The Canberra Playhouse Nov 29.
Someone had said they were in fine fettle. Wandered along to the Playhouse to check up on their Near Death Experience. Sure, Tim Ferguson’s in a wheelchair and Richard Fidler’s off working for what’s left of the ABC and Paul Livingston’s Flacco is replacing him and Paul McDermott is rejoicing in finally being the tallest member of the Doug Anthony All Stars but that’s age and the wheel of time, Of which we were reminded by the odd film clip of the DAAS in much younger days.
The place was pretty well packed with the no-longer-kids of the 80s and the stalls were lit up because there was filming going on. At one stage someone shouted out the name of Café Boom Boom, the theatre café in Narrabundah that used to host the Dougs back in the 1980s but Paul suppressed them swiftly.
The mysterious Flacco introduced the show in what felt like near silence, (although he actually said quite a lot) arranging and rearranging his feet and his direction to the audience. Hysterical how funny something like this, involving precision timing, can be.
Then sardonic Paul came in and then Tim, away with the pixies as ever and even more so now, and the mixture was as comfortingly shocking as we expected. Paul bullied Tim, Tim smiled vaguely, Flacco looked on superciliously and they all made music and mayhem like a pack of fallen angels.
Melancholy, but they were always melancholy.
Near death? Never.