Arts & Entertainment

THEATRE: PENNIES FROM KEVIN

The stimulus payouts from Our Illustrious Leader have dried up, Malcolm and Kevin are back to squabbling about the ETS, and the fiskally challenged Steve Fielding still calls Canberra home – but don’t go thinking there’s nothing to smile about when it comes to Aussie politics.

Now into its tenth year, the Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf Revue 2009: Pennies from Kevin is still getting laughs taking aim at pollies near (K-Rudd & Co.), far (Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi) and dearly departed (the Democrats). Writer-performers Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott have served up a decent mix of contemporary and legendary moments in Australia’s political history, opening with a song and dance tribute to the Recession We Never Had, followed by the thoroughly entertaining Kevin Potter & the Lower Chamber of Secrets, featuring a superbly nasal Helen Dallimore (AKA Hermione Gillard).

Things get a bit wobbly as the Revue strays farther from home – a look at the Israel-Palestine dispute comes off more preachily obvious than screechingly funny, and an extended poke at Amanda Vanstone’s girth (La Dolce Big-Eater) rather outstays its welcome. But cluey audience members will get plenty out of a brilliant Bob Ellis day-in-the-life; and elsewhere Bob Brown gets points for managing to make Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah even more depressing, bless his socks (and sandals).

Until 13 Dec, Sydney Theatre, Pier 4, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $45-55, 9250 7777, sydneytheatre.com.au