The Total Lack of Quality Theatre

On a Friday night, after a hard week’s work I like to take it easy. Cook a simple dinner,watch a bit of TV, then fall into bed. So naturally I was not pleased when I found out that for my Aunt’s birthday the whole family was heading off last Friday for an evening of amateur theatre in the vast, arid, expanses south of the river*.

This was apparently going to be a good evening out because chicken and chips were being provided under the cover charge. Also it wasn’t going to be “a late night” because it “finishes at ten”.

Now being the pathetic sociophobe that I am I usually plan on being curled up in bed by ten on a Friday night. Or at the very least slumped in my recliner rocker* in front of the movie of the week – but hey, family is family. So it was off to a venue that (in the grand tradition of Dave Barry) I shall refer to as “The Total Lack of Quality Theatre”.

So, how was it? Well, you know things aren’t going well when the highlight of the evening is an Elvis impersonator.

Mind you the guy was pretty good. He sounded like Elvis (apart from the high notes where he lost it a little bit) and he looked like Elvis (or at least like a fat guy with sideburns in a sparkly jumpsuit, which is Elvis as far as most of my generation is concerned). Apparently he’s put on weight since last year*, but that only served to make him look more convincing.

The rest of the night was of variable standard. In general varying from merely boring to excruciatingly painful. The girls danced and danced, the adults performed a variety of sketches, many of them pre-dating the Flood, and occasionally someone would stumble out and perform a Benny Hill song, forgetting the lyrics halfway through and having to hum.

There were two girls however who could actually sing, and sing quite well. The brunette did a great job on Memory from Cats (although I’m pretty sure the streetlamp “gutters” not “sputters”), and one other song, the name of which my mind completely failed to register. The blonde had a more powerful voice, but less control,tending to waver a bit and go off-key on the higher notes. Her diction was also a bit sloppy (not that I’m one for draining the soul out of song by enunciating every single ‘t’ and ‘p’, but neglect it too much and you end up sounding like you’ve got a mouth full of custard*), but overall she wasn’t too bad.

The finale was a series of “French” set songs in a “French” cafe, which might have been bearable except for the fact that it dragged on and on and on. There were at least three repetitions of The Night They Invented Champagne, a song I’d never heard before, but quickly learned to hate with all my soul. Add in the Can-Can sequence (just because the techno Can-Can on the Moulin Rouge soundtrack goes for ten minutes doesn’t mean you have to dance through the whole thing girls) and a rather disturbing song by a fat, old, bald man about how much he loves little girls, and I was well ready to get the hell out of there when it finished.

At 11:00.

I wasn’t pleased.

Once I woke up the next morning (far later than usual but not late enough), I spent most of the day, and Sunday cleaning the place up, since Andrew was planning to bring Emma and Lyndah around to see it. That however fell through when their car broke down, so I was left sitting in a spotlessly clean flat all by myself. Which was mildly annoying,particularly as, having got the place so clean, I was extremely reluctant to do anything that might mess it up again. Like cooking. Or eating. However my basic biological needs soon overcame what few domestic instincts I have, and the place is now rapidly descending back into it’s normal squalor*.

Apart from that nothing much else has been going on. The most exciting event of the last few days was getting absolutely drenched in a torrential downpour on the way home last night. I had an umbrella, which was doing a fairly adequate job, but turned out to be powerless to protect me from the gigantic tsunami produced by a Transperth bus indulgently smashing it’s way through a deep pool of road run off as I waited to cross the street. My sopping state was made worse by a series of speeding cars, all apparently out to imitate the bus as I uncomfortably waddled my way home. I did avoid another complete soaking though, by managing to drop and crouch beneath the umbrella like a riot officer under a plastic shield when a passing truck threw up a cascade reminiscent of the Trevi fountain.

Finally I must announce my joy that the ABC has finally come to it’s senses and realised that launching an exclusively digital channel when set-top decoder boxes come in at around $700 each is not a viable economic proposition. Hence it has shifted some of the content of its “ABC Kids” channel back onto normal broadcasting, including new* episodes of Daria. Please excuse me for a second….


My elated mood is only dampened by the facts that they’re on at 5:30, when I’m still on my way home from work, and I only discovered this by chance tonight, meaning that I’ve probably missed dozens of them.

This is what happens when you move out and don’t arrange for delivery of the weekend papers. TV Week here I come.


* Perth is neatly divided into north and south by the Swan River. North of the river is the vibrant, cultural heart of the city, inhabited by intelligent, witty, well educated sophisticates. South of the river is a cultureless wasteland roamed by packs of wild-eyed,mullet-headed, banjo-playing knuckle walkers who inexplicably think the exact opposite is true.

* I am so old

* The fact that there was a “last year” and people still came this year makes me seriously concerned about the state of humanity

* Like Shaggy

* A humourous exaggeration Becca, I promise 🙂

* Like, from 2000

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