Shortis & Simpson: Topical Heatwave at the Kurrajong Hotel.Supper and show, Friday nights only, June 28 - July 26, 2002, 9pm (show starts 9.15).
You thought it was Red Nose Day last week, but no ... Brown Nose Day was celebrated on Friday night with a twinge of Texan hoe-down, performed by Markie Latham's favourite dancer at the White House. Markie himself came in for a bit of stick, to the tune of Little Peter Rabbit, flip-flapping in a conflict situation with a certain Tony Abbott. This involved the audience singing along with actions, of course. Typical Shortis & Simpson lampooning - all good fun so long as you don't take your politics too seriously.
Yet this entertaining 2002 contribution to the Shortis & Simpson tradition of annual political commentary to mark the winter recess of Parliament includes a genuinely affecting song of an asylum seeker which begins "He could have been a doctor in Afghanistan..." In the form of a folk revival song, this one would be well worth recording.
And, for an encore in the Chifley Restaurant, the song of the Death of Chifley is full of irony in today's political scene. Could Howard sincerely say of a political opponent as Menzies did of Chifley: "He was a great friend of mine, and of yours. A True Australian." This to an audience of mixed political persuasions. And where does Mark Latham stand, talking on television of how he hates the other side?
Though S&S talk of satire in their show, most of the humour is too light for such a bite. It's the serious numbers which crunch. They're the ones you remember next day, as you realise how Australia is losing its tolerance in a relaxed and comfortable political fog.
Other images do remain, though. The encouragement of women parliamentarians to build a 100 cubicle toilet block for women (since Old Parliament House had no women's toilets when women finally got there in 1943). John Gorton, besotted with drink and Gotto, singing his version of "I did it my way" on his death bed. And the big question for Brown Nose Day: "I want to know how Jeanette got him through (US) customs in his pet box?"
And the International Hotel School's supper was very nice too.
© Frank McKone M.A., F.A.C.E.
Return to Frank McKone'sHome Page