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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Outrageous, obnoxious and downright sleazy. American success guru, John Popolini has crossed the pond to team up with Madonna (that's Evelyne Brink from BBC1's 'The One & Only) to deliver the ultimate spoof seminar. Plunge your life to new depths, become a credit card millionaire and learn why listening to others is poisoning your brain.100% dissatisfaction guaranteed.
Guru John Popolini and his unlikely assistant Madonna (Evelyne Brink) encourage chanting mantras, growling and insulting your neighbour as they roar and sing their way through a 50-minute seminar on success.
The topic matter is inherently funny, who hasn’t sniggered when they hear of some new and unlikely ‘life-enriching’ scam designed to achieve nothing other than make someone a few thousand pounds poorer? Is there further humour to be found in such an obvious target without laughing at the victims of such fraudsters? Apparently not.
A good parody exaggerates cliches and stereotypes to revealing hidden humour below the surface. American life coaches and evangelists are already so horrendously ridiculous that it can be tricky to spot the difference between the real seminars and this comedy version. This makes this a theatrical, interactive performance, more than a comedy show.
Entertaining, well written and humorous songs give the audience some respite from all the enforced whooping, and they are sung spectacularly well by Brink, who appeared as the Madonna on BBC One’s The One and Only. Her rendition of a money-centric All That Jazz is particularly funny, but that is where the genuine laughs end.
Growling like a tiger or repeatedly chanting ‘me me me’ may well raise a few embarrassed giggles from the crowd but it is not enough. There needs to be comedy in the material and the performance, not just an excuse to smirk at how ridiculous the person sat next to you looks.
Aside from the overblown caricatures and the handful of musical interludes, there are very few recognisable jokes here. Instead audience discomfort is all that’s on offer.
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw
Well I think these guys are hilarious but I guess that has something to do with the fact that I actually use the Internet and come in touch with the people he is sending up, like the Guru himself.