up, which I reviewed last year, plus added a children’s version of his an improvised show, along with Sally the Silly Song Singer, who one way or another manages to add to the fun the audience has. I’m always wary when a performer who is used to adults decides to put on a children’s show as some are not as engaged in giving a great performance and more interested in creating an easy shift and some extra funds. This is not the case with Show Up, Kids!, which gives a mixed audience a great show, with a mixture of songs, audience participation, crowd-sourced ideas and a quick, witty performance by Marino. When I was there the audience was made up of over-enthusiastic children, slightly reticent ones, engaging parents and those who were less keen. By the end I would say all went away happy but, most importantly, there were very happy bairns in the room who were enthusiastically engaging with Marino.

As with the adult version of the show, this is not one for people who want to sit back and be spoon-fed or dread the thought of audience participation. Any child who wants to giggle, shout out suggestions, get on the stage and help with the script, props and set decoration will love it. Marino shows again that he knows how to adapt the format and his performance, plus how to judge an audience. This is a Pay What You Want (PWYW) show but don’t be cheap when the hat comes round and remember how much you pay to take children to the cinema. Most of all, adults and bairns alike should show up and see this. Click Here

May 6, 2018 Chelsea Now
His Show Will Only Go ‘Up’ If You Help
“I had this notion,” Marino recalled, “that ‘Show Up’ would be fun for kids, because, like the adult show, it puts them in charge of the content.” Marino noted that his own experience with social anxiety — a thematic undercurrent of the adult show, is also a component, albeit an age-appropriate one, of the family-friendly version. Youthful audience members, he said, will be contributing to the show’s content by sharing “things they are scared of.” The premise of the show, he told us, “is that the performer they came to see is not there, and I have to fill the time. To do that, I’m going to have to face my fear and create a show, using them as the inspiration for the settings and costumes and plot. So I get examples of their own issues. It starts off with things they’re afraid of or don’t like to do, and transforms into things they love or want to accomplish.” Click Here

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