Review: ‘Gym Junkie’ makes light of the modern fitness industry

Review: ‘Gym Junkie’ makes light of the modern fitness industry

Words by Holly Denison


Gym Junkie sees director, singer, choreographer and marketer Lisa-Marie Ryan take to the stage as a fitness promoter. Endorsing the latest six-step fitness program ‘Gym Junkie’, Ryan has the room in laughs with comical anecdotes on the best and worst of fitness programs.

Campari House is the perfect venue for the show, with a few small flights of stairs to get you warmed up on your way to the bar before coming about halfway back down for the performance as the doors open. The room itself provides an intimate setting for the performance and when Ryan comes on stage as an eager fitness persona and asks us to get up out of our seats for a warmup, I almost do. Thankfully, the only audience participation required is verbal.

Over the course of Gym Junkie, we are lead through the six-step program by Ryan’s commanding voice and over-the-top enthusiasm. What is particularly impressive is the use of parodied pop songs for the different steps of the program.

Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’ becomes about wearing the right activewear to get the best out of your exercise. In ‘I’ve Got a Little List’ from The Mikado, Ryan takes aim at the worst kinds of people to be around at the gym and LMFAO’s ‘Sexy and I Know It’ serves as the perfect backdrop for exercises that look provocative and can get really awkward if there is maintained eye contact.

When trying to lose weight, diet is said to be 80 per cent of the work. Ryan concludes her show with a rendition of The Veronica’s ‘You Ruin Me’ about her love-hate relationship with carbs, followed by Ariana Grande’s ‘Side To Side’ with the lyrics “these doughnuts are going straight to my thighs.”

Although not a fitspiration show – instead poking fun at #fitspo – Ryan’s confidence and ability to perform songs with a wide vocal range whilst lunging, squatting and running on the spot are not only entertaining but good motivation to up your fitness. But as Gym Junkie suggests, the guilty pleasure of eating sweets and carbs is just too good to trade in for a diet.

Gym Junkie is on at Campari House as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival until Sunday September 22.