Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Rod Quantock in Peak-A-Boo, April 1, 2014 ****

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Powder Room, Melbourne Town Hall, until April 20, 2014
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Also online at Herald Sun. KH

  Rod Quantock is at it again with his subversive, low-tech, political satire that challenges both the left and the right of politics to laugh at itself – or cry.

Armed with only a box of coloured chalk, a blackboard and razor-sharp wit, Quantock embarks on a series of metaphorical, political assassinations and the comic dismantling of wild and unsubstantiated opinions.

Of course, he does this by using hilariously convoluted, illogical connections and the outrageous misuse of statistics that parody those techniques used by his targets.

There are no holds barred when Quantock assails a well-known, conservative newspaper columnist, a right wing “think” tank, our speedo-sporting PM, and assorted, wealthy mining magnates who will remain nameless.

His other targets include Japanese whalers, climate change skeptics and insurance salesmen.

A highlight is Quantock reading the totally insane but absolutely genuine messages being sent to the newspaper columnist, my fave being, “Why do we need all those trams and buses anyway!” Um, to transport the public, maybe?

He argues convincingly that the Eastern Freeway extension serves about 3 and a half people, then reminds us about when he was whacked with a truncheon at the S11 conference and the ensuing, scathing abuse that he attracted.

Quantock’s incisive political commentary gives way to hilarious stories of his 45 years as a comedian, and reminiscences about his early, comedy Bus tours during which Quantock, wielding a rubber chicken, invaded unwitting venues with his Groucho mask-wearing audience.

Even if your politics lean to the right, you should still see the mischievous Quantock, if only to toss metaphorical tomatoes at his head, because he is an education and a national comic institution.

By Kate Herbert

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