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Showing posts from May, 2021

REVIEW: Poona by Roshelle Fong & Keziah Warner

Poona Li Hung is a cyborg of Chinese and Indian descent. She is a lesbian and in 2050, she is running on a platform of compassion and empathy to become the first robot President of the country of So-Called Australia. It’s four weeks before the election and her campaign team are all in the one room, ready to brainstorm speeches, debate clothing choices and decide how to handle the onslaught of robophobic attacks from the United Human Party. Poona , the play, is the brainchild of co-creators Roshelle Fong (also Producer) and Keziah Warner (also Assistant Director). But the inspiration for the show comes from an unlikely source – Pauline Hanson’s 1997 book called The Truth . The book, where Hanson pontificates on the problems she sees with Aboriginal people, unchecked immigration, and gun control, also predicts the rise of Poona, a figure that must have terrified Hanson – foreign, queer and non-human. The audience are all members of Poona’s campaign team and we’re all asked how involv

REVIEW: The Gospel According to Paul by Jonathan Biggins

Early on in Jonathan Biggins’ one-man ode to Australia’s best-dressed, collector-of-antique-clocks Prime Minister, the character of Paul Keating says that there has never been a great Australian PM. None on the scale of Churchill or Washington or Jefferson. And I wondered if the premise of the show was to submit Keating for consideration. Paul John Keating was the 24 th Prime Minister of Australia, elected to office in 1993, after ousting his predecessor, Bob Hawke, in 1991. He was a career politician from the age of 25, after managing a rock band called The Ramrods in the late 1960s. He was only Prime Minister for one full term and a bit, nothing like Hawke (in The Lodge for nearly 9 years) nor his successor, John Howard, who held the country hostage for nearly 11 . Keating was a member of the Labor Right; socially progressive but fiscally conservative. He’s famous for saying “the recession we had to have” during the economic slowdown of 1990, responding to the High Court’s Nativ