Presented by Laura Davis
Reviewed 3 March 2017
Laura Davis is blindfolded throughout Marco? Polo! As she points out, this means that any audience members who want to leave can do so without fear of being heckled. It’s an offer unlikely to be taken up, as this is one of the highlights of the Fringe.
If Marco? Polo! is about anything, it’s about trust and connection. Every time Davis needs an audience response, she calls out “Marco?” and without being able to see us, relies on a reply to decide the direction of the show. It’s a simple device, but one that brings the audience (and performer) together immediately.
Despite the obvious barrier, Davis’ style is still very conversational, and this feels like an extended chat with a razor sharp mind. She moves from the profound to the banal at will and is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects. When she does, it’s with a deft touch and the laughs come with genuine insight into topics like Australia’s drinking culture and attitudes to domestic violence. Along the way, we get jokes about suicidal town planners, the anti-vaccine movement and a would-be rapist who’s a better feminist than she is.
At times it’s hard to tell where the scripted material begins and ends, the flow throughout is so perfect. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter because Davis is clearly an incredibly talented comedian, and well worth seeing any time you get the chance. Marco? Polo! is a little less personal than some of her other shows, but it’s a masterpiece that will stay with you long after you finally do walk out.
Reviewed by Alexis Buxton-Collins
Rating out of 5: 5
Venue: Beer Garden at Rhino Room
Season: runs until Saturday 4 March
Duration: 60 minutes