Tag Archives: Jonathan Biggins

CAUSE CELEB : 75TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

ACTORS BENEVOLENT FUND’S most popular fundraiser event – the INDOOR PICNIC AND CABARET is back.  This year marks 75 years that The Actors Benevolent Fund has provided assistance to performing arts professionals in times of need.

This fabulous event will be held on Sunday 18 August in the Joan Sutherland Rehearsal Room of Opera Australia.   Award winning director Luke Joslin, and legendary Musical Director Michael Tyack have brought together Sydney’s best-known performers for this glittering industry event including:-

Nancye Hayes, Jonathan Biggins, Chloe Dallimore, Paul Capsis, Sheridan Harbridge, Sandy Gore, Maggie Blinco, Natalie Abbott, James Hadwin, Scott Irwin, Margi de Ferranti, Olivia Vasquez, Peter Cousens, Brittanie Shipway, Dan Belle, Wayne Scott Kermond, Garry Scale, Robert McDougall, Daniel Belle, Jay Laga’aia, Courtney Bell, Meredith O’Reilly, Siobhan Clifford, Laura Murphy, Stephanie Caccamo, Heather Mitchell and many more. 

ACTORS BENEVOLENT FUND is the entertainment industry’s charity that provides help when it’s needed most. Founded in 1944 to assist the many members of the acting profession who were caught up in the devastation that World War II. It was recognised that action was required to look after the families of lost servicemen and women. It is in this spirit that the Actors Benevolent Fund has continued for 75 years, in supporting professional members of the performing arts community across theatre, film and television.

The Actors Benevolent Fund also umbrellas the STA Fund which was established with the Sydney Theatre Awards to assist members of the theatre community suffering from mental health issues. It also administers the Victoria Longley Cancer Appeal which offers financial assistance to help with the costs of cancer treatment. Donations to these funds and the Actors Benevolent Fund can be made on the ABF website.

Gather your friends, pack your picnic and head out for a night to remember!

VENUE:          Joan Sutherland Rehearsal Room

Opera Centre, 480 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills

WHEN:            Sunday 18th August

TIME:              Doors open 6pm / Showtime 7pm

TICKETS:       $85.00

BOOKINGS:   www.actorsbenevolentfund.org.au

THE WHARF REVUE @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

It’s great to have the Wharf Revue team back again at this time a much larger venue, the Roslyn Packer Theatre, as a result of the current refurbishment taking place at the Wharf complex

The jokes kept coming as did most of our favourite characters. Malcolm Turnbull and the coup, with all the main players portrayed, was the first political skit.  Turnbull saying, ‘Should  I take the Lodge. You mean downsize!’

There was a skit with allusions to ‘Stomp’ about the way plastic has taken over our lives.

Our premier Gladys Berejiklian got her own skit which could have been a little tougher!

The Harvey Norman stores received a serve with their absolutely no interest campaigns-don’t miss this opportunity campaigns!

Barnaby Joyce made an appearance singing a country and western song saying he doesn’t do private interviews for free….

Drew Forsythe came on as a neatly coiffured Pauline Hanson with a bright pink jacket  promoting her book ‘Pauline Hanson In Her Own Words’’. Forsythe had the audience in stitches as she addressed her concerns about Muslims conjugating everywhere, as well as her sideswipe at David Oldfield- ‘he is a much bigger fraud than I am!’

The Greens got a look in with a manic Sarah Hanson-Young making an appearance with the inimitable Bob Brown  saying the Greens leader Richard Di Natale looks like a Wiggle!

Jonathan Biggins turn as former Prime Minister Paul Keating was a big highlight and again had the audience in stitches. Plenty of razor sharp observations followed. ‘Australians don’t know what a real leader looks like any more…You shouldn’t say Scott Morrison and leader in the same sentence.’ ‘Tony Abbott is the only man in history to bring down four governments, including the one he led!’ ‘Bill Shorten is as popular as  diarrhoea’.

After this, it wasn’t long before Biggins came back, transformed into President Donald Trump. There was byplay about Trump’s sacking of his national security advisors. Trump’s obsession with Twitter was well portrayed. Drew Forsythe came on stage and joined him in various guises playing sparring partners, Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin and even the Queen. There was a bit of serious satire thrown in with the Queen all about ruling with dignity whilst Trump was all about ego and roughshod leadership..

There was even some byplay between the Queen and Prince Philip thrown in with an aside  by the Queen about her husband (off-stage) ‘I’ve been trying to balance his medications for fifty years now’ which brought laughter.

These were just some of the highlights from this year’s Wharf Revue, an annual treat on the Sydney theatre scene. It was sad that Phil Scott is no longer part of the team. His absence was felt but the Revue team is still going strong. Biggins and Forsythe were in great form, their impersonations were spot on, the makeup, wigs and costumes were all good, and the pacing was excellent. They were supported by a trio of fine performers, Douglas Hansell, Andrew Worboys and Rachael Beck who helped with portraying other characters as well as contributing some flashy show/cabaret numbers.

The clowns are in good form. Try and catch the show if you can. The Wharf Revue is playing at the Roslyn Packer Theatre until 15 December 2018.

 

WHARF REVUE 2018: DÉJÀ REVUE

They ask nothing of us.  No requirement for any depth of domestic political knowledge, no necessity to immerse in the Sturm und Drang of geopolitical border drawing and you don’t really even need to have a sense of humour either.  They do it for you, all of it…  THE WHARF REVUE 2018: DÉJÀ REVUE is an exercise in melding the patently obvious with the precisely targeted.  And it begins with some spectacular scarlet pantos and a very early “there’s always a fucken smartarse!

Despite his stunning velveteen fairy-tale-time suit, Buttons is a seriously cranky-pants host who knows his audience and is not afraid to insult them…  An hilarious beginning to tell the story of a Turnbullella who has lost his way until he drops something important at the ball.  The show will continue in panto mode, peppered with locals, for a while.  That is until a ripper of a scene change when a whole wide world of lampoon opens up to our embrace. Continue reading WHARF REVUE 2018: DÉJÀ REVUE

THE WHARF REVUE: AN INTERVIEW WITH JONATHAN BIGGINS

 

Sydney Theatre Company’s production, THE WHARF REVUE,  2018, will kick off this year at Riverside Theatres from 13th to 15th September before touring across NSW, VIC and ACT.

Written and created by Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe, THE WHARF REVUE 2018 will present another glorious year of political satire – keeping the nation’s political and cultural leaders on their metaphorical toes!

Biggins and Forsythe will be joined on stage by Rachael Beck (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, TV’s It Takes Two and Hey Dad…!) and Douglas Hansell (TV’s Critical and Underbelly).

The Guide had the chance to chat with Jonathan about what we can expect.

SAG:  Jonathan, what can we expect? Continue reading THE WHARF REVUE: AN INTERVIEW WITH JONATHAN BIGGINS

AUSTRALIA DAY COMMITTEE FORMED BY PLAYWRIGHT JONATHAN BIGGINS

Photos by Chris Lundie

AUSTRALIA DAY playing at the New Theatre is a lot of fun.  That could be it.  That could be all I need to write.  “Go and see it. It’s a good comedy!”

Ah but …. I love an “Ah but” moment in the theatre.  Jonathan Biggins doesn’t write in one dimension, he’s not a single noun kind of scribbler.  Few national treasures are and AUSTRALIA DAY is a whole mess of naming words.  All of which add up theatrical storytelling of the finest, most entertaining, kind.

We meet the Australia Day Committee of the small fictional town of Coriole, including a mayor with aspirations to be on the ticket for the House of Reps.  Cushy job in Canberra would be nice and Bryan Harrigan is a man with an eye for the main chance.  As is Helen.  She’s a member of The Green Party and pretty green.  Robert is the chair and often umpire. Maree is the CWA rep and Wally is a leftover from the days when men ruled empires and could say and do as they liked.  At their first meeting for next year’s events, there are concerns in committee about how the changing population of Coriole is affecting the traditional way of celebrating a national day.  Enter Chester.

Chester is the school rep by default  on the committee.  He’s a teacher and from an Asian background.  That means Chinese to Maree and Wally, it’s a tough room!  Lap Nguyen gives us such a fun character here.  Self-deprecating, amused beyond belief at the rest of this committee, not above baiting their prejudices and guilelessly positive.  Chester is beautifully written of course. Continue reading AUSTRALIA DAY COMMITTEE FORMED BY PLAYWRIGHT JONATHAN BIGGINS

THE WHARF REVUE 2016 ‘BACK TO BITE YOU’ @ THE RIVERSIDE PARRAMATTA

Wharf (2) (1)

The revue starts with Bob Hawke greeting the audience with, “If any silly old bugger has their phone on turn it off. Where do I send the bill?” The audience sees an ancient Roman backdrop and the cast dressed in togas launch into a Wharf Revue version of ‘Anything Goes”. It has the usual sharp lines we expect from the talented team. With reference to recent political events and Shakespeare’s ancient Rome we hear about the disillusionment trigger and how a knife in the back is quicker.

Toga clad Ericus Abetzus leads the hard right conservative conspirators and a discussion about how to deal with the mighty Emperor of Wentworth. The clever lines come thick and fast. We hear how Jesus delivered a TED talk on the mount and Dutton dressed as lamb gets a mention.

Written and created by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott, The Wharf Revue delves into the richly rewarding world of Federal politics to take the daft things our leaders have said and emphasise their ridiculousness and to twist the seemingly reasonable into fertile humorous material. They also throw in corny puns, clever puns, bawdy humour and some excellent musical numbers to entertain and amuse the crowd. Continue reading THE WHARF REVUE 2016 ‘BACK TO BITE YOU’ @ THE RIVERSIDE PARRAMATTA

The Wharf Revue 2015 @ Wharf 1 Sydney Theatre Company

The Wharf Revue 2015 is back to its sharp, biting satirical best, and for added entertainment they have included literary humour, opera, musicals, pop, jazz and the crude and the vulgar.

Jonathan Biggins, Amanda Bishop, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott all perform wonderfully as a diverse range of characters. The show seamlessly jumps between live and video segments keeping up a constant flow of entertainment. The music and musical performances round out a thoroughly enjoyable production.

In The Last Days of the Howard Bunker they are Liberal characters in the last days of The Third Reich singing about when the night looks darkest before the Tampa dawn and the thankless blue collar scum. Continue reading The Wharf Revue 2015 @ Wharf 1 Sydney Theatre Company