The funny side of 'ugly'

October 1, 1997

Sunrise Blvd
Rod Quantock at The Comedy (Harold Park) Hotel
115 Wigram Road, Glebe, Sydney.
September 23 to October 5, 8pm. $7.

Review by Chris Spindler

Rod Quantock is a rarity. He is not only funny, he uses real politics as the drawcard and material for his show. He doesn't just use justifiable cynicism and cheap digs at notorious political figures. He uses sharp wit to criticise Jeff Kennett's Victoria and the capitalist principles which underpin it.

Quantock's stand-up comedy revue Sunrise Blvd defines Jeffrey Edward Richard Kennett (J.E.R.K.) by his lust for money and power, and his ugliness. By this means, it links Kennett to like-minded and similarly ugly figures in the Victorian business community.

In fact, "ugly" became quite a theme of the evening. Quantock connects degrees of ugliness with degrees of wealth, and links both to the new architectural sites around Victoria, in particular the Crown Casino and extended Tullamarine freeway which runs to the casino's door.

But it isn't just individuals who come under attack. Quantock lets lose at ideas — economic rationalism, so-called democracy, privatisation — "Bond, Skase, Pyramid, and they tell us that private runs better than public!". Quantock takes sides.

Quantock uses humour, and a very big chalk board, to get across his message very effectively. He puts you in the picture and to the extent that you are laughing at every day situations, it's an engaging performance.

Most of the show, while easy going and relaxed with Quantock swooning after the old Victoria (which also had it's share of ugliness), occasionally brought you back to the realities of the system: the 14 suicides related to the Crown Casino, the enormous disparity in wealth and ownership, the corruption in government circles.

It's well worth the time, effort and small cost to see Quantock's show. His past and present fans of Quantock, as well as Victorian expatriates and haters of Kennett will particularly enjoy it.

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