Mark Holden’s Greatest Show on Earth
Adelaide Cabaret, Wednesday 13 June 2018
Words Geoff Jenke
Mark Holden has had an interesting life. He has had the highs and lows that life has dished out to him. From a 17-year old pop idol to the bad clown in Dancing with the Stars, Mark has done and seen it all. Mark Holden’s Greatest Show on Earth show is about his life. Nothing more, nothing less, but what an interesting life.
Inspired by his family’s Holden Brothers Travelling Circus, Mark weaves his own colourful history into theirs. The show starts with Mark telling us about the Holden Brothers circus in the 1870’s and showing us photos of the family and performers. He performs the song Standing in a Long Line accompanied by photos from the circus days right up till his life in the current day. The voice maybe a bit deeper but it is still wonderful.
Mark is not afraid to confront the dark part of his family history and how they use to form “kill parties” to murder aborigines on their land in the 19th century. He wrote a song about this with Mick Ryan and performed it tonight to a hushed audience. Sobering!
He moved on to the Countdown days and told the story how the red carnations came about and performed part of his hit Never Gonna Fall in Love Again, serenading the ladies in the audience.
We were regaled with tales of The Young Doctors, Paul Hogan, Elton John and of his fall from grace in the U.S.A. He played the Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go and it sounded good. Mark also worked with The Temptations and David Hasselhoff.
Mark held the audience in the palm of his hand. He made us laugh, telling us the stories behind his clown escapade on Dancing with the Stars and while singing his song about radiation therapy. We sat and watch in awe as he sang the song Shine to a picture of his mother on the screen to close the show.
He closed the show by walking out into the audience with a bunch of red carnations, handing them out to the ladies.
A self-reflective ode to the resilience of family, music, tradition, humour and the virtues of hard work. Also a must see show.