Rod Quantock is a Melbourne institution and no Comedy Festival in this city would be complete without him. The man who, rubber chicken on a pole, once took bemused Melburnians on an impromptu tour of unlikely places, leads his audience up the stairs at the Swiss Club singing Eidelweiss. He likes the Swiss Club as a venue because, as he says, it is neutral ground.
Anyone who has attended a Rod Quantock performance knows that it doesn't pay to be late – you are sure to be 'picked on'. This time round Quantock has a suprise in the form of the Latecomers Choir! Called up to the front they are given the words of Amanda Vanstone's Under Southern Stars which is to be sung to the tune of that great patriotic Australian song Land of Hope and Glory. The general audience is not left out, they are divided into the string section and the brass section with the result that there are a lot of screeches and raspberries interspersed with hoots of laughter and a barely recognisable version of the tune.
With the audience relaxed and warmed up Quantock launches into his routine which is delivered as a seemingly rambling conversation with his audience about some of the stupidities and contradictions that are found in today's society and politics. Apart from the aging comic who has moved from standup, to sit down, to lie down, all the usual suspects get a mention: John and Janette, Kim, Kevin, Global Warming, nuclear power, S11, media bias and sponsorship, to mention just a few.
There are laughs a plenty and equally large amounts of food for thought. Clearly there are many in the audience who are regulars at Quantock performances and delight in playing up to him as did one choir member who proudly wore her ticket stuck to her forehead – she sure had tickets on herself!
If you are into a good political laugh then anconvenientlie is the show for you. It may not change the world but it will let you know that you are not alone, that there are other people who care about our society and our world. Most importantly, it will make you laugh out loud.
A Token Event
Venue: Swiss Club (next to Duckboard House) 89 Flinders Lane, btw Russell & Exhibition Sts
Dates: Friday 6th – Sunday 29th April. Previews: Fri 6th – Sun 8th April
Tickets: Previews $20, Tuesdays $22; Wed – Fri & Sun Full Price $27.90, Concession & Laugh Pack $25.90, Saturday All Tix $27.90
Times: Tue-Sat 7.15pm & Sun 6.15pm
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 660 013 or www.comedyfestival.com.au