Michael Workman - Mercy
Mercy is a perfomance in many acts, and in the end challenges the concept of comedy itself.
Michael Workman tells the story of a Cuban man who is taken away from his family and gets exiled in a boat, on the sea, with a pile of cabbages. Strange enough you may say, but the story is told in such a measured tone that it’s pretty difficult to not be enthralled with what is happening out in those seas.
Workman uses plenty little tricks for the show which reflect his cuteness in a way. Serene images of the sea with whimsical antidotes about love torn apart twirl together in something that doesn’t really resemble a comedy performance, but more a spoken word monologue with music and drawings thrown in.
There are laughs, but they’re more a reaction to the unique nature of the show, as opposed to any actual jokes. It makes for a show that is not constrained within a box and utilises quant, simple, but also very elegant observations. The arc taken on in Workman’s story had some wonderful beautiful tones which brought a wonderful visual about Caribbean life.
The performance is a sublime example of an unconventional comedy show that somehow can touch the happy bone (as opposed to a funny bone) with some great timing and storytelling. Mercy requires the audience to pay full attention and get more out of the normal one line jokes of your comedy stand up gig.
Michael Workman performs Mercy at The Backstage Room in the Melbourne Town Hall until April 22. For bookings and further information, visit comedyfestival.com.au.