Saturday, July 20, 2013

Coming soon, Muhammad Versus Tall Buildings

Australia once was afflicted by something known as the Cultural Cringe, but thankfully those days have largely passed for mainstream artistes. Where the work still needs to be done, the self-esteem to be inculcated and elevated, is in the field of sheltered-workshop theatre, or theatricale retardo, as it is known to the footlight set. All leading luvvies are as one in recognising the shameful neglect that stagestruck simpletons have long endured, and the Australia Council has put large sums of other people's money where its mates are (or would prefer to be), which is to say Paris, France, just at the moment, strolling the boulevards with grant in pocket.

The photo above is part of Australia's gift to the French, who might take the imported production at a glance to be reassuring confirmation that Baba Babar the Elephant was as much a collaborator as everyone else, but the elephant is actually the Hindu god Ganesh. The weedy little character to the right is someone from Geelong pretending to be the Austrian Corporal. Here is how the Australia Council's Jenna Hand describes the treat in store for Parisiens:
The unlikely storyline in Ganesh Versus the Third Reich originated with two actors who have since left the company. One was obsessed with the elephant-headed god; the other transformed herself into a neo-Nazi during a rehearsal...

...Three years of improvisation, research, discussion and imaginings resulted in a chimerical narrative about the Hindu deity travelling to Germany to reclaim the swastika, an ancient Sanskrit symbol, from the Nazis.

‘We sat on that storyline for about a year, thinking there is no way that a small theatre company from Geelong made up of six actors with intellectual disabilities can re-write European history, touch on issues such as the Holocaust, the T4 program, represent a Hindu god on stage or a Jew on the run,’ Nash says.
Uplifting stuff, eh! Just the shot to place Australia at the cutting edge of intellectually disabled theatre. Reassuring as well is that luvvie tastes in Australia run very much along the same lines as in other advanced western nations with well-funded arts programs and those who love them. No need whatsoever for that rotten old cringe!

And for just $3 million worth of grants since 2008, a bargain to boot.


  1. The Old and Unimproved DaveJuly 20, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Isn't this the point where Rod Serling steps in with some sage advice?

  2. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.July 20, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Jenna tells us they have a 'freeform approach to writing'. Mmmm. Even sitting on it for a year couldn't squash it dead. Just thin and flat and smelly and useless and all over the place like a madwoman's ... freeform.

  3. Not too retarded to pocket the cash eh? Intelligence might be lacking but the cunning of the outhouse rat is, as always with socialist scum, very much in evidence.

  4. Babar the elephant... just saying...

  5. Baba as a Vichy collaborator?

    A pachydermous Petain.