Rod Quantock: The Insane Asylum (You’re Standing In It)

 An evening with self-described comedy icon Rod Quantock is a bit like slipping on your favourite pair of slippers and listening to a favourite piece of music. 



Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2011 Presented by: A Token EventVenue: Trades Hall – the Quilt Room Saturday, 2 April, 2011
 Rod QuantockAn evening with self-described comedy icon Rod Quantock is a bit like slipping on your favourite pair of slippers and listening to a favourite piece of music. And like good music, there is always something to appreciate about Quantock’s particular brand of comedy, even if it’s only to hear a rare voice of reason amidst the throng of madness.
Quantock is mad too, but in the “I’m mad as Hell, and I’m not taking it any more” sense; mad at what seems to be the ever increasing stupidity of political discourse in the face of impending ecological and economic disaster.
Quantock, now 62, was born in 1948 that, he tells us, was the year of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations and also when Velcro was invented. The Insane Asylum (You’re Standing In It) starts as a biographical show, including stories of growing up in post Second World War Melbourne, but segues fairly quickly to familiar territory, as he applies his unique brand of humour and logic to the dilemma of survival of the species.
The show draws on his lifetime of interest in politics and science to draw a bleak picture of the future. Using flow charts, he gives us a crash course on the delicate balance between energy, food and water – including mini-lectures on the population explosion and the science of climate change; cleverly interspersed with pet topics like consumerism, growth, privatisation, war, evil people like Murdoch, Tony Abbot, stupid people and those on the Right (who we all know are wrong).
But wait! He has a solution – one that, while initially shocking, will not surprise anyone who is familiar with Quantock’s black humour. (Though anyone mentioned in the previous paragraph should perhaps be thinking about heading for the hills and taking up permaculture gardening.)
Luckily all of the audience on the night I saw the show are in no danger from the Quantock solution. Mostly over 40 and leaning to the Left, I doubt any one left much wiser than they arrived. The show’s content is a bit depressing and though we were promised Nembutal on the way out I couldn’t find mine. But an evening with the still funny National Treasure Rod Quantock confirms the crucial role humour plays in our understanding, and survival, of this mad, mad world.  to 24 Aprilwww.comedyfestival.com.au  

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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