09 January 2011

Review: Not Quite Out of the Woods

Not Quite Out of the Woods: The Wharf Revue
MTC presents an STC production
7 January 2011
Sumner Theatre
to 29 January 2011
www.mtc.com.au


Three leftie boomers from Sydney
Best known for being on TV
Came down to Melbs with their revue
To laugh at our pollies, old and new.

One boomer made Pyne and Oakes tree puns
Two boomers laughed at Amanda V's bum
Three boomers scoffed at Don Watson
And they sang G and Sullivan...

Jonathon Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott and written and performed the popular Wharf Revue since 2000 and are widely known for their stage and TV show Three Men and A Baby Grand. Their theatre, opera and TV pedigrees are long enough to use 6 point font on the program and they have been joined by Amanda Bishop to play the girl parts.

If (unlike me) you can't sing along to The Mikado and quote Don Watson, don't remember Bill Hayden or watch QandA and Media Watch,  you'll miss the intricacies of the wit, but you won't miss the jokes.

As it should be, many giggles are about our newest Prime Minister. The one who looks like a woman. The one who isn't keen on a threesome with the three independents, who are in a bed together. The ranga who might not have red pubes. The one who humiliated Kevin07 because he was rolled by a sheila. The one without a willy. The amount of jokes about our PM's gender outweighed those about her politics. Imagine the uproar if Mrs Slocombe and her pussy had been made floor supervisor at Grace Brothers and you'll be on the same level. None of which makes Bishop's Gillard anything less than a highlight of the evening.

There are other women to lampoon and Amanda Vandstone and Julie Bishop are always deserving targets. I've thought it was because their politics and opinions reek of self-interest, lack empathy and fail to reflect the society they were elected to serve. Nup. We laugh at Julie because she has that weird eye thing and at Amanda because she's fat, and in Italy living "La Dolce Big Eater. Apparently she's also a racist bitch and refers to dagos and wops.

But it's not just unattractive righty women who get the boot. There's Michelle Grattan and her big glasses and Annabel Crabb with her big hair. If you don't read their political coverage and opinion, don't worry because you'll recognise them from the telly and that's all you need to laugh.

So many jokes were based on physical recognition and a political/social knowledge on par with a channel 10 news update. Bob H likes a tipple, Bob B likes a man date, Mark L is bitter, Sarah P is right wing,  Germans are still Nazis (lucky denial rhymes with Seig Heil), hippies and poofs like whales, and it's a cack to call the Japanese yellow bastards if it's in reference to whaling and sung to Gilbert and Sullivan.

Or am I just up on my high horse and siding with the humourless gen X gays, foreigners and feminists who take everything personally and wouldn't know a joke if it fell out of their Holiday Season cracker?

What I don't understand was who Not Quite Out of the Woods was speaking to. Surely it's more than wealthy baby boomers who support private education and arts funding and would never discuss politics or religion at a dinner party?  Political satire makes me cry with laughter when it laughs at me. The Don Watson's Party sketch hit the mark with jokes about the intelligentsia who still go to David Williamson plays, remember a time when the Labor party meant something to them and are stuck talking to themselves. It may be elitist humour, but at least it's laughing at people who buy theatre tickets instead of chicks, fats, gays and slanty-eyes.

This review appears on AussieTheatre.com

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