Review by Michelle Fisher
The highs, the lows, career and personal triumphs, life failures …. This show has it all.
In a Multimedia presentation of her life which incorporates dialogue, song, dance, poetry, images and video clips I don’t think there is anything that Mina Liccione leaves out in this bare all story.
With so much going on, there is a fine balance between both being highly entertaining and at times overwhelming and this show does dance the line. Perhaps in a live context, the entertainment factor would overtake but for one small computer screen, the digital rendition of this performance does at times feel busy and intense.
There is no down time in this performance and as an audience member, you are left in awe of her versatility, both within the show and within her career at large.Though billed as a comedy, the show has a memoir aspect to it as well which leaves room for Liccione to tell us stories about her life as a dancer, comedian and performer, as well as recollections of her time setting up the comedy circuit in Dubai. A self proclaimed Italian ‘mini cyclone’ Liccione is talented and personable - both essential in a show like this one.
“Growing up Ringside” tells of how Liccione grew up the daughter of a boxing promoter in New York. She spends a lot of the show talking about her dad and the influence he has had on her life. The show is heartfelt and honest.
Without giving too much away, Liccione talks her way through early life meeting people like Muhammad Ali and her dreams of becoming a dancer and performing on Broadway, to an accident that nearly ended it all. She speaks of recovery, of performing, of a close brush with alcohol abuse and then of a new life in Dubai. Again, though billed as a comedy, the show packs more of a punch than your average stand up hour with particular note here of her tales of conception, pregnancy and finally having her gorgeous twins. It is poignant and incorporates a new side of Liccione that we haven’t seen previously in this show.
I think the show would have benefitted from being a bit tighter. It runs at 95 mins which is just that 15 mins or so too long, particularly in a fringe context. However as a digital programme that can be paused if you need a break its an entertaining hour and a half, full of heart and soul. I am sure many a viewer calls home to speak to their parents after watching this.