It’s Friday night and I’ve just been out for dinner with Damien. We had good fun talking about a range of subjects and the meal – Massaman Lamb Curry and Pad Thai Chicken – was excellent! It’s been a reasonably busy week. Tuesday night, as per usual was television night, with “The Bill”, followed by “Rove”. Rove seems obsessed with the nation thinking he’s gay. He made another reference to it the other night. I, for one, don’t care about Rove’s sexuality. However, he remains as cute as button.
On Wednesday, I went to the Lewisham Hotel with Graeme, Ian and John. Since the last time I went the place has quietened considerably. It seems the hotel is trying to attract a new market, but in doing so has alienated much of its existing market. Still, the beers were cheap, the grilled octopus was excellent, and the conversation is fantastic. We managed to cover every conceivable topic and some inconceivable topics.
And then last night I went with Colin to “The Man From Snowy River Arena Spectacular”. According to the events promoters, “The Man From Snowy River Arena Spectacular is a musical, a rock concert, a rodeo, an equestrian extravaganza and arena show like no other, at the scale and grandeur of its inspiration, the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.” It was all of that and more.
In some respects it was a spectacular piece of theatre and doing what theatre always should: it takes lots of risks. But in other respects it’s very safe. While the first half is quite moving, especially a lovely scene, where the horse is “broken”, the second half is spectacle without substance. Looking around the audience, many of the people for whom it may be intended to appeal looked bored. Unfortunately, it was also unnecesarilly American – poor Georgie Parker thought she was in Oklahoma for most of the night; at times it was a pastiche of every American movie western possible, complete with the word “cowboy” and banjos, which, to the best of my knowledge are not part of the Australian bush legend. The show aims to be what “The Boy From Oz” was: the great Australian musical that can be sold to the world. In its execution, however, it was jingoistic and evidence the “cultural cringe” remains with us. If the show stuck with the horse theme, and left out the dancing kids, it could be a great Australian musical, but at the moment, the negative aspects probably outweight the positive. And that is my personal view…
Next week, I’m off to Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Lismore… and the week after, it’s Adelaide. I hope to have lots of interesting stories and photographs to post.