Monday, May 21, 2012


The brilliant Tracy Harvey, about to be surprised by an exploding cigar

One unanticipated aspect of my stroke recovery business is my inability to get the day and the time right. I'm usually out by two weeks, even though I write down everything in my diary. Incorrectly, as it happens.
My talented friend Tracy Harvey has been staging her latest musical about life in a hospital. She works as a clerk at The Alfred, so she has had plenty of experience from which to draw. She also writes seriously brilliant, catchy rock songs, and I was once lucky enough to work with her on a show called Call Girl, a musical set in a call centre. (Most of Tracy's show and song titles have double meanings.) The name of the new show is Prick.

According to my diary, the last performance of the show was on 4th May, so I fronted up at The Caravan Club (an RSL hall with a rehearsal space on that very day). But no one there seemed to know what I was talking about even though I spoke as clearly as I could the word 'Prick'. Someone finally realised what I was referring to, that I wasn't suffering from Tourette's syndrome, and advised me that the show Prick would not be playing till two weeks' hence on 20 May. So I enjoyed Oakley as best I could for the afternoon (and you'll be surprised how much fun you can have at Chadstone shopping centre) then returned to St Kilda. I revisited The Caravan Club last Sunday and caught a top-notch performance of Tracy's show, complete with a live band and a warm-up by the affable Dave O'Neil. And they were all brilliant, especially Tracy and Bryce Ives, the smart young director who also took on one of the roles, that of a sleazy doctor.

The frustrating thing about a local show as good as this is that it really deserves to build a bigger audience and enjoy some commercial success. It isn't going to happen. We'll fork out a small fortune for tickets to Billy Elliot, but Prick, with its rocky songs and gags, will be completely overlooked, short of a miracle. One of our local productions encountered just such a miracle, when Casey Bennetto's Keating: The Musical, ended up being staged in The Comedy Theatre in Melbourne. I don't know if Prick will ever make it to such a hallowed venue, but I do hope we haven't heard the last of this quirky and cheeky hospital musical.

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