Who said fairy tales can’t come true?
After more than a decade of success in Sydney, The Wharf Revueteam, led by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott are finally coming to MTC to serve up their special blend of side-splitting satirical sketches and musical hilarity.
The people have spoken and no-one has a clue what they’re banging on about. So it’s time to join The WharfRevue team in an orgy of pointless recrimination and hilariously ill-informed party-political punditry as they present a parade of pompous, opinionated pedants practiced in puerile partisan point-scoring. And alliteration.
Was it a problem not knowing which government would form government. You bet, says Jonathan Biggins in his recent interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.
"Not knowing who was going to win until two days before we opened (in Sydney) was a slight problem. I remember that Tuesday we were all hanging on the independents to see which way they’d go and we opened on the Thursday night. So that made it very tricky."
The new political era has become a fairytale – "a Grimm reality" – with Julia Gillard as Little Red Riding Hood as she tries to navigate through the factional deadwood, aided by Bob Brown – the woodcutter who can’t cut down anything. Stumble upon a forest glade, where proud Kristina and her Unpopular Mechanicals rehearse their next charade for the long-suffering citizens of NSW, discover three little pigs (the independents) and the seven dwarfs (the miners), while trying to avoid the big bad wolf.
Tony Abbott is also present but to make him funny posed a problem says Biggins: "I had difficulty trying to make him funny. Julia Gillard is not that funny either, in a curious kind of way. Kevin Rudd was funny. You can do things with Kevin – there was an earnestness about him which makes him funny and enjoyable to do. Someone like Keating is funny because he is funny. He’s a great character to write for because you can be brutal and cutting and amusing, as he managed to be. But there are other people who don’t immediately lend themselves to humour. Andrew Robb, I would suggest, is one of those."
Abbott appears in a sci-fi sketch called Abbottarin which he infiltrates the marginal electorates and becomes one with the Mar’gi, a forgotten race of fringe dwellers who fight to stop the boats and strip-mine the magical forests. He is played by Forsythe with a blue costume and red budgie smugglers, singing "I tell people what they want to hear/hoping they forget what I told them last year".,
Says Biggins: "He (Abbott), of course, has been cloned into an Abbotar to go about amongst the Margi – of the marginals – to be at one with them," adding "It’s presented in 1D."
Follow the Japanese wha – sorry, scientists – as they hunt for the fish John West rejects, when Moby Dick meets the Iron Chef! Join Sarah Palin for a mad tea party, vote for your favourite dysfunctional economy in the Eurodivision Sovereign-Debt Song Contest or quietly die inside as Mark Latham hosts “Hey, Hey, It’s Yesterday!” Who said fairy tales can’t come true?
Political satire is not unchartered territory so how does Biggins keep it fresh: "Tom Lehrer made the famous comment that when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize political satire was obsolete. It’s managed to survive since then but it’s becoming more difficult. But what’s become even more difficult is the coverage of politics. Everyone’s a satirist now. Everyone’s got an attitude or a smart aleck way of looking at things or a supposedly funny or odd take on it. The proliferation of 24-hour news sites – ABC News 24 – it’s become about creating something just to fill in the space. There’s now this yawning pit that the press gallery feels obliged to fill so they’ll fill it with anything. That becomes increasingly difficult to satirise. The public is not so much disenchanted with politicians as much as they are with the coverage of it."
The Wharf Revue: Not Quite Out of The Woodsat The MTC Theatre, Sumner.
5 January to 29 January, 2011 Tickets: $55 Adults, $50 Concession and $30 Under 30s Booking Information: The MTC Theatre Box Office 03 8688 0800 or mtc.com.au