Peter Antoniou: Happy Medium

☆☆☆

The show is called Happy Medium, and Peter Antoniou introduces himself early into it as a ‘Comedium’, but these excellent puns are far from the best part of this show.

The distinctive comedic style Antoniou weaves through his show can be explained with one example – “This man has paperclipped a sticker to himself.” Of all the astounding mind reading and unknowable-fact-knowing, this line is the thing that stuck out the most. Out of context, this humour in this is bewildering. But it was improvised and delivered in such gently mocking deadpan that it became hilarious, an example that is indicative of Antoniou’s persona. It works perfectly in the atmosphere of he has created in Happy Medium.

Although set up as a stage show, this magical experience perfectly conveys the ambiance of a psychic reading. The audience can all see each other, encouraging people to banter back forth as Antoniou reads the deep secrets of their minds. This also means that everyone can see the looks of wonder on their neighbours’ faces when they have a secret revealed. It also tends to favour larger groups of friends monopolising the interactivity of the show, but Antoniou avoids this problem for the most part by making sure to involve almost everyone in the audience.

The performance perhaps drags at times, seeming strained when some of Antoniou’s psychic skills struggle to accurately hit. If this had happened only slightly less, it would have lent legitimacy to his role. But it extends too much, making some moments just feel like desperate guessing. Some of the audience hassles him about this, but for the most part Antoniou manages to quietly charm each and every spectator. Even when he takes a moment to get to the dramatic reveals, we are willing to wait for it, because of his endearingly awkward humour.

Peter Antoniou: Happy Medium is a charmingly understated show, combining hilarity with clairvoyance into an engaging performance.

Originally published here

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