Sydney Theatre Company
The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre
15 – 19 October, 2013
Review by Len Power
Who would have thought politics could be so much fun? This edition of “The Wharf Revue” is clever, witty and very funny. Cast members Jonathan Biggins, Amanda Bishop, Drew Forsyth and Simon Burke work their way expertly through a rapid fire program of sketches playing just about every politician from the present and recent past as well as other Australian identities that all deserve a good roasting. These seasoned actors can produce the essence of these well-known identities in an instant and their sense of timing is impeccable. Much of the fun is the surprise of seeing who they’ll play next. They’re all good singers, too.
There’s not one sketch here that falls flat. The writing is intelligent, well-constructed and the jokes come thick and fast. The show is obviously updated as it tours. There was even a topical joke about Anna Burke and the faceless men on opening night.
David Bergman, the sound and video designer, has done exceptional work with some great video sequences that complement the live action. Lighting by Matthew Marshall creates a great atmosphere for the show. Andrew Worboys, the wild and wacky accompanist on piano, is also the show’s musical director. The well-designed set by Barry Searle incorporates an interesting optical illusion if you’re looking down on it from the theatre’s balconies.
The show has been written and created by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsyth and Phillip Scott. It’s a delight from start to finish and much more interesting than this year’s election ever was.
Originally published in the Canberra City News digital edition 16 October 2013