Last night I organised a group of people to attend the hilarious Keating! at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne. It is one of the best productions that I have seen; very professionally performed, incredibly funny, highly satirical and very irreverent. No one was spared – except perhaps Keating himself. (warning below gives away some plotlines).
For those outside of Australia, the actors take off Australian politicians of the early to mid 1990s, of the rise and fall of the invective wittiness of Paul Keating, Australia’s last Labor Prime Minister. This is the last week of the show in Melbourne after touring the country for the last two years. The backing band is simply superb.
My highlights were the reggae hit “I’m the Man”, the rap between Keating and Hewson followed by “I Wanna Do You Slowly”, the outrageous Downer act of “Freaky” of which I will never be able to take Downer seriously again, the duet between Gareth and Cheryl (the line “My Peril, Cheryl” is very funny), the election night multimedia presentation, Howard’s “The Mateship” with some excellent costume changes and impersonations – especially the wave, and the finale.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, try and get to it wherever it plays. Good political satire in Australia has been scant of late with few shows since the time of Max Gillies. Keating! reengages with the genre in a delicious manner.