Marty’s Party leaves a trail of toilet paper and smiles
When Marty Putz first brought a sample of his show to the Country Arts WA office for our Behind the Scenes event, he was a little unsure. This was supposed to be a show for families, an audience full of adults could be a tough crowd. However, his reservations were unwarranted – by the end of his performance the entire audience was in stitches.
Marty’s Party, which toured regional WA from February to the end of March, presented by Country Arts WA and Act-Belong-Commit as part of Shows on the Go, got the same feedback from every town it rolled into; adults and kids alike loved it.
“It was funny and was a great way to get kids active. My throat hurts a lot from screaming so much,” writes one young audience member from Southern Cross.
“Marty’s Party was a high energy show tonight, everyone loved it and all ages can get something from it. Pretty special. Thanks for entertaining us all,” offers a Bencubbin attendee.
“Wow! That was awesome! Please come to Tom Price again,” the Taylor family petitions.
“It made me happy,” writes Kalgoorlie commenter “Cooper”, next to a very wide smiley face.
Marty’s riotous show drew the same stellar reception from small, intimate community shows as it did from the packed-out Donnybrook performance, which drew in a crowd of more than 500 people, filling the town’s amphitheatre with laughter.
No one was safe from the pull of Marty’s on-stage antics, with kids, dads and senior mine-managers alike all getting up on stage to show off their dancing skills, or whatever wild trick Marty had asked them to help out with.
The show was aimed at families, and so children often came with their parents – but with such great word of mouth spreading about the show we even had a performance where there were more adults than children, and of course they all still had a really great time.
Of all the feedback we got from the adults, I think the consensus was they were laughing just as much as the kids.
I know from my personal experience, when I went, I was laughing more than I have in a long time and other Country Arts WA staff said it made them feel like a kid again, being free to forget the stresses of everyday life.
The show also gave audiences an opportunity to harness that positivity and share it with others to promote mental health. Healthway’s Act-Belong-Commit pledge wall allowed locals to write down personalised pledges on how they would stay mentally healthy.
“Do more yoga”, “sing more”, “learn to listen” – all great ideas from the community, for the community.
The tour started heading out through Southern Cross and Kalgoorlie, all the way down through the Wheatbelt, back across to Donnybrook and then up the coast visiting towns all the way until it reached Broome.
The mammoth effort of planning 15 shows only started after the touring menu closed in September, leaving the team just five months to pull everything together before the tour hit the road. That first tour (of the year) is always a bit of a rush because you’ve got people going away for Christmas and the like, but we pulled it off as we always do.
On top of all that Marty had an amazing time, he kept sending me messages about how much of a great time he was having and all the adventures he was having in the towns he visited. He’s already asking how he can get back touring WA again.
If the feedback is anything to go by, I don’t think Marty’s audiences would have any problem with him touring the state for round two.