Review by Elise Faulkner
From the moment he stepped on stage, Justin Hamilton was completely captivating. He doesn't mess around with crowd work or warm ups or even an introduction, he walks on stage and immediately the audience hangs off his every word.
Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994 is named after a sentence that was etched in cement in the neighbourhood Hamilton grew up in. It's graffiti that could easily be overlooked by others but has played a large role in Hamilton's life.
This show covers some pretty heavy topics, from Hamilton's tour of Afghanistan to entertain the troops, to a night when he almost go into a physical fight on the street, to an argument he had with some self-righteous pro-life campaigners at a BBQ. Hamilton is an amazing storyteller and has the ability to influence your emotions, making you feel tense and anxious one minute before making you laugh hysterically the next. And you do laugh. A lot.
After taking a break from the festival last year, Hamilton is back stronger than ever. Whatever you do, do not miss this beautiful show.