Wharf Revue way more than political send-up

The three prime ministers, from left, Julia Gillard (performed by Mandy Bishop), Pal Keating (Johnathan Biggins) and Kevin Rudd (Phil Scott). Picture: Vishal Pandey.

Revue / “On the lookout for Albanese”, The Wharf Revue, written by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott. At Canberra Theatre till November 5. Reviewed by JOE WOODWARD.

THERE is all the time a robust sense of viewers expectancy when attending a efficiency of “The Wharf Revue”. 

In Canberra, it’s attention-grabbing to notice the political figures who attend and take in the lampooning that’s to observe. 

The Greens will need to have had an inkling of what was to return as there was loads of consideration paid to them on this satirical masterpiece that’s “On the lookout for Albanese”, carried out by Jonathan Biggins, Mandy Bishop, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott.

However The Wharf Revue is way more than political send-up!

Social points of faith in politics, abortion, Australia’s involvement in wars, political correctness, media management discovered moments of engagement. And never all as comedy! 

Mandy Bishop, as Anthony Albanese, meets the Mad Katter (Drew Forsythe). Picture: Vishal Pandey

A spotlight of the present was Forsythe singing a very poignant lyrical tune to the tune of “Ghost Riders within the Sky”. It drew an image of Aussie troopers’ experiences in Afghanistan and their lasting impression.

Nonetheless, “The Wharf Revue” is designed for laughs. And there was loads of laughter. With extremely imaginative and fantastically crafted scenes and characters, there have been some surprises and welcomed returns of Wharf favourites. 

Forsythe’s Pauline Hanson was a very nuanced and comical efficiency. Bishop’s “Jacqui Lambie” was equally bodily, hilarious and someway actual. We noticed extra of Scott together with his Kevin Rudd persona becoming a member of Biggins’ Paul Keating and Bishop’s Julia Gillard. Seeing all three taking part in the piano without delay whereas singing a parody tune was only one illustration of the multi-talented expertise of the solid.

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With multi-faceted variations of Albanese performed by completely different members of the solid, a very unique model was established by Bishop. Her “Albo in Wonderland” was one of many shock packages for the night. She reworked Albanese into Alice who then interacted with some really bizarre figures together with a Mad Hatter that was Bob Katter performed by Forsythe. 

Drew Forsythe as Pauline Hanson. Picture: Vishal Pandey

“The Wharf Assessment” has been developed and offered now for greater than 20 years. The writing workforce has constantly produced very excessive requirements of satirical and pointed commentary by means of characterisations of actual figures and songs. Video and cinematic results have additionally allowed for pre-recording of parodied world figures corresponding to Donald Trump. 

On this manifestation of the Wharf, there have been actually stand-out moments. But there have been additionally scenes that didn’t fairly make it with some lacklustre punch traces delivered with out the required vitality or had been the results of a unfastened construction. However don’t let this deter anybody from seeing the present. Even scenes that weren’t as sturdy and uncovered the vulnerability of satirical writing had been nonetheless price watching. 

This vulnerability can also be the energy of the artistic workforce. Their steady punching up into contentious points the place there isn’t any public consensus exposes the vulnerability of their work. 

A lot of the present couldn’t be proven on mainstream tv; if it was, there could be an outcry from the guardians of public content material. 

And this can be a cause to return and see the work. It’s reside theatre. It’s generally harmful; generally hilarious; generally off-the-mark. Nevertheless it fills a necessity for social and cultural scrutiny in a most accessible approach.

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Ian Meikle, editor