Mini Review: The Fabulous Punch & Judy Show

Photograph of scene from The Fabulous Punch & Judy ShowOK, I don’t see much theatre these days. But when I do, I usually stumble across something special. And so it was with The Fabulous Punch & Judy Show.

In many ways this is perfectly a standard Punch & Judy show, apart from using live actors instead of puppets. And apart from three actors playing Punch simultaneously, including Arky Michael. And apart from the gay angle, with Punch’s masculinity under threat from an attractive youth.

And apart from a most disturbing version of a Sherbet song.

Written by Brent Thorpe, who also plays Punch, and directed by Anthony Skuse, this play is a dark, wittily delicious one-act treat. ’Pong’s photos show off the simple but effective staging. I suspect it’ll be swamped by other, higher-profile Mardi Gras fare, but it deserves to pull audiences.

The Fabulous Punch & Judy Show is playing at the Cleveland Street Theatre, 199 Cleveland Street, Redfern, until 29 February.

[Disclosure: My old friend Garry Finch is stage manager and he gave us tickets, but I wrote this of my own accord.]

Abandoned party girls

Photograph of naked dummies in abandoned clothing boutique, Oxford Street, Sydney

Spotted on Oxford Street, Sydney last night: an abandoned clothing boutique, recently repossessed by the landlord, with these rather forlorn-looking dummies holding an impromptu party.

Are you proud of your culture?

Photograph of Australia Day reveller by Trinn Suwannapha

Are you proud of your culture? It depends which culture you mean, I guess. Over the weekend I’ve pondered that while we all celebrated our Australian culture, and somewhere — not that I bothered participating — gay men celebrated “gay culture”. Again.

The photo (above) is from ’Pong’s photo essay on Australia Day. Classy eh?

The rest of the pics show precisely how we celebrate the Birth of Our Great Nation at the very place where the key events of 1788 took place. It’s pathetic. It’s embarrassing.

As I Twittered to ’Pong at the time, “So many people in your Oz Day photos use the flag as clothing. Fat-arsed drunks sitting on it! Nation’s flag: show respect.”

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