Freelance writer – creative – media-maker
Beaconsfield: The musical (review for Farrago Magazine)
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Recently resurrected as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Beaconsfield: The Musical, a.k.a Beaconsfield: A musical in A-flat minor, proved as scathing and entertaining as ever. Despite being labelled by the commercial media as a crass and insensitive exploitation of the 2006 Beaconsfield mine tragedy, the musical in reality primarily concerns itself with ridiculing the media coverage of the disaster. Anyone not clued up on the who’s who of breakfast television, I imagine, would have had a hard time keeping up with the countless quips poking fun at such television personalities as Eddie McGuire, David Koch and Naomi Robson.
Whilst the music itself was not particularly memorable, it was seamlessly woven into the fabric of the comedy, treated as if it were just one of many tools enhancing the comic effect of the whole. Highlights of the show included the ‘love’ duets between ice-queen Naomi Robson and her loyal lizard, a scandalous portrayal of politician Bill Shorten, and of course, we all love a good old-fashioned joke about our kiwi cousins (‘d’ya wan tha chucken aw tha fush???’) – in this case it was the stewardesses of Air New Zealand that came under fire.
Whilst the venue – Arthur’s Bar – must have been incredibly cramped for the performers, it lent a special intimacy to the production, especially effective during the audience-interaction scenes. The general feeling in the audience at the conclusion of the comedy was both light and uplifting, and I suspect many among them would have rushed home to rave to their families and friends about their great night out.