Saturday, 10 February 2001

Lest We Forget, Feb 10, 2001

t by Rod Quantock Trades Hall until March 3, 2001
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Rod Quantock was at the S11 demonstration at Crown Casino on September 11 , 2000. He was also a victim of the baton charge by the police that day.

In his new show, Lest We Forget, Quantock is doing his bit for the State Government inquiry into the police violence. On February 28, the Steve Bracks, will hand down the findings of Mr. Perry, Victorian Ombudsman.

Quantock's shows are never simply stand-up. In fact, initially he looks like doing a "kneel-down" show with a very short microphone.

His material is focussed on the demonstration. Usually the shows are very low-tech using chalk and blackboard. He graduates to VHS video footage of the demonstration and some odd props including a gas barbecue that was to cook up some honey and beef snags for us just like Brack's barbie for the coppers after the demo.

His rambling commentary and deceptively silly detours from the topic cannot disguise his disgust at the behaviour of the police and Bracks who he now calls "Jeff Bracks", to condemn Steve with the name of Quantock's former nemesis, Jeff Kennett.

He manages to find jokes about the young demonstrators mangling a John Farnham song, about fresh-faced policemen playing badminton with their batons and then illegally ripping off their velcro name tags before charging the demonstrators.

The show lacks the usual frenetic scribbling and detailed political and economic commentary of the previous shows about Kennett's government amongst other things.

It is funny and disturbing as always. The most distressing images apart from the beatings, are the internet ads for batons and baton beating techniques.

The material could be enhanced by further details about the World Economic Forum, globalisation and the reasons these kids were demonstrating in the first place. Many of the audience were ignorant of the specifics.

There must be plenty of gags to be had from the image of tetchy international delegates scuttling from the casino in limos and hiding in hotel rooms to avoid children with a few marbles to toss at them.

Quantock is our smart comedian and even if you disagreed with the S11 protest or thought the demonstrators were a bunch of scruffy feral drop-outs, you might find this enlightening - and maybe score a snag into the bargain.

Keep an ear out for the inquiry findings on Feb 28.

By Kate Herbert

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