New Ballroom, Trades Hall
Thursday, 19th January, 2006

Tagline: It's a comfy bloody country!

Having been in high school during the Keating years, I still remember
the events quite well (I was on a school trip to Canberra in year 9 at
the time of Keating's first challenge), so I was really looking forward
to this show especially since I missed it at the Comedy Festival last

Since then the show has played a sold out season at the Sydney Opera
house to an audience that even included the subject of the musical and
his family. It has also gotten rave reviews from the broadsheets and
recently featured in the major daily tabloid in Melbourne, the Herald

The story begins in 1990 around the time Hawke had agreed to step aside
for Keating as per the Kirribilli agreement. Bob Hawke's (Casey
Bennetto's) opening number was really great and he would also make a
great subject for a musical (although it would have a lot more drinking
songs and Cold Chisel.)

In contrast to Bob's casual appearance in a bathrobe, Keating's (Mike
McLeish) entrance was a lot more stylish and even involved a dance with
a hat and cane. He certainly does move around a lot during the show,
which would have been difficult while wearing such a good looking suit.

The rest of the show follows the trials and tribulations of the years of
Keating as prime minister up to his defeat at the 1996 election.

Several other characters also make an appearance including Dr John
Hewson, Alexander Downer (in a Frank'n'Furter get up), John Howard,
Gareth Evans and Cheryl Kernot. Special mention must go to John Howard's
eyebrows as it really doesn't take much to at least resemble him.

I thought the backing band was great as they virtually didn't stop from
even before the show started (sitting down music), through all the
musical numbers and then the finale.

This season will be running for two shows a night until the 28th of
January 2006. I recommend you book as soon as possible as the rest of
the shows will sell out pretty quickly once more people start getting
interested (might be best to skip this coming Sunday as it will be 41
degrees C (102F) though, the cast will need a kiddie wading pool out the
back between shows.)

Hopefully there will also be a return season at the comedy festival at a
larger venue.


I also bought the cast recording after the show (only available on the

recorded at the Sydney Opera House

1. Overture
2. My right-hand man
3. Do it in style
4. I remember Kirribilli
5. It's time
6. Ruler of the Land
7. Dogs of damnation
8. On the Floor
9. I wanna do you slowly
10. Antony Green
11. Freaky
12. Heavens, Mister Evans
13. Power
14. Choose me
15. The light on the hill

Even though the front of the CD says "country soul opera", there are a
lot of different styles of music here from rap to rock and even reggae
and a Rick James style number.

I haven't heard many cast recordings so I don't have much to compare it
to. Although it helps if you have actually seen the show, for the most
part you can follow what is going on (only a couple of the jokes were

No I can't make a copy of this one, if you ask Casey nicely he may be
able to send you one.


Created on ... December 30, 2006