Tony Abbott received a much-deserved roasting on the opening night of the Sydney Fringe Comedy festival on September 1.
Unfortunately no actual fire was involved, but the prime minister — played disturbingly well by Jonas Holt (whose Abbott impersonation has featured on Weekend Sunrise and the At Home With Tones webseries) — was subjected to an amusing grilling.
Headed by MC Mark Williamson, Abbott was confronted by Julia Wilson (on behalf of the 52% of the population represented by Abbott as “minister for women), “dirty hippy” Carlo Sands from Green Left Weekly, wind farmer Trevor Gumboots (played by Peter Green) and Kevin Rudd (impersonated with precision by Nathan Lentern).
Abbott's rebuttal was a sustained, pitch perfect display of prime ministerial stupidity and bigotry, concluding with a guitar-accompanied rendition of “I'm A Liberal” (to the tune of Denis Leary's “Arsehole”).
The up-to-the-minute jokes at the many failings and crimes of Tony Abbott — from the Border Farce just days before to his never-ceasing, multi-faceted prejudices — came quick and fast, making for a highly amusing hour of comedy. It is true Abbott and his parliamentary colleagues have provided enough material for 1000 such shows, but no one can deny the nation needs a laugh right now and the show delivered plenty.
Sydney Fringe Comedy is continuing with many shows at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville until October 4 — Williamson has another show, a live recording of his “Comedy on Edge” podcast on September 12.
Sydneysiders who missed the roast can see Holt's Abbott, Lentern's Rudd and Carlo Sands in Green Left Weekly's fundraising comedy debate “Team Australia Should Be Disqualified” on October 17. Joining the trio are Michael Hing (Triple J, ABC's Good Game), Kirsty Mac (fresh from a well-reviewed show at the Edinburgh festival), Alice Fraser and Shayne Hunter.