Bondi View

Gillies does Malcolm

Wentworth voters will get to see Malcolm Turnbull as they’ve never seen him before, through the eyes of satirist Max Gillies.

Turnbull is but one of Australia’s leading political figures to get the treatment in Godzone, a new show opening at the Seymour Centre on February 23.

The show is the latest creation of legendary chameleon Max Gillies – one of the great satirical actors of the Australian political stage – and his collaborator, political commentator Guy Rundle.

Gillies had focused on Turnbull but was not completely caught off guard by the dramatic Liberal realignment in December.

“A week before we opened in Melbourne the leadership changed so we had to do some fast footwork but Abbott was a character I’d been developing,” Gillies said. “He’s the gift that keeps on giving. It’s quaint, if not embarrassing, to describe virginity as a prize to be doled out, or to describe climate change as “crap” but Abbott just shrugs it off.”

Gillies described Godzone as the 2020 Summit on steroids, tackling the elevation of religion on the national political stage as a “cavalcade of political guests is shoe-horned into the Revivalist tent of Reverend Kevin”. Gillies and Rundle are concerned about the “cheerful way Australian politicians are happy to bring religion into politics as their predecessors would never have done”.

And he said Australian politics was now full of contradictions.
“Old certitudes have gone. We have Labor advocating a free market mechanism to global warming while Abbott, [Barnaby] Joyce and [Greg] Hunt are favouring regulation as a solution. Not long ago it would have been the other way around,” Gillies said. “But politicians are a continuous joy to me. I find them fascinating from a lay anthropologist and psychologist point of view.”

Godzone plays at the Seymour Centre from February 23 to March 6. February 23 sets the tone with “Enquiring Minds” guest Bob Carr in the hot seat after the show.
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