Sunday, 12 April 1998

She'll Be Right by Lynda Gibson, April 12, 1998

She'll Be Right Lynda Gibson
Melbourne Town Hall until April 26, 1998
Reviewed by Kate Herbert on or around April 11, 1998

Lynda Gibson is a yard of stump water. Part of her comedy is built around her leggy, awkward physique and quirky wriggling. Either that, or her wacko face-pulling.

The rest of her new solo show, She'll Be Right, is an idiosyncratic telling of Australian history through a melange of stories about Oz politics, pop music and her life in the theatre.

She was born in 1956. "Land of the Long White Liberal...John Howard's Dreamtime." In the first minute we know she is unhappy with our conservative government but she is not about to lose any blue ribbon lib voters by getting too serious.

Her material has broad appeal and her manner is charming and cheerful. She declares she has never been able to fight for her rights and craves some larrikin chutzbah. However, she has a disarmingly warm but confronting style.

She questions Menzies Order of the Thistle. "Is there an order of the cooch grass?" She praises Holt's referendum on the Aboriginal vote and says McMahon looked like a koala.

In her youth she failed sewing, over-acted in drama class, couldn't understand her film director and was booted from a TV commercial because of a pimple. She wore an afro, a poncho, Amco V-knees and looked like "a long, thin, white Chuppa-Chup on legs."

The skill in this satirical show is in Gibson's ability to sharpen her political point then break the tension with a gearshift into pop music, bad hippy dancing or schoolyard remniscences.

Her commentary on Australian music since the 60's is very funny. We travelled in a short period from Slim Dusty's "A Pub with No Beer" to sexy old rock legend, J O'K, The Wild One and then back to Englishman Charlie Drake's racist, blackface rendition of "My Boomerang won't come back."

We watched Denise Drysdale dancing in Happening 70 then turned to Countdown for inspiration. For culture we watched Skippy and Homicide while some bizarre real murders went unsolved in South Australia. We valued Kelvinators, Axminster, venetians and veneer.

Her running personal tale of woe is her slow journey to acting fame. For a while she realised she 'had tickets on herself", a dire sin in our tall-poppy-lopping culture. But she continued to practise her Oscar acceptance speech and, in the show, you'll hear it. Only an hilarious dinkum Aussie like Lynda (named after the electric blanket) could sell it.

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