The Chaser do-over Q and A
By Caitlin McGrane
The Chaser stars Chris Taylor and Andrew Hansen are here to ruin audience Q and As forever. Fictional author Lionel Corn is somewhere between Groundskeeper Willie, Malcolm Tucker and George R.R. Martin. However, I’m not sure there’s enough under-shirt padding in the world that could make Andrew Hansen even vaguely resemble Martin in this almost totally transparent reference to the author in their debut MICF show. Corn’s pairing with Taylor’s totally inept interviewer/MC was wonderful; that I cannot remember his name has only enhanced the effective awfulness of his character and his love of his own voice.
In this show Taylor and Hansen do what they’ve always done best – lampooned popular culture and social conventions in order to score satirical points. Their fantastic send-up of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas, in which Lionel Corn was interviewed by the worst moderator in the world, had me laughing and cringing throughout. They opened well, with an extended gag about walk-on music that effectively called out the ridiculous music that always accompanies speakers onstage, to which literally no one else pays attention.
The whole show was a send-up of the endless festivals that we all love to attend – writers’, emerging writers’, film, dangerous ideas etc, etc. It also very satirically lambasted shows like Q&A, with their refusal to engage in a conversation about the lack of women and trans people on screen.
The only part that let the show down slightly was a bizarre sequence involving a disease invented by Corn/Hansen called ‘Parkinsons of the arse’; it felt cheap and poorly thought out. I also missed out on seeing the promised guest comedian, but enjoyed the explanation of the empty chair on stage as symbolising the journalists and broadcasters who were locked up for political dissidence, or who couldn’t be there due to a schedule mix-up.
While the show isn’t exactly as groundbreaking or biting as some of their Chaser sketches, it was engaging, entertaining and kept me laughing.
Venue: The Forum
Season: Until Sunday 19 April (excl. Mon) Tue-Sat 7pm, Sun 6pm
Tickets: Full $34| Conc $30